Head Chair: Sarah Donahue Vice Chair: Lauren Shulman Moderator: Yughe Bista
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello delegates, my name is Sarah Donahue and I will be your head chair for the WHO novice committee. I am a junior at Laguna Hills High School, and this is my third year in MUN. Outside of MUN, I am involved in IB, National Honors society, CSF, Spanish Honors Society, Lion’s Heart, cross country, and several other organizations. This will be my first year as a head chair, so I am very excited to help facilitate innovative and creative solutions to the problems at hand!
Hello Delegates, my name is Lauren Shulman and I will be your vice chair. I am a sophomore at Laguna Hills High School and this is my 2nd year in MUN. Outside of MUN I volunteer with Susan G. Komen and am the President of Athletes for Character. I am really excited for the conference and can't wait to meet you all!
Hello Delegates, my name is Yughe Bista and I will be your moderator. I am a sophomore at Laguna Hills High School and this is my second year in MUN. To add to my resume, I am a part of Chinese club, League of Legends club, CSF, and much more. I’m looking forward to the conference and can’t wait to meet all of you intelligent delegates.
Topic A: The Right to Euthanasia Background: As early as the 15th century, euthanasia was used as an option for ending one's life. The word “euthanasia” means “Good and Easy Death.” Today the use of euthanasia is a very controversial option, since it conflicts with most religions across the world. Although the use of euthanasia is still prohibited throughout almost the whole world, it is a human right to decide whatever form of death they want. Most high priests consider this act of euthanasia an act of suicide. In several countries, the doctors of patients wanting to commit euthanasia would be charged with act of treason or with the assistance of suicide. 1990, however, was a major turning point for euthanasia. It was a year in which a survey conducted in America, a Western country with major ideological influence over every other corner of the globe, found that over ½ of its population was in support of the subject. Before 1990, when euthanasia was less accepted, the percentage of people using euthanasia was 1.7%. As of 2015, the percentage of people using this procedure rose to 4.5%. In order to prevent this rise in popularity, many organizations have teamed up together to create a barrier to lessen and eventually attempt to stop this act. They want to increase the knowledge and dignity for human life and increase the number of safe houses for people to aid those at risk. Euthanasia’s controversy has spread across the world and has became a global issue that continues to haunt the lives of those who have the procedure and their close friends and family.
United Nations Involvement: Beginning in 1994, the UN has heavily discussed euthanasia, in its beginning, the idea was generally opposed. Many prevention NGO’s and evidences were presented about the euthanasia till around 2002. In the early 2000s the stigma around euthanasia had lessened, so much so that in 2004 it was decided to make it own discussion at future conventions. By 2004, euthanasia was a large and constant debate in the UN. In 2008, the UN held a committee in Geneva to further discuss countries policies on the issue but not to create a long-term solution for the issue. Originally, the UN had grouped the topics of both disability and euthanasia together, but as the issue intensified in the mid 2000s, it became its own topic of discussion. Fastforwarding to current day, the debate has largely been reopened due to the policy guidance created by the Sustainable Development Goals. Though the UN is still debating and discussing this issue, in 2015 the UN began supporting a euthanasia prevention service. Later that year, a 2 year survey and crime statistics were taken and released by the UN. Countries such as the USA and the Vatican have most recently stated their confusion on the issue at UN summit in April of 2017. The international community, including the UN is responding to this issue because many countries have different policies regarding the issue. Specific declarations of the UN euthanasia falls under are the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the Global Coalition of Human Rights, and other detailed resolutions administered by the UN regarding euthanasia. The UN has yet to come to a consensus, despite the heavy discussion efforts, as it a controversial issue that countries have varying policies on. Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: Only 4 countries in Europe legally allow euthanasia and 2 North American countries. Euthanasia is still widely controversial due to a variety of factors with religious beliefs being the most influential, but for the most part western countries seem to be trending towards future legalization. Latin Bloc: At the moment, Colombia is the only Latin American country permitting euthanasia. The extreme influence of Roman Catholicism and its beliefs is greatly responsible for the region’s general dislike towards the topic. African Bloc: The vast majority of African nations have made little to no progress in addressing the issue. South Africa seems to be the only country who has debated the issue, and ruled it illegal. African governments have been focusing their attention on many other issues and overlooking conflicts like whether or not to legalize the right to euthanasia. Asian Bloc: No significant progress has been made to legalize euthanasia in any Asian country, though some citizens still advocate for change. Legalization does not seem imminent in any Asian country. Religion and personal beliefs about when a fetus should be considered a human being with rights affect the people’s opinion.
Questions to consider:
How do your country’s dominant belief systems affect their views on euthanasia?
How have people’s requests to be euthanized been handled in your country? Have they been rejected or accepted? Does your country have a strict policy outlawing euthanasia?
What methods would your country view as most humane and appropriate?
How might your country prevent doctors and family members from pressuring their patients and relatives into euthanasia for financial or other such reasons?
