This recap was provided by Nicholas R. Stewart
The last weekend of March, 26th thru 31st, Western Collegiate Model United Nations (WestMUN) Conference welcomed over 140 students to celebrate its twentieth anniversary at Santa Barbara City College in Southern California. The theme of the conference was “For a Better World.” This year the conference featured six committees; with some unique twists. The key topics dealt with were the continuous issue of Measures to Ensure the Safety and Security of Nuclear Installations, Weapons, and Materials and Right to Protect Endangered Populations Affected by Intrastate Conflict. But it was the newly highlighted topic dealing with the question of Eliminating Discrimination Based on Sexual Preference that embodies the topic of this year’s conference.
The Historic Security Council convened for the first time in WestMUN’s history and it was set in 1991. The delegates came prepared to discuss The Gulf War and the Escalating Iraq/Kuwait Conflict but were faced with an evolving crisis. The core of discussion revolved on preventing international intervention in the Middle East back in 1991. The committee had to construct a diplomatic solution to what would become the first Gulf War using only the knowledge that was available in 1991. As they worked toward that solution they were faced with the mobilizing of troops, an invasion, and the taking and killing of UN personal. Tension ran high as the United States vowed to act unilaterally if progress could not be made diplomatically. Ecuador and Austria among others maintained that a peaceful conclusion could be reached, but it seemed that all was lost after some French personal were taken hostage and later killed when troops seized the UN building in Kuwait. When the dust was settled the committee was able to create and pass resolutions that were diplomatic and averted war.
On the other end of the hall, the Security Council was faced with a crisis involving Iran. During the second day of the conference the delegate of the United States received a classified memo stating, “Washington received word from operatives in the Saudi intelligence service, Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah, that the I.R.I.N. mobilized to blockade the Strait of Hormuz.” With no further information available the conversation began. When the initial shock wore off and the delegates realized that the I.R.I.N. had not actually mobilized into the Strait of Hormuz they motioned to bring the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Council for questioning. For ten minutes the Iranian delegate, pulled from the General Assembly, was brutally interrogated about his country’s actions in international waters, his Nuclear Program and his relations with Israel.
Delegates strategized, formed alliances, compromised and diplomatically drafted a total of thirty-five resolutions during the three-day conference. Competition is not the primary focus of WestMUN; instead we provide a forum for students to come together, practice diplomacy and public speaking and formulate responses to current, important international problems.