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UNICEF Sri Lanka Child and Youth Consultations to inform the Country Programme Development Process

September 16, 2021 Featured Articles, News & Media
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UNICEF Sri Lanka

Child and Youth Consultations to inform the Country Programme Development Process

SLMUN 14TH SESSION

July 18, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
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SLMUN 14TH SESSION

By Anna Shearer (News and Media Team – SLMUN 2021)

The 14th session of Sri Lanka Model United Nations will take place at the BMICH on the 11th and 12th of September 2021. SLMUN is the largest MUN conference in Sri Lanka and the largest student–run UN simulation in Asia with over 100 schools and 1000 delegates joining annually. It is the first MUN conference in Sri Lanka to be endorsed by UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.

The theme for the conference this year is “Restless for Change” as we believe it is vital for the youth to speak out and voice their opinions to fight against the vast amount of discriminatory actions, injustices and social inequalities that we encounter in the world today. 

SLMUN will be one of the greatest experiences of your school years and there is a plethora of reasons why you should register. Our Conference will help you develop confidence, teamwork, diplomatic skills, leadership skills, analytical skills and negotiating skills. One could enhance their debating skills and become a better and more experienced public speaker while another could develop their writing skills by becoming an IPC delegate.

Moreover, SLMUN is an ideal place for delegates to learn and be more aware about current events and issues in the world and aim to find solutions to them. The conference is also an excellent platform for everyone, regardless of age, to voice their opinions. SLMUN is an amazing opportunity and will undoubtedly aid your future job opportunities. For example, participating in the International Press Corps is a good place to begin for budding journalists. SLMUN is known to be a great opportunity to meet new people and to create everlasting friendships, and has always provided an entertaining experience for the past 13 years.

Registrations for the conference are open from the 15th of March to the 15th of August 2021. Delegates may register with their school or privately while delegates hoping to join the International Press Corps and the administration staff must register privately. Foreign delegates are also welcome to join the conference virtually.

This year, the conference will take on global issues such as poverty, climate change and inequality through nine committees. These are the GA1, GA3, GA6, SC, UNHRC, WHA, ESCAP, UNEP along with the only non-UN Committee; the ICC. The IPC will also be a present body at the conference, and is open to all delegates who are interested in developing their writing skills and is a great way for those who are not confident in public speaking to express their opinions on paper.

Participants do not need to have MUN experience as our executive committee is carrying out multiple workshops to teach those who are unsure of how the conference works. The executive committee has taken up the challenge of spreading the word about the conference and to let more young diplomats across the country to take part in this one of a kind experience by conducting workshops for schools which does not have MUN clubs, upon their requests.

If you are an individual who strives restlessly for change here is your chance to send your message out to the world!

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of July 2021.

For further details, head on over to our website on www.slmun.org , or please contact us via:

Email – cda@slmun.org / pr@slmun.org

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763

X-Press Pearl: A disaster of yet unknown proportions

June 13, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
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X-Press Pearl: A disaster of yet unknown proportions

By Ashan Chandrasena (News and Media Team 2021)

 On 20th of May 2021, the ship ‘X-Press Pearl’ , which was operated by ‘X-Press Feeders’, a company based in Singapore, was on its way back from the Middle East when it caught fire near the ports of Colombo, Sri Lanka.  Not only has this event polluted our environment, but it has also caused many other long term effects that may take years to reveal themselves. 

When the accident occurred, the ship was bound for Singapore from the Jebel Ali port in the UAE, and it carried 1486 containers containing 25 metric tons of concentrated nitric acid, Cosmetic items, low-density polyethylene LDPE pellets among many other items. The crew had identified an acid leak in the vessel shortly after their departure heading to Malaysia. Before entering the ports of Colombo, the crew had requested entry upon the ports of Hazira and Qatar to deploy the chemicals and other contents. But the respective ports had rejected the entry of the vessel, as the ports had ‘insufficient facilities or expertise to immediately deal with the acid leak’ according to the news sources. 

