Welcome Back to Research Binder Friday! Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee or (SOCHUM) has been a staple of Model U.N General Assemblies, SOCHUM have a broad range of topics and is usually categorized as a “Beginner Conference” SOCHUM, similar to They challenge you of how beneficial your research is, how realistic your solution ideas are, and how diplomatic you can act as a delegate. This article will be used to explore a committee which I’ve enjoyed a lot throughout my MUN career; ‘’The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee’’. Also known as SOCHUM, or GA3.
SOCHUM is one of the main GA committees; therefore, like the other main committees of the GA, it was established in 1947. And it follows the rules of the General Assembly, which is indicated in the Charter of the United Nations. The membership of the SOCHUM includes all 193 member states. In addition, non-member states and other entities recognized by the UN as permanent observers may attend and participate in meetings, but they cannot vote. As opposed to member states.
SOCHUM is a forum for UN Member States to discuss social, humanitarian, and cultural issues, especially those related to human rights. The SOCHUM and its subsidiary body, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), take the lead in drafting general resolutions on these matters. According to the SOCHUM website, social, humanitarian, and cultural issues include, but are not limited to:
the advancement of women’s rights, the protection of children, issues related to indigenous affairs, the treatment of refugees and economic migrants, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination. The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, prevention of heinous crime, criminal justice, and control over the international drug epidemic.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, resolutions passed within the context of a General Assembly are not binding, SOCHUM serves as no exception. Resolutions, by in large, is a set of recommendations for the member states to ratify and adjust accordingly.
In my humble opinion, matters relating to social, humanitarian or cultural are more difficult to solve in compare to dilemmas pertaining to economic, financial or security. Culture, and social structure is often difficult and costly to change, because they are the factors which make a ‘’community’’, or a ‘’nation’’ unique and special. They are the web which connect nations and people to one another. That being said, a delegate must come up with a set of practical ideas and consider humanitarian facts while trying keeping in mind the ethics and cultural norms of all parties the resolution is pertaining to. Truly all encompassing ideas must address all three facets of the committee, which are the aforementioned social, humanitarian and Cultural.
Every committee requires a great amount of effort, but if you are planning to simulate SOCHUM; my advice to you would be to make your research more detailed and intricate than you would for most committees, direct your research towards sustainable and long lasting policy, as always ensure you have the financial resources to back up your creative ideas! Lastly, understand your government’s views and policy on the national/international affairs. As you learn more, I am confident that you will be able to come up with realistic ideas that respect and takes into consideration the cultural, religious, social rights and the thousands of different lifestyles embraced by people all over the world.
Also, don’t forget to check your country’s ministry of foreign affairs’ website, research report submitted by your chair, and websites of NGOs related to your topic(s). Happy MUN-ing!