THREE DAYS OF REWARDING DEBATE
NOVEMBER 17-19, 2023
Throughout history, power imbalances have resulted in discrimination, oppression, and war, making an equitable system a necessity. Power dynamics still exist in all aspects of our life, from low-scale local issues to global politics. Regardless of the scale, however, at the heart of most power imbalances is a need for control, and often, the people or groups that hold this control constantly change. In fact, power itself manifests in a variety of forms, including social, economic, or political power. Often, if we simply focus on addressing the balance of power in a single form, the others exacerbate. Or, perhaps, are there ways to improve all three simultaneously?
On a global scale, we can find abundant examples of inequality within economic power. Consider, for example, climate change and its effects on developed countries in contrast to developing countries. Over the last hundred years, developed countries built their economic power through industrialization and the exploitation of resources. As a result, climate change rapidly increased, and now developing countries are suffering the consequences disproportionately. While developed countries had a chance to develop economically during the 19th and 20th century with little environmental concern, developing countries must develop with the additional burden of managing climate change. As a result, the economic imbalance continues to grow with developing countries at a severe disadvantage.
From a social perspective, many imbalances in power stem from internal conflicts within a nation. Almost all societies consist of groups hoping to gain greater influence over others. Historically, this imbalance has incited conflicts that have reached a national scale. Most notably, anti-Semitism as a prelude to World War II provides an example of a group assuming greater authority over others. This growing prejudice contributed significantly to the Holocaust, further increasing the atrocities of the world war. These social imbalances can therefore serve as a major factor toward greater, large-scale conflicts.
Beyond social and economic aspects, this theme also presents itself in the political relationship between nations. In global politics, most of the nations in the world are satellites to a few powerful countries. Political power often overshadows the autonomy of weaker nations, forcing them to align their interests with those of more powerful nations. These powerful countries shape policies and make decisions that primarily reflect the country’s own interest, regardless of the impacts on other nations — economic exploitation, environmental degradation, and human rights abuses being just a few examples. This leaves many countries unable to chart their own path.
With these examples in mind, we quickly realize the difficulties in balancing power dynamics, especially since once entrenched, they become even more difficult to tackle. How can we build solutions or frameworks to foster political, social, and economic equality? How do we make progress in one area without regressing in the others? What incentives can be used to effect change given those who have power have the least interest in changing the balance?
Contemplating these questions and others, at CHEMUN XVII, delegates and student officers enjoy an opportunity to undergo debate and discourse on imperative issues. It is our hope that this conference inspires its participants to make a mark on their communities, today’s global issues, and ultimately, our future.
What is CHEMUN?
Since its inception in 2006, the American International School of Chennai has held a three-day annual conference for high school students who wish to show their passion and insight for contemporary international relations. As a simulation of the United Nations, CHEMUN thrives to encourage all students to come together to research, caucus, debate, support and pass resolutions to solve issues of global importance.
As a THIMUN affiliated conference, CHEMUN is an exciting opportunity for young minds to confront themselves to the most pressing issues of today’s world. It will give them an understanding of how to approach and solve global concerns. This inspiring experience encourages students to work collaboratively and exposes them to the dynamics of our world through debate and cooperation. Topics concerning eleven different forums - GA 3: Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee, GA 4: Special Political and Decolonization, ECOSOC, DISEC, HRC, EC, SPC, APQ, ICJ, SC, and HSC - will be introduced to the participants for them to discuss as representatives of their assigned country.