The ship proceeded according to its plan despite the prevailing acid leak. As the ship entered the port of Colombo on the 19th of May it did not disclose the acid leak within the vessel to the authorities. But on the 20th of May the ship had requested a re-working of the cargo containers to the port authorities. The harbor master of the Colombo port mentioned that, with Colombo being a maritime hub it had the expertise and facilities to carry out the request. 

On the 20th of May the ship issued its first report of a fire which the crew had contained using the in-built emergency systems within the vessel. The crew, along with the authorities of the Colombo port investigated the cause of the fire, and they concluded that the fire was caused by the leaking of acid in the stacked up containers of the vessel. 

After the fire had continued for days, on 25th May, a large explosion took place inside the vessel of the X-Press Pearl and all 25 crew members on board were evacuated safely and 2 members who were injured were admitted into the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Along with the explosion, the fire had spread further within the vessel. Late in the afternoon of the day the explosion occurred, containers started to become unhinged and fell into the sea, in addition, the fire had also resulted in an oil leak. Within a few hours, the Maritime Environmental Protection Authority of Sri Lanka (MEPA) declared a tier II spill. 

After days of tireless effort, the Sri Lankan forces, with the help of the maritime forces of India, were able to put out the fire by the 29th of May. However, the impact from the oceanbound containers is still unclear; the oil spill has decimated the coral reefs found near the Colombo-Negombo coastline. This level of damage is expected to extend to as far as Indonesia and Somalia. The oil sits on top of the water cutting off valuable sunlight and oxygen needed for the coral to thrive, while aquatic life also has more difficulty regulating body temperature as a result of the oil spill. 

 In an attempt to save the oceanic ecosystems, the salvagers tried to pull the ship out into deep water but were unsuccessful as it began to break and sink. The ship reaching the bottom of the ocean has caused further damage to the reefs in the region and the damage can already be seen in the marine life washing western and south-western seaboard..

Endangered turtles, many species of fish, dolphins and manta rays are among hundreds of aquatic organisms showing up dead, floating on the waters or washed up along the beaches.  All of the nearby towns and villages whose main source of income was from the ocean, have now been instructed to stay home and have been denied their livelihood due to the high levels of pollution in the sea. The regional chief of the fishing community stated that 4300 families relying on fishing will be affected economically because of this disaster. A disaster of this scale has not been seen in our lifetime, the scale of which we are only beginning to comprehend.  The explosion and subsequent sinking of this ship has polluted our seas, contaminated our beaches, killed our coral reefs and with it, our marine diversity. 

Will compensation by the authorities of X-Press Feeders ever be able to rectify the known and as yet unknown effects of this disaster? And how will our administrators put that compensation to use? These are the questions on everyone’s minds as we hope for the best. 

Adapting to a New World: SLMUN Takes Steps to Enrich the Delegate Experience 

May 30, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
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Adapting to a New World: SLMUN Takes Steps to Enrich the Delegate Experience 

By Umaama Hussein

The Sri Lanka Model United Nations Conference is the main simulation of a United Nations conference in Sri Lanka. More than 800 delegates from over 100 schools take part in this event each year, making it one the most anticipated events by students across Sri Lanka and the world, alike.

The upcoming conference marks 14 transformational years of SLMUN, during this period the organization has grown into the largest student run United Nations simulation in Asia. Hence, this is a well-established and recognized platform that aids youth in tackling global issues ranging from poverty and inequality to climate change and humanitarian crises. In addition, many delegates view SLMUN An opportunity that allows them the space to develop vital skills in leadership, teamwork, analytical skills, complex problem solving, public relations, and public speaking.

The theme for this year’s conference is, “Restless for Change”. While many of us have been stuck in isolation, the many injustices and pitfalls in the global community have become more apparent; and as a result we are more driven than ever before. Therefore, we believe this to be an extremely relevant and timely topic, especially for the youth of today, who are breaking barriers and defining this age of transformation.

