Model United Nations topics
Terrorism continues to pose a major threat to international peace and security and undermines the core values of the United Nations. In addition to the devastating human cost of terrorism, in terms of lives lost or permanently altered, terrorist acts aim to destabilize governments and undermine economic and social development.
Addressing this threat is that much more difficult given the complex and constantly evolving nature of terrorist activity. Its motivations, financing, methods of attack and choice of target are constantly changing. Terrorist acts often defy national borders; one act of terrorism can involve activities and actors from numerous countries.
Given this complexity, strong coordination and cooperation within national governments and between states and organizations at the regional and international level is essential to effectively combat terrorism, to share best practices and lessons learned and to assist with the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases.
Combating terrorism and the Sustainable Development Goals
The causes and consequences of terrorism are related to many of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the one with the most direct relationship is Goal 16: "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels".
Indeed, Target 16.A specifically mentions terrorism in the following manner: "Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime".
A simulation would introduce students to the complexity of the issue and the number of cross-cutting issues that arise when approaching specific case facts, including the promotion and protection of human rights, the importance of gender mainstreaming and the evolving nature of technology.
It is also likely that a simulation would demonstrate the importance of cooperation and coordination, which is a fundamental tenet of the United Nations approach to terrorism prevention.
Suggested topics for a Model United Nations conference and related Sustainable Development Goals
|Hate speech and terrorism|
|Human rights and counter-terrorism|
|Protection of nuclear materials|
|Online recruitment of terrorist fighters|
|The right to privacy and counter-terrorism|
|Financing of terrorism|
|Protection of victims of terrorism|
|Prosecution of terrorism-related cases|
|Countering violent extremism|