How would your country define what is an acceptable case for euthanasia?
Topic B: Preventing Unsafe Abortions Background: Unsafe abortions are a major issue that is currently plaguing societies all around the world. The root of the issue is the taboo practices of abortion and lack of funding and sanitary methods in developing nations. First, to explain unsafe abortions, this procedure entails unsanitary and risky methods to remove the embryo from a mother that are extremely dangerous when compared to the risks of a regular abortion. The three main methods of unsafe abortions are trying to break the amniotic sac with a sharp object such as a wire, pumping the woman with toxic mixtures such as chili peppers or lysol to try and suffocate the embryo, and self administering abortifacient, a drug that causes miscarriages. When using these methods to abort an embryo, there are many major health risks. Over 33% of unsafe abortions lead to the mother’s death for a variety of issues, including sanitation and internal bleeding. As of 2016, 97% of unsafe abortions have taken place in developing and undeveloped nations like Sudan, Botswana, and Mozambique. To further define the issue of unsafe abortion, it has been deduced that on average 56 million women per year aborted, of which 67% were performed unsafely. Of these unsafe abortions, 8 million were carried out in the worst possible conditions. Additionally, 3 out of every 4 abortions that occurred in Africa and Latin America were unsafe, due to both their developmental status and legal limitations. The affected countries are responding to this issue by reviewing anti-abortion laws, attempting to lift these laws, and increasing sanitation and medical assistance regarding operational procedures. One major step forward is the use of NGO’s like the Red Cross and Abortion America Kenya to increase awareness about safer methods and create feasible ways to give medical care to those in less developed nations. NGOs such as these are multi-faceted as they have divisions educating people in both developing and developed nations, in addition to heading straight into the developing world and providing safe medical care for aborting women. Unsafe abortion practices are putting women across the world at risk.
UN Involvement: The UN and specifically WHO, has done a considerable amount in order to try and prevent unsafe abortions. Currently, they have an updated factsheet detailing the issue and how to prevent the unsafety. This factsheet has been used since 2012 and gives statistics in addition to detailed safety instructions. In 2013, WHO published updated technical and policy guidance on safe abortion. Who came up with an interactive online database containing comprehensive information on the abortion laws, policies, health standards and guidelines for all countries. Handbooks have become more and more available and are being sent out to developing countries to help educate women on the crisis of unsafe abortions. Throughout the last 2 decades, WHO has conducted extensive research on the amount of unsafe abortions and how to get the message of prevention to those in lesser developed states. As a counterpart to the factsheet, WHO also has a list of all published articles including detailed solutions of how to educate and further prevent unsafe abortions, as suggested by previous UN discussions. Specifically, WHO, UNICEF, and the OHCHR has researched and discussed the impacts on women, the creation of an abortion law database, sponsorship of NGOs, Safe abortion pamphlet creation and distribution. WHO is a cosponsor of the UNDP/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, which carries out research on clinical care as well as implementation research on community and health systems approaches to preventing unsafe abortion. It also monitors the global burden of unsafe abortion and its consequences. Overall, the UN has tackled the issue in a variety of creative ways, yet the message of safe abortion has not fully been dispersed and diffused into all societies, such as Africa and Eurasia. Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: In the majority of western nations, abortion is legal between the first 10-14 weeks of gestation. After that period, most countries have special limitations to when abortions are appropriate. Due to the west’s easy access to medical centers, unsafe abortions are relatively uncommon. Latin Bloc: Most Latin nations view abortion as immoral and illegal, and often go as far as imprisoning women who have the procedure. In El Salvador, women have been jailed for having a miscarriage. Due to the strict anti-abortion laws across the region, many illegal, unorthodox and unsafe abortion methods are used by women who are not ready for a child. African Bloc: The grand majority of African governments have deemed abortion illegal. Some nations have laws that allow women whose lives are in danger to have the procedure done. Unsafe abortions are therefore very prevalent in the region and are taking a dark toll on the health of these women. Asian Bloc: Abortion laws vary across the continent. Most Asian nations allow for abortion under specific circumstances such as rape or potential harm to the mother’s physical or mental health. Many countries allow for abortions within a gestational limit. Unsafe abortions plague these nations, though they are less frequent in Asia than in the Latin or African regions.
Questions to consider:
Does your country outwardly reject abortion requests or have limitations to its permittance? If so, why?
What are your country’s laws regarding abortion, and how can these be updated as to prevent women from going to the extreme and using risky methods of illegal abortion or other unsafe methods?
How can your nation prevent unlicensed doctors from performing dangerous illegal or otherwise harmful abortions?
What threatening conditions in your country cause women to feel the need to abort, even when under very unsafe conditions?
How does your country propose to stop dangerous abortion practices and encourage women to find other solutions?
How do unsafe abortions affect a woman’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being?
Does your country support any safer measures for women who are unready or unable to support a child or full pregnancy?