This year we will be simulating committees: First General Assembly (GA1); Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM), commonly known as GA3; Sixth General Assembly (GA6); United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC); Security Council (SC); World Health Assembly (WHA); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); and our new introduction, International Cricket Council (ICC). Additionally, the International Press Corps will also be simulated with 6 six news agencies. The conference and practice debate topics for each committee will be out very soon, so make sure to keep an eye out for them as well.

Most importantly, registrations for SLMUN XIV are now open for delegates, admins, and IPC delegates until the 30th of June 2021, and their country allocations will be released by the 10th of July. Late registrations will be open from the 1st of July to the 5th of August 2021, with country allocations being released by the 10th of August. 

However, are you worried because you have not the slightest idea the difference between a Point of Information and a Point of Entertainment? Worry not for the SLMUN experience this year will be further enriched by the launch of online training. The Executive Committee are using their knowledge and experience with MUN to train delegates and provide resources to aid their learning. Online training provides a platform that can be accessed country-wide – something that is essential, especially during the prevailing pandemic. Delegates who attend these training sessions will be guided to understand and familiarize themselves with the proceedings and various protocols of debates. Committee descriptions and explanations will be provided, along with video tutorials, basic information on MUN objectives, and structure of speeches among many other lessons and resources. These online training sessions are completely free of charge – but the skills learned are priceless. If you have already attended the SLMUN online training sessions and simply cannot get enough – we will announce the workshop dates soon. We hope that delegates will take full advantage of these opportunities and thus, have a greater SLMUN experience.

Furthermore, study guides will be provided for each committee for the delegates’ perusal. A delegate’s study guide is one of the most important resources available to them as it is a compiled set of information on their committees, mandates, and objectives. Study guides help delegates acquaint themselves with the workings of their specific committees.

We hope to see many promising and excited delegates registering for SLMUN XIV and taking advantage of these resources available to them!

SLMUN 2021: THE POWER OF DIPLOMACY

May 17, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
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SLMUN 2021: THE POWER OF DIPLOMACY

By Chandrika Manamendra (Member of the Executive Committee of SLMUN 2021)

SLMUN is one of the largest conferences in South Asia, attracting over 1000 delegates annually for the past 13 years, where delegates congregate to discuss global issues, their impacts, and what can be done to mitigate or ameliorate them, while gaining knowledge on global problems and fine tuning their speaking, negotiating, and decision making skills that play a vital role in becoming the diplomats and leaders of tomorrow. 

Walking into an MUN conference is a wholly new experience for anyone. The tense yet jovial and light hearted atmosphere allows delegates to feel far more comfortable than you expect. The social atmosphere of SLMUN is unique in its own way. No one truly knows each other at the beginning but something about writing resolutions and debating crises with and against each other brings a sense of camaraderie that one wouldn’t be able to witness anywhere else. 

Partaking in MUN is a leap of courage, but it also changes your life to a great extent. Whether it be from having the confidence to walk into a room and give a speech on a topic you may not always be comfortable with, or learning to research effectively and make the most of your limited time. Diplomacy is something that MUN conferences specifically teach you. Debating in a conference isn’t about shouting at one another and trying to prove others wrong; it’s about creating an effective and inclusive dialogue that takes to account the position that every country stands. Furthermore, a conference is one of the most comfortable places to take on leadership roles, build your problem solving, analytical, and communication skills, and help you to think on your feet. 

With the competitive spirit of youth, in many cases, a debate ensues, with new students continuously joining the fray, each individual arguing points in ways that favours the interest of the country they are representing. Through such questioning and debating, the delegates gain the ability to view issues from different national and individual perspectives, to weigh the pros and cons in various situations and to challenge the points and views of others while maintaining respect and decorum. 

To those who may have not gone to a MUN conference before, there is absolutely no need to fear your chairs because, as opposed to what you may think, the chairs strive to make the environment more comfortable for the delegates as they engage in conversation, hence allowing the free flow of ideas and solutions. Their active participation in such debates ensure mutual respect between delegates while preventing the discussions from detracting from the chief issues, and so are a delicate balance, where they give the delegates the space they need to function on their own free ideas, but without jeopardizing the overall theme of the topic. 

