Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)
Chairs: Ruth Park, Grace Huang, and Sophia Spiegel
Mitigating and Treating the Effects of Atomic Radiation
In recent years, SPECPOL has increased its attention on atomic radiation, its negative effects, and the drafting of international legislation for countries with a history of atomic radiation, or with the capability to create it. For example, in October of 2015, SPECPOL approved a draft resolution to support the Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation in conducting its programme of work of scientific review and assessment, in particular its next Global Survey of Medical Radiation Usage and Exposures and its assessments of levels of ionizing radiation exposure from electrical energy production. As a committee that advises the General Assembly about atomic radiation and fallout, and its effects as well as its controls, SPECPOL is in need of a consensus on how to deal with the threat of nuclear weapons and both existing and future atomic radiation. It is the job of the delegates to see this through to fruition, and to bring forth specifics on the issue at hand.
Accountability of Peacekeeping Operations
One of the most important tools that the United Nations can utilize are peacekeeping missions to uphold its basic principles, maintain the peace and security of citizens of the world and restore stability in countries going through tumultuous times. However, one issue that has risen in recent years is not the failure of these missions, but rather the allegations of misconduct from specific peacekeepers during their missions. For example, earlier in 2015, there were a string of accusations against peacekeepers stationed in the Central African Republic and Mali for sexual abuse, including several accusations involving children. Peacekeepers must be accountable for their actions as any signs of misconduct undermine the reputation and credibility of the UN in addition to jeopardizing key missions to a country's reestablishment. SPECPOL will debate the role that peacekeepers will play in the future, and whether to reform or change or keep the current Mandate on peacekeeping missions.
Rights of Indigenous Peoples in South America
Latin American indigenous populations possess strong attachments to their traditional territories located in rural areas. However, new intergovernmental trade agreements with the economic powers of more developed countries facilitate the dispossession of indigenous land and resources. The increasing investment capacity of national governments and other businesses is directed towards the economic control of vast areas traditionally and previously owned by indigenous peoples. While some countries in the region have ratified Convention 169 of the ILO, Latin America has seen very little effective application of some of the measures. It is the job of SPECPOL to ensure that the rights of the indigenous are upheld, and to suggest specific mechanisms to ensure their protection.