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GA3: Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee ★
Welcome delegates to the Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee!
The General Assembly Third Committee – Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) – has, ever since its inception, served as an integral organ whose aim is to focus on human rights. Currently at its seventy-second session, SOCHUM’s agenda continues to revolve around a broad range of social and humanitarian affairs. With the ultimate aim of preserving human dignity, SOCHUM discusses topics relating to the protection of children, the advancement of women rights, the care of refugees, exclusion of indigenous people, racism and many others. The Committee also addresses questions pertaining to social order and development such as crime, education, drugs, juvenile delinquency and other issues that affect the individual’s proper integration in society.
With such a diverse and wide-ranging scope, SOCHUM regularly joins effort with other organs of the UN, such as the WHO, UNICEF and UNHCR to ensure that its resolutions are being effectively implemented.
SOCHUM believes that every perspective should be shared and conveyed in order to “Pave Unity and Pioneer Acceptance”.
Topic A: Rebuilding of Failing States
States can be classified as either strong, weak, failing, failed or collapsed states. This classification is not constant and can easily alternate over time. In fact, history is not devoid of examples where strong states collapsed and collapsed states rebuilt themselves, as is the case nowadays.
The key feature for a strong state is the provision of public and political goods. If the state fails to provide these, failure and conflict can easily manifest, creating an environment of unrest and uncertainty for its citizens. Another contributing factor is the type of governance, whereby autocratic or self-governed states are more susceptible to decline than democratic states. For nations to survive and thrive, they need to ensure security and promote inclusive policies for all their citizens. Similarly, the flourishment of a strong and unwavering economy will fortify citizens’ strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Conflict is certainly everywhere, but a nation’s main building ingredient will revolve around inclusive wide-ranging strategies and fair policies that promote equality. Acceptance, certainly, is the first step towards stability.
Topic B: Preservation of Ethnic Identities and Ethno-Cultural Differences
All around the world, the topic of indigenous people has often been dismissed as peripheral. Such diminishing attitude has reached an extent, whereby indigenous people are not recognized as independent individuals with innate rights, and where their suffering is undervalued.
Despite the extensive diversity and target range, linguistic minorities also share a common history of injustice with indigenous people. Escalating from governmental exclusion and underrepresentation in law and legislation, to enslavement, torture and murder, both communities have been subject to extensive demeaning conditions. Unfortunately, the adverse treatment of these individuals can sometimes be a byproduct of ethno-cultural problems that further escalate into ethnic cleansing circumstances. In many cases, regrettably, the demands of these minorities for a dignified existence have been misunderstood as a request for favoritism and special treatment. Consequently, in order to shape an advanced, diverse, and tolerant society it is essential for government officials to be receptive and recognize their demands and rights.
The dais looks forward to witness how the delegates will engage with this topic and come up with well-rounded arguments and solutions in an attempt to speak up on the behalf of these individuals and fight for their rights.
Kimberly Sarkis - Chair
Kimberly Sarkis will be serving as this year’s chair for the Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM). Kimberly is a second year Psychology student, double minoring in Political Studies and International Law at the American University of Beirut (AUB). She was one of the founders of the Model United Nations at her school in Venezuela- her country of origin. Currently, she is part of the cabinet of the AUBMUN Club and the Latin Club in AUB. Her MUN experience at AUB started last year, when she participated in Harvard WorldMUN, one of the most prestigious conferences in the world.
She is extremely passionate about politics, law, history and human behavior. Kimberly is a gym addict; she loves to exercise and engage in the discovery of new adventures that challenge her abilities. She is involved in multiple volunteering programs and she is captivated by the power of good communication skills and their role on effective leadership. In her opinion, the topics that will be discussed are of extreme relevance because with an international system aiming for unity, still many states lack a good system of governance and discriminate their populations. She thinks that “Acceptance and Unity” can only be achieved by recognizing the rights of hundreds of people that until this present day are unheard.
She is eager to hear all delegates’ opinions on these topics and be able to discuss efficient recommendations. Kimberly considers that BEYMUN will not only challenge delegate’s ability to think critically, but will be essential to improve communication skills, make new friends and be part of a revolution aiming to make the world we live in a better place. As she always says, “It is all about passion, dedication and hard work”.
Elias Jabbour - Assistant Chair
Elias Jabbour is currently a Senior Biology student at the American University of Beirut. Elias will graduate this Spring and pursue his education in the medical field. As for BEYMUN, he will be serving as the assistant chair of the Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM). Despite his rather scientific background, Elias is equally interested and captivated by socio-cultural topics and has exercised his yearn throughout his previous MUN experiences. These include the GC LAU MUN 2015 conference where Elias represented the Federative Republic of Brazil and earned a diplomacy award, followed by the New York Selection Conference at LAU, and finally his participation in the 5th Platon School MUN in Greece where he won the Best Delegate Award. Elias has grown a fascination for the field of Ethics and is excited to exchange thoughts with the delegates on recent ethical topics, most notably the Ethnic-Cleansing chapter of Indigenous Peoples and Linguistic Minorities. Elias is a strong believer that the key for the advancement of civilization is the acceptance, acknowledgement and mutual understanding of diversities. His genuine pursuit for the protection of the rights of diversities was initially instigated by his previous exchange experience in Boston University, where he lived as and encountered minorities. Ever since, he has been taken by the subject of preservation of cultural diversities and is thrilled that this year’s BEYMUN conference is discussing such a vital topic.
Dina Eid - Assistant Chair
Dina Eid is a second year Business Administration student at the American University of Beirut. She was born in Northern Lebanon and moved around between Canada and later to Qatar for her school education. Besides her passion for MUN, Dina has an unparalleled love for fashion and couture, music, movies and books. She’s a dedicated gym junkie and loves outdoors, adrenaline-inducing activities. She also loves travelling and exploring and has a particular love for European countries, culture, art and history.
Her MUN experience started two years ago at AUB, accelerating after attending the 2017 edition of BeyMUN as a delegate in the World Health Organization Committee. During the summer of 2017, she attended Paris International Model United Nations (PIMUN) at SciencesPo, representing AUB as a delegate in the Economic and Social Council. This year, she will be attending the National Model United Nations conference in New York City, and looks forward to working alongside two esteemed students as an Assistant Chair of the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) in BEYMUN 2018.
Joining BEYMUN for the second time – only on the other side of the equation – Dina is excited to see delegates engage in topics of continental importance, tackling issues at more than just face value and striving for a holistic educational (and social) experience.