Since the very beginning, SLMUN has proven to be a teachable journey for all our delegates, while also being a place that brings a lot of memories. The lessons to be learnt from an MUN conference are not simply limited to learning how to speak or to developing knowledge and confidence. Through the boundaries of the conference, the delegates will understand how parliamentary procedures work and why they are important, how opinions can be fluid and subject to change, and most importantly, why change is so hard to achieve and thereby why it is so important in our chaotic world. 

SLMUN helps to shape the youth into individuals who are willing to fight for their ideas, but who are also open to new opinions. It helps them appreciate the democratic instruments found in Sri Lanka and around the world, while training them to use these instruments in the best possible ways. It is a conference that provides a safe space to voice all opinions that will help contribute to the change that we all strive for. 

If you are anxious about the conference, keep in mind that, while the first day may be polarizing, you will definitely fit right in. new beginning are always daunting but we can guarantee that this will be an experience you will never forget and before you know it, you’ll be thanking yourself for taking that lead of faith. We hope that this encourages you to embark of this journey with SLMUN.

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of June 2021.

For further details, head on over to our website on www.slmun.org , or please contact us via:

Email – cda@slmun.org / pr@slmun.org

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763

SLMUN 2021 focuses on Press Freedom

May 2, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
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SLMUN 2021 focuses on Press Freedom

By Anna Shearer (News and Media Team – SLMUN 2021)

Freedom of the press is the understanding that communication through media should be a right to be exercised freely. In simpler terms, the idea that journalists should be able to convey information and opinions and explore the story they are writing about without facing issues of censorship, or in dire cases, face imprisonment or even death.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that – “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”. For years, journalists all over the world have been deprived of this universal human right to freedom of expression.

A free press is a rudimentary requirement to any democratic society. It finds and passes on news, information and opinions; creating self-reliant cycle of awareness and exchange. This is essential for education in order to make sure people know what is happening in the world we live in and serves as a platform for people to express their opinion. It ensures people have access to the correct information so they do not spread false rumours.

On 3rd of May, World Press Freedom Day takes place as a reminder to governments around the world of their promise of freedom of speech, as a platform for the media to speak up on the issues they have experienced with regards to the world of journalism and lastly to commemorate journalists who have lost their lives trying to tell a story. This year’s theme for World Press Freedom Day is “Information as a Public Good”. The goal is to show that the people deserve credible information and that it is the duty of the journalists to deliver it to them.

As many will likely be able to guess, North Korea has the least amount of press freedom in the world. Article 67 of the North Korean Constitution supports freedom of speech and freedom of the press. However, in practice the press is almost completely controlled by the state and the government only allows speech that agrees with the ruling party. An example of how little freedom of press is present in China is the fact that Kim Jong-Il’s death was not reported until 2 days after it occurred. Journalists in North Korea all come from the working party and to qualify for such a job one must not only carry the correct ideologies but also come from a well-off family. Even for the most insignificant typing error, journalists in North Korea could face imprisonment. The only news that is allowed is that which compliments the regime. There is no political or economic criticism, and the people are not permitted to read the foreign media and will likely be punished for doing so. It is situations like this, situations where freedom of the press is barely in the people’s vocabulary, where change needs to occur. 

Another country with very little press freedom is China. The government is entitled to full censorship and foreign media is barely permitted. In the area of Xinjiang, where the concentration camps for the Uyghur Muslims are based, there is absolutely no media coverage allowed. The European Union has even accused China of harassing and preventing their journalists from carrying out their job.

Unfortunately, there are also many threats to press freedom in other countries such as the United Kingdom. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 is punishing newspapers if they have not signed up to political control. Other threats include ideas of an online harms regime and tighter criminal laws against government leaks, efforts to reduce the Freedom of Information and the use of state surveillance powers to uncover journalists’ sources. Journalists in the United Kingdom are also affected by multiple legal restrictions of freedom of expression, making their essential jobs unnecessarily difficult.

