The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee is the third General Assembly of the United Nations, tasked with a broad mandate surrounding social, humanitarian, and human rights issues from around the world. To delineate a general idea of the committee, some issues discussed within SOCHUM include, but are not limited to: human rights, global literacy, women’s rights, children’s rights, the treatment of refugees and displaced persons, international drug control, crime prevention, and the elimination of racism and discrimination. SOCHUM also works closely with many other UN bodies in order to effectually address its mandated issues.
This committee is designed for both beginners and experienced delegates alike. Position papers are mandatory and must be submitted by April 17, 2022, at 23:59 PST. More information about position papers can be found on page 3 of the Background Guide.
The American War on Drugs saw the beginning of the global rehabilitation versus retribution debate. Rehabilitation is a relatively new concept in the justice system—despite its merits, the long-standing effective response to crime has always been a controversial topic. While retribution seeks to inflict a heavy cost on a criminal’s actions, the rehabilitative model provides the support necessary to prevent long-term recidivism. Debate has often been cast as one between the two options, but surveys reveal that most people believe in a healthy mix of both. The international community must tackle this fundamental debate in the criminal justice system and formulate an effective framework for the optimal response to crime.
The era of digitalization has taken the world by storm; however, it has also revolutionized how citizens engage in political expression. Activism through social media is one of the 21st century’s newest phenomena and has unquestionably shaped how youth engage with the world around them. Whether through Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, or YouTube, activists have taken advantage of the internet’s instantaneous nature to mobilize political demonstrations. Citizens living in authoritarian regimes that continuously censor political and social dissent are but one aspect of this multifaceted topic that dabbles in contemporary matters like internet laws and the thinning lines of human rights.
Cindy Zhang | Director
Cindy is a Grade 12 student attending Fraser Heights Secondary and is thrilled to serve as the Director of SOCHUM at VMUN 2022. Her Model UN journey began quite gloomily in the eighth grade, driven by both peer pressure and curiosity. Despite showing up late to her first-ever committee session in 2017 and speaking only once that weekend, she cannot begin to describe how this activity has transformed her once ignorant view of the world. Outside of the committee room, when Cindy isn’t sacrificing frightening amounts of sleep over academics, she can be found obsessing over Shirley Jackson’s novels, browsing the thesaurus for creative synonyms for the word “good,” and taking naps with her cats. Whether you shakily deliver your first-ever speech or hundredth rebuttal, Cindy hopes that VMUN 2022 will be filled with newfound friendships and memories that will last lifetimes.
Mina Nair | Chair
Mina is a Grade 12 student at Bellarmine Preparatory School and is ecstatic to serve as the Chair of SOCHUM at VMUN 2022. She joined Model UN at the beginning of her freshman year, quickly falling in love with the activity. Now, she has participated in over 25 conferences as a delegate, staff member, and Secretariat member. Although MUN takes up the majority of her time, it’s well worth it. It has shown her how every delegate has an impact on the solutions constructed and furthermore their ability to create real change in the world. Outside of MUN, she can be found in the robotics lab, marine chemistry lab, tennis courts, or kitchen, experimenting with different dishes. She cannot wait to see the ideas made in debate and hopes for an amazing VMUN 2022!
David Kim | Assistant Director
Entering his first year of IB, David is beyond thrilled to serve as an Assistant Director of SOCHUM. While he began off MUN as only a hobby in Grade 8, David greatly expanded his perspective about the world; in fact, to satisfy his endless thirst for current events, he reads The Economist on a daily basis. In his free time, David can be found calling his friends on Discord to debate Japanese culture, creating new dishes with his fresh cooking book, or waiting for the next opportunity to sell Krispy Kreme donuts. David cannot wait for the fascinating motions and debates during the weekend of the conference!
Isabella Pliska | Assistant Director
Currently going into Grade 11 at Crofton House School, Isabella is ecstatic to be serving as Assistant Director of SOCHUM at VMUN 2022. Since being coerced into giving a 10-second speech at her first conference, Isabella’s passion for politics and international affairs has only grown as she continues to be intrigued by the complex and intricate nature of global politics. Outside of the committee room, Isabella can be found playing field hockey, hunting for new Netflix shows (she has many recommendations), attempting to teach Spanish to her friends, and finding new places to eat. Isabella looks forward to meeting everyone and to the engaging debate that will ensue over the upcoming weekend. She wishes all the delegates the best of luck at VMUN 2022.
You can contact the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions regarding the committee or its debate procedures will be answered by email. Position papers must also be submitted to this address.