Welcome to elbMUN Conference 2021!

Turning twenties: challenging distances - reconsidering cooperation

17. April + 23. - 25. April 2021

Dear future Delegates and Chairs, 

It is an honor for us to invite you to this year’s digital edition of Elbe Model United Nations. Remembering past conferences in the Saxon State Parliament we want to bring the spirit of the United Nations to your couch wherever you are. This is your chance to make elbMUN even more diverse and inclusive, giving everyone the opportunity to participate safely. 

This decade has already brought many new and demanding challenges to a rapidly changing world and only a continued and deepened cooperation of peoples, nations, and individuals will be able to tackle them. Following this year's slogan “Turning twenties: challenging distances - reconsidering cooperation”, we want to encourage young people to participate in this process and to find solutions. 

In one of our four councils you will discuss highly topical and relevant questions on the internal Ethiopian war, the rights of refugee women, the prevention of future pandemics, or peace and security in cyberspace. First-time delegates will also have the special opportunity to attend “How to MUN''-session one week before our conference. 

We look forward to welcoming you online to three days of open-minded, fair and constructive debates. Anticipating a special and unique elbMUN all there is left to say for us is: Stay healthy and send in your application! 


Anna Luntovska and Moritz Ludwig

Secretaries-General of elbMUN 2021

United Nations Security Council

Topic: The Situation in Ethiopia - Crisis Format

Since November 2020, the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia has given rise to serious concerns: The country is suffering from ethnic grievances, a military escalation and the lack of fundamental humanitarian resources. The clashes between the Ethiopian army and forces of the province of Tigray have led to severe instability in the region – a problem aggravated by the current isolation from humanitarian goods. The delegates of the Security Council will be entrusted with addressing this issue which includes, among other aspects, the prevention of possible war crimes and a spill over effect.

elbMUN’s Security Council 2021 will provide you with a unique and highly demanding challenge: Delegates will be working in a crisis format by responding to fictitious real-time events. This requires an in-depth understanding and the capability to react spontaneously to non-foreseen events that the committee will be briefed on during the conference. If you are looking for an advanced forum to showcase and test your diplomatic skills, you should not miss out on elbMUN’s Crisis Security Council session 2021! We are tremendously looking forward to your contribution to our debate on international peace and security with regards to the Ethiopian conflict.

Study Guide (log in to download)

United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) - Expert Committee

Topic: Protecting the Rights of Refugee Women 

"Across the globe, women face a wide range of challenges. This includes gender-based violence (GBV), obstacles to accessing education and jobs, and a lack of inclusion in decision-making. These challenges are further exacerbated for women and girls in situations of forced displacement – who represent around 50 per cent of the refugee and internally displaced population. Forcibly displaced women may experience violence and discrimination in different stages of their journey, either in their country of origin, while they flee to find a shelter or in the place where they find refuge. The COVID-19 pandemic has put women in even greater danger. Yet, refugee women and girls should not be seen only as passive victims. Refugee women play a central role in their communities. They run businesses and schools, provide safe spaces for women who have experienced violence, manage households and help run refugee camps. Protecting the rights of refugee women and empowering them is critical to allow them to achieve their full potential.”


UNHCR Model UN Refugee Challenge

The MUN Refugee Challenge launched by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) encourages you and Model United Nations delegates worldwide to debate the major issues related to forced displacement. A jury, composed of UNHCR members, young refugee leaders and independent experts, will award the best ideas, share them with policymakers and promote them on UNHCR’s social media channels.

Learn more about having an impact on the lives of the 79.5 million people displaced worldwide on the official UNHCR Refugee Challenge website or read their Background Guide on shaping future solutions to protecting the rights of refugee women – anyway, join the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and participate with elbMUN in the #MUNRefugeeChallenge!

More information on the MUN Refugee Challenge: https://www.unhcr.org/model-un-refugee-challenge.html 

Background guide:  https://www.unhcr.org/5fc126314

More Information to follow soon.

First Committee (GA-1/DISEC)

Topic: Maintaining International Peace and Security in Cyberspace

The rise of the internet and of other information technologies has not just transformed our social lives, but also created an unregulated space which individuals, companies and states can use and misuse to enhance their own interests. Hackers steal information from private or public actors, intelligence services conduct espionage on their enemies and terrorist organizations target recruits on social media platforms. The 2013 NSA-Affair showed the world how surveillance technologies can be used by states to undermine national sovereignty and integrity. The US-elections of 2016 and the Brexit-Referendum illustrated the vulnerabilities of democracies to election meddling. Also, the 2010 destruction of Iranian centrifuges by Mossad and the CIA with the use of Stuxnet showed the great significance of cyberwarfare in international politics. It is undeniable that cybersecurity has become a question of international security and that states need to take steps to regulate the so far largely unregulated cyberspace. 

The first-ever treaty on internet and computer crime, the Convention on Cybercrime was conducted by the Council of Europe in 2001 and has been ratified by a total of 65 states. Still, it is not capable of coping with the ever-growing threats to international security in cyberspace. Cyber espionage is another field, in which there is a great need for international regulation. In 2015, the G20 has agreed in a political statement on asserting that no country should conduct or support the theft of intellectual property. But the statement lacks legal force. Other agreements between states like the US-China agreement to restrain economic espionage only apply bilaterally and not on an international level. 

For an international agreement on rules maintaining international peace and security in cyberspace a discussion between all states is necessary. Therefore, the Disarmament and International Security Committee the General Assembly is the right place to discuss the current controversial issues of cybersecurity. Participate in the DISEC of this year’s elbMUN to debate this pressing topic and be involved in the creation of a United Nations General Assembly Resolution!

Study Guide (Log in to download)

World Health Assembly (WHA)

Topic: Drawing Lessons from the Covid-19 Crisis: Taking Measures to Prevent Future Pandemics

Millions dead, a world in lockdown and a devastating breakdown of the global economy: Covid-19 has begun as a public health crisis, but turned out to affect every aspect of life. Education, travel, personal freedom: they all had to be confined in the light of Covid-19. Thus, the question arises: Could all of this have been prevented? And even if not: How can “the next Covid-19” be prevented?

The World Health Assembly, in which all Member States of the WHO are represented, will meet virtually on April 23rd – 25th, 2021 to discuss these questions. The Assembly will decide on measures that 1) are adequate to contain the spread of already emerged diseases and 2) prevent the emergence of new viruses in the first place. In that debate, the “One Health” principle could play a role, which means linking human health to animal health and environment protection – after all, the Covid-19 virus is said to have emanated from a Wet Market. The Assembly can discuss ways to regulate further human intrusion into untouched nature under a public health perspective. In addition, it can discuss if and how public health should play a role in development policy.

In this discussion, experiences from the Covid-19 crisis could play a role. After all, China’s information policy at the beginning of the crisis hindered the international community to react promptly. This could stimulate a claim to extend the WHO’s competences in information acquisition. In general, a focus will be laid on the role of the Organization itself in a new, global prevention system. Is the WHO fit to resolve political conflicts around its alleged “China friendliness”? What do the demands of Western leaders for a “strengthened WHO” concretely mean and how realistic are they? Should there be more incentives for States to confine new diseases in their territory? Should health policy be understood as a part of security policy and therefore fall under the competence of the UN Security Council to create binding resolutions?

There have been early signs for the emergence of the Covid-19 virus. If similar signs for a new virus are discovered in the future, will the international community be as powerless as in 2020? Or will the delegates of elbMUN 2021 create an effective prevention system?

Study Guide (Log in to download)