Throughout history, the world has seen societies emerging with absolutely no freedom of speech or press freedom. These include Nazi Germany and Communist Russia where nearly all parts of life were controlled by the government. The world has also seen people’s revolutions in favour of freedom of speech such as the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the American Revolution and the British Revolution

The media and press are responsible for sharing of information and so are vital to today’s society. Therefore, it is essential to achieve freedom for the press and for journalists by fighting to receive at least the most basic human rights to allow them to write and sgare information without fear. Despite being one of the most important jobs, a journalism is, and always has been one of the most dangerous jobs.  It is our responsibility to stand up for them and start fighting to receive a positive outcome for the betterment of individuals connected to the world of journalism.

At SLMUN 2021, we hope to showcase the talents of our delegate journalists by allowing them to express their freedom through many ways in the committee of International Press Corps (IPC), and set an example to the rest of the world on what journalism should really be about.

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of June 2021.

For further details, head on over to our website on www.slmun.org , or please contact us via:

Email – cda@slmun.org / pr@slmun.org

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763

SLMUN 2021 TO CONDUCT ONLINE TRAINING FOR SCHOOLS ISLAND-WIDE 

March 21, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
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SLMUN 2021 TO CONDUCT ONLINE TRAINING FOR SCHOOLS ISLAND-WIDE 

By Ashan Chandrasena (News and Media Team – SLMUN 2021)

Online training is the art of transferring knowledge through the internet, from anywhere in the globe to targeted audiences who choose to learn a particular subject. This provides an effective platform for the delegates attending the SLMUN Conference to aid them in understanding the proceedings of the debates. This also allows the Executive Committee to share their comprehensive knowledge and train delegates who are willing to take up the online learning sessions that SLMUN provides. Corollary, delegates are supplied with committee descriptions, video tutorials, and study guides as a package with the training, thereby helping delegates understand faster and easier. 

A few advantages of online training that showcase how it helps improve a delegate’s conference experience: 

The online training course can be taken in the comfort of your own home; the only requirement being an internet connection. Whether it be making time during your coffee breaks at work or sitting on your couch and taking online courses instead of watching television. This form of training ensures flexibility in terms of time and effort for the delegates. 

As mentioned before, the SLMUN online course provides basic information such as MUN objectives, procedure of conference, structure of speeches, and committee descriptions in PDF form which can be permanently saved in delegates’ hard drives and as there is no fee charged for this training, the program is extremely cost effective for any delegate. In addition to this the skills gained through the online course will not only help them during the conference but also in many of their future endeavors.

The Executive Committee of SLMUN 2021 hopes that delegates take full advantage of this opportunity to understand the inner workings of MUN and have a great conference experience that will have them returning in the years to come.

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of June 2021.

For further details, please contact us via:

Email – cda@slmun.org / pr@slmun.org

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763

Restless for Change at SLMUN 2021

March 6, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
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Restless for Change at SLMUN 2021

By Diyara Jaswar (News and Media Team – SLMUN 2021)

Sri Lanka Model United Nations (SLMUN), the largest student-run UN simulation in Asia, is back for the 14th consecutive year and will be held at the BMICH on the 11th and 12th of September 2021. SLMUN 2021 will be under the theme “Restless for Change”, where we believe that it is essential for the youth today to raise their voice against discrimination and encourage them to be a part of the change that will break countless boundaries. Your experience as a delegate in SLMUN will aid in the development of your skills in leadership, teamwork and communication. This year, SLMUN will be simulating the following 9 committees:

The First General Assembly (GA1), also known as the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), is one of the main 6 committees of the General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations. The role of this committee is responsible for looking into matters regarding disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that impact the global society. 

The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM), most commonly known as GA3 or the Third General Assembly, is also a part of the General Assembly (GA), and focuses on issues relating to fundamental human rights and social and humanitarian affairs that affect people all over the world.

The Sixth General Assembly (GA6) is a legal forum and the primary unit for deliberation and consideration of international law and legal matters that arise in the General Assembly, therefore it is known as the Legal Committee.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is one of the most important bodies of the UN as it operates to not only promote but also to protect human rights ranging from freedom of expression to women’s rights to rights related to ethnicities and religions.

