Massachusetts Chapter 55: The Opioid Crisis

An epidemic has swept across the United States of America.  Every day, hundreds of hapless citizens, many already weakened and impoverished from a long battle with addiction, overdose and die from opioid abuse.  Nowhere is the devastation of the opioid crisis more obvious than in Massachusetts, where a special session of the state legislature is struggling to create a plan of action to fight the epidemic.  Every county in the state has been badly struck, resources are limited and aid from the federal government is questionable. Will the representatives take sufficient action or will progress be stalled as it has on a national level, as every representative fights for their own county?  One thing is for sure: citizens are dying, and legislators cannot stall any longer.

 


Tea and Poppy: China, 1839

The Qing Dynasty is in a rather delicate situation.  For the past several decades, China has maintained a very favorable trade imbalance between itself and Europe, filling the royal coiffers with gold from selling mainly tea and silver.  Even better, they have successfully kept European influence at bay with the adoption of the Canton system, which forces the Europeans to trade under very specific circumstances. However, to counteract the trade imbalance, Britain began selling opium poppy to Chinese merchants; now almost a third of the country is addicted to the drug.  The emperor has just created an imperial commission to fight the epidemic and given them the jurisdiction to effect change, but they must also contend with growing British animosity towards trade restrictions. Will the commission successfully navigate growing tensions with British while also saving their country, or will they drag China into a war they cannot win?


Press Corps

The press is an integral part of every government - whether it be free or controlled to distribute propaganda - and as such it has always been an integral part of BosMUN.  While delegates in other committees debate and pass resolutions to solve a variety of different issues, delegates in the Press Corps will perform the critical task of reporting on these actions to everyone else in the conference.  As media is multi-faceted, so will be the manner and perspective of reporting on BosMUN. Delegates will represent a plethora of different news sources, each with their own tone and style of reporting. Delegates will also have to produce pieces of different length and style, and will also actively debate on the role of media in global politics, “fake news”, and the responsibility of journalists to reflect the “truth” versus certain viewpoints.   


United Nations Security Council: The Yemeni Crisis

The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, and is charged with maintaining peace and international security.  Their powers include the establishment of peacekeeping missions and military action, and nowhere is their intervention needed more than Yemen. Since their previous president ousted their newest president in a coup d'etat and was subsequently assassinated, the country has dissolved into chaos.  Famine and cholera have swept the country, and the outbreak of civil war has prevented sufficient aid from reaching the stricken. In this special session of the U.N. Security Council, delegates will have to navigate tense regional politics and other vested international interests to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and potentially even ending the conflict there.


Fault Lines under a Glass House: California 2030

The unthinkable has just happened.  A little known subduction zone just north and west of the much-more-famous San Andreas fault is now the epicenter of the worst earthquake to ever hit North America.  Initial estimates of the damage are harrowing; the Pacific Northwest is essentially gone, with damage caused directly by the earthquake, the subsequent tsunami or some combination of both.  Thousands of people are presumed dead, and thousands more are injured. Now, a special session of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must somehow coordinate the recovery effort as aftershocks from the earthquake still continue.  Will the agency alter the fate of the Pacific Northwest, or will bureaucratic infighting and inaction condemn thousands more to an early death?


Union Minière du Haut Katanga, 1961

The year is 1960, and tensions are brewing in the Congo.  The Union Minière du Haut Katanga, or UMHK, has been a fixture in the Congo for decades, mining the rare and precious metals prolific in the Katanga region.  While this endeavor has mainly benefited the home of the UMHK, Belgium, the company has been kind to its host population, building schools, hospitals and railroads.  Nevertheless, as the Congolese declare their independence from Belgium, there are whisperings that the new government will attempt to nationalize the company. The board of directors of UMHK is frantically searching for a solution to preserve their holdings in Katanga.  Will they successfully maintain their power and preserve their mines in the region, or will they be swept away by the tides of unrest?


International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) provides a fair trial to the worst of humanity; those accused of war crimes, genocide, and other severe human rights abuses.  The judges in the court are chosen from countries all over the world for their integrity and impartiality, serving non-renewable terms. In this session of the ICC, delegates will hear about, debate, and decide the fate of alleged war criminals.  Their jurisdiction is final.


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