Committees

The Secretariat is committed to offering a unique and dynamic set of committees. In the spirit of Stanford's strengths at the intersection of policy, technology, and entrepreneurship, our theme for this year's conference is Leadership and Governance in a Changing World. We are excited to announce 14 simulations, ranging from standard United Nations committees — such as General Assemblies and the Security Council — to unconventional bodies of various time periods and formats.





General Assemblies (3)

Disarmament and International Security Committee - DISEC


Chair: Julien Brinson

The United Nations General Assembly First Committee is one of the six main General Assembly committees of the United Nations, primarily dealing with disarmament and international security matters. Delegates will work together to approach the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapon systems (LAWs).

Background Guide



Economic and Financial Committee - ECOFIN

Chair: Zhi Xin Li

ECOFIN is an economics-based committee that seeks to solve the financial challenges in the world. At SMUNC this year, delegates will work together to solve and alleviate the hyperinflation that has plagued South America for years.
*This is a double delegation committee.*

Background Guide



The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs - UNOOSA

Chair: Julia Thompson

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs coordinates international cooperation relative to the use and exploration of space. This committee will decide whether to address sustainability in space or inclusion in the space industry.

Background Guide





Specialized Committees (6)

World Health Organization - WHO

Chairs: Emma Jaeger

The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. It is tasked with international public health. Delegates in this committee will work to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on marginalized groups.
*This is a double delegation committee.*

Background Guide



United Nations Security Council - UNSC

Chair: Camryn Pak

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the United Nations' six principle organs. The UNSC's primarily role is to maintain international peace and security, and it has the ability to legally authorize major military and peacekeeping operations. This committee will decide whether to address Russian global information campaigns or nuclear non-proliferation, specifically in regards to the Korean Peninsula.
*This is a double delegation committee.*

Background Guide


United States Senate (1974) - SENATE

Chair: Jackson Richter

Members of the Senate will have to work in a bipartisan way to ensure a robust U.S. response to the oil embargo with which they are faced. Particularly in the midst of the Cold War, a multi-faceted, all-encompassing solution is imperative. Furthermore, as President Nixon's crimes become more evident, the Senate must shift course appropriately and determine effective actions in the realm of impeachment, if members choose to pursue that route.

Background Guide



Berlin Conference (1884-1885)

Chair: Lukas Lopez-Jensen

At the dawn of the Scramble for Africa, Europeans and other westerners were wary of conflicts amongst themselves spurring from overlapping claims to the continent, so the potential colonizers met in Berlin in 1884 to discuss which parts of Africa would belong to which empires. Crucially, not a single African representative was invited to the table. In this historical committee, (taking place on the Conference's opening day of November 15th, 1884) we will explore how the Conference may have gone differently if those being colonized had a chance to speak for themselves. Although representatives from African tribes and empires will serve as observer states, (voting only on procedural matters and unable to propose resolutions) their voices will be heard in committee. In our timeline, countless modern African hardships can be traced to the borders drawn in Berlin. With greater representation and eyes for diplomacy, perhaps this committee will be able to transform this part of history.

Background Guide



Commission on the Status of Women - CSW

Chair: Emma Smith

A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the primary U.N. organ that examines issues of female empowerment and gender equality. At SMUNC 2020, CSW will discuss the prevention of gender-based violence in times of conflict. Representing a gross violation of human rights and a public health crisis, the likelihood and severity of gender-based violence is exacerbated in and after conflict. Although a perennial challenge, it is this committee’s goal to think of innovative ways to minimize these atrocities and devise a framework for structural, lasting change.
*This is a double delegation committee.*


Background Guide




Crisis Committees (5)

The Cuban Missile Crisis

Chairs: Katherine Crandell, Michael Carragee

In this joint crisis committee, two high-level governmental bodies (the US Executive Committee of the National Security Council and the Soviet Council of Ministers) will interact  starting in January 1962. With the failed US Bay of Pigs invasion still fresh in the minds of many and the strengthening of Soviet-Cuban relations, delegates will navigate the political and military complexities of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War brinkmanship while trying to further their own ends. The Soviet Union's Council of Ministers will aim to offset the threat of US missiles in Turkey and the United States' National Security Council will aim to eliminate the threat of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Both committees will (hopefully) aim to avoid a nuclear World War III.

Background Guide



Meiji Restoration: Satsuma Rebellion of 1877

Chairs: Lily Liu, Brandon Hoang

In the present year of 1877, just nine years after the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the nation of Japan enjoys a new era of prosperity, ushered in by reforms to modernize and westernize Japan. Aided by foreign powers, the Meiji Government has altered many of the traditional social structures and norms that defined the shogunate, which has angered many of the more conservative and traditionalist Japanese. Delegates will be split into two committees — the Government of Meiji Japan or the nobles of the Alliances of Daimyos — as they determine the fate of Japan: will Japan embrace the influences of European empire or will the nation fall back into its tradition of isolationism? Both committees will tackle issues such as the modernization of Japan, the balancing of foreign power in domestic affairs, the clash of values and culture, and the emergence of new technology in a period of rapid growth and change. Delegates will learn to balance governance with political strife, and engage in dynamic conflicts between the two forces.

Background Guide



Franklin D. Roosevelt's Brain Trust

Chairs: Matthew Heafey

At the end of the decade of prosperity known as the Roaring Twenties, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 caused dramatic change and upheaval both in the United States and abroad as the world proceeded into the Great Depression. Following recovery efforts widely perceived as inadequate, Herbert Hoover lost reelection in 1932, paving the way for a new approach to the crisis. In this committee, delegates will serve as advisors to the recently elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt, taking on the roles of cabinet secretaries and other important individuals of 1932. Delegates will be tasked with not only the development of an economic plan to end the Depression, but also the creation of a vision for the future of the United States and the world, drawing upon demands and unrest from a variety of groups at home and abroad.

Background Guide