The Security Council (SC) is a UN body that entertains discussions that contribute to the promotion of international security and peace. Even at SLMUN, it is considered to be one of the most esteemed committees, and unlike the committees of the GA, it consists of only 15 member states.

The World Health Assembly is the governing body of the World Health Organization, and is the world’s highest health policy setting body. Given the situation of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, WHA would be one of the most interesting committees to be a part of at SLMUN this year.

UNEP, also known as the United Nations Environment Programme, deals with issues related to areas such as climate change and ecosystem management. It is the leading global environmental authority within the UN while it also plays a major role in working towards the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Foals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is one of the five regional commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and its overall purpose is to promote sustainable economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific region. ESCAP also works to overcome challenges related to areas like transport, trade, investment and energy. It is the largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region.

The International Cricket Council, widely known as the ICC, is the governing body of cricket worldwide, and is responsible for handling most of the organization and governance of the biggest Cricket Tournaments in the world. Formerly known as the Imperial Cricket Council, the ICC is also responsible for determining the professional standards for International Cricket and maintains integrity of the sport with the ICC Code of Conduct, which takes actions against match fixing and corruption. The International Cricket Council will be the only non-UN committee simulated at SLMUN this year.

 In addition to these 9 committees, the International Press Corps (IPC) will also be a part of the 14th session of SLMUN. IPC is a committee that consists of journalists that gives a unique perspective to the world of diplomacy. Their role is to report on committee proceedings and give more depth to the debate that takes places in committees. Being an IPC delegate at SLMUN this year would not only improve your skills in journalism but will give an experience different from delegates actively taking part in debates.

Registrations for Session XIV of SLMUN will be open from the 15th of March 2021 to the 30th of June 2021.

For further details, please contact us via:

Email – cda@slmun.org / pr@slmun.org

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763

The Arctic Fires: What will be its impact on the global climate?

February 21, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media, Uncategorized
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The Arctic Fires: What will be its impact on the global climate?

By Ashan Chandrasena

The Arctic Circle blazed with wildfires in the summer of 2020, destroying tundra and developing Siberian cities in smoke and bringing about the second most extraordinary fire season in a row. By the time the fire season died down at the end of November 2020, the blazes had emitted a record 244 megatons of carbon dioxide which is 35% more than the previous year. Scientists say that one culprit of this  could be peatlands that are burning as the top of the world melts.

Peatlands are carbon-rich soils that have accumulate while waterlogged plants slowly decay over thousands of years. They are the most carbon-rich ecosystems on Earth, and a peatland in the North carries about ten times as much carbon as a boreal forest. Thus when they burn, it releases its ancient carbon to the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse gases that result in climate change.

Nearly half the world’s peatland-stored carbon lies, along the Arctic Circle. The problem with this is that frozen carbon-rich soils thaws as the planet warms, making them susceptible to wildfires. Therefore, as more carbon is released from peatlands, there is an increase in global warming, which thaws more peat. This leads to an increase in the number of wildfires. A study published last month shows that northern peatlands could eventually become a net source of carbon, thereby accelerating climate change.

According to researchers, the fire season in the Arctic in 2020 kicked off in May – which is unusually early – and there were fires blazing north of Siberia’s tree line, which normally wouldn’t happen until around July. One reason for this is that temperatures in winter and spring were warmer than usual, priming the landscape to burn. It is also possible that peat fires had been smoldering beneath the ice and snow all winter, and then emerged, zombie-like, in the spring as the snow melted. Scientists have shown that this kind of low-temperature, flameless combustion can burn in peat and other organic matter, for months or even years.

Because of the early start, individual Arctic wildfires have been burning for longer durations of time, and it was stated that the fires were starting much farther north than they used to — in landscapes that were believed to be fire-resistant rather than fire-prone. An assessment is being conducted by researchers to see just how severe the season of Arctic Wildfires has been. The Russian Wildfires Remote Monitoring System catalogued 18,591 separate fires in Russia’s two

Eastern-most districts, with most of the burning happening in permafrost zones, where the ground is normally frozen all year-round.

To estimate the carbon dioxide emissions, scientists with the European Commission’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) used satellites to study the wildfires locations and intensity, and then calculated how much fuel each had probably burnt. However, it is believed that even this method is likely to be an underestimate according to scientists at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in Reading, UK, who was involved in the analysis.

Moreover, a study conducted in August 2020 found that there are nearly four million square kilometers of peatlands in northern latitudes. “More than what was previously thought is frozen and shallow — and therefore vulnerable to thawing and drying out”, says Gustaf Hugelius, a permafrost scientist at Stockholm University who led the investigation. He and his colleagues also found that although peatlands have been helping to cool the climate for thousands of years, by accumulating carbon , they will probably become a net source of carbon being released into the atmosphere by the end of the century.

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. For further details, please contact us via:

Email – cda@slmun.org / pr@slmun.org

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694

What Makes a Man

February 7, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
by admin

What Makes a Man

By Sonal Randeny

In an era when social constructs surrounding gender norms and sexuality are being defied and questioned, the term ‘toxic masculinity’ seems to be at the tip of everyone’s tongue. It refers to a set of standards deemed as inherently masculine that “real men” are expected to meet. What sets them apart from general traits of masculinity are their harmful potential to damage lives of the men who follow them, and their acquaintances alike. 

From a young age, boys are encouraged to hide, ignore or suppress their emotions. We are fed the idea that expressing emotions such as fear or sadness are a sign of weakness. As a result, we resort to other — often destructive— emotional outlets such as violence or substance abuse; further distancing men from their feelings and people. The resulting lack of emotional intelligence can hinder the ability to form and maintain intimate relationships as men are unable to be vulnerable with themselves or anyone else. 

In addition, men are also far less likely to seek help for or even acknowledge issues regarding their mental health. The idea of a “tough guy” who doesn’t struggle with emotions can force men to live through untreated mental illnesses. As a result men all over the world are suffering in silence because toxic masculinity teaches us that needing help or being afraid “is for women”.

Furthermore, patriarchal beliefs promote the idea that anger is the only acceptable outlet of emotion, which is often a precursor to aggression or violence. Toxic masculinity teaches that violence is the best way prove your manliness, especially when domination, humiliation and imposing control are idolised. These ideologies horrifically in the many horrifically high rate of violent crimes committed by men. 

We are all familiar with the “Macho Bully” archetype who expresses their anger through violence often toward innocent bystanders: we this is as toxic behavior because the narrative dictates it. However, many of the most popular heroes in mainstream media also exhibit these traits. A prime example is James Bond: frequently depicted objectifying, harassing, and forcing himself onto his female counterparts. Conversely, as they are the “Good Guys” their actions are perceived as admirable displays of domination, power and manhood. Though this may be blatant misogyny, it’s framed as acceptable and excused because it’s “just a man being a man”. 

Speaking of boys being boys, our culture expects all males to conform to fixed masculine identity; leaving no space for gender non-conforming and gender-queer individuals. Especially during teen years when we’re all experiencing turbulence, forming our own independent gender identity is crucial, but teenage boys and girls alike, are constantly told their authentic self is invalid. To the same extent, non-heterosexual males must face endless challenges because their idea of love does not fit in the patriarchy’s idea of society. Such repetitive trauma causes deep psycho-social disparities. 

However, the silver lining is the emerging awareness of toxic masculinity. The young generation is one that has completely discarded the binary ideas regarding gender and sexuality. They are a generation of beautiful, atypical, multicoloured, multi-gendered freaks who strive to create their identity out of the bounds of norms and expectations. 

The term “toxic masculinity” does not imply that masculinity or men are toxic. It only criticises the cultural construction of manhood that negatively impacts our lives. The patriarchy hurts men as well as women, and completely disregards non-binary folk. 

The predetermined roles that each unit of society is expected to play is antiquated and impersonal. It is up to us, as a sole being, to define what masculinity or femininity means to us.