Sixth Committee - Legal
Welcome to The United Nations Sixth Committee of the General Assembly at NAIMUN! My name is Katie Conry and I will be your chair for Legal committee. During our committee sessions we will explore some of the most pertinent international legal issues of today: the future of the Geneva Conventions as they relate to prison regulation and intellectual property rights in the Internet age.
As a senior in the School of Foreign Service here at Georgetown, this will be my 8th and final NAIMUN conference. After taking part as a delegate for all four years of high school and working on staff for the past three years of college, I am looking forward to spending my final days as Chair with you. Outside of NAIMUN, I am studying International Politics, though my professional background is in finance and public relations. I am a DC native, originally from Arlington, Virginia. Georgetown Basketball takes up a lot of my time in-season, as does spending time with friends and Irish Dancing! Joining me on the dais is our director, Nicolás Alonso. He is from Madrid, Spain, where he lived until he came to Georgetown. With a Spanish father and an American mother, Nicolás grew up in a bi-cultural environment; something that has defines who he is today. A sophomore in the SFS, Nicolás has not yet decided upon his major, but he is leaning towards International Politics or International Political Economy. He has been involved in Model UN for several years, and also enjoys swimming, playing soccer, traveling, reading, and watching movies.
This committee will focus on two current events issues that will definitely lead to timely discussion come February 2014. The first topic we will discuss relates to the future of the Geneva Conventions in light of the current hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay prison. The Third Geneva Convention focuses specifically on the treatment of prisoners of war, and includes provisions regarding their treatment in captivity. Though the debate remains as to whether or not the men captive at Guantanamo Bay can be labeled as prisoners of war, we will debate prison regulation reform in light of the ongoing problems at Guantanamo, including what enforcement mechanisms the United Nations may effectively use to implement these reforms. How does this situation represent larger inefficiencies in international prison standards? How can the United Nations better compel its members, including the powerful United States, to comply with these regulations?
Our second topic will have us focusing on intellectual property (IP) rights in the entertainment industry. As file sharing becomes easier and easier over the Internet, and worldwide hackers such as Kim Dotcom prove that very little information is safe online, defining intellectual property and what it means to “own” information or digital products becomes more and more important, yet equally as difficult. The entertainment industry, sectors within each country that hold cultural and economic significance, is most directly affected by online piracy. Music, movies, and television all suffer losses due to these types of infringement, and the Legal Committee will weigh how best to resolve it. The UN World Intellectual Property Organization is tasked with helping to ensure the adequate use of IP to spur creativity, and we as the Legal committee can call upon this agency’s work (among others) to help us craft our debate.
Our job, therefore, will be to take the most up-to-date information regarding these two topics and ensure that UN law fits the times. We can recommend amendments to the Security Council, propose new Draft Resolutions, or reach the conclusion that the current framework provides the most comprehensive solutions (though this is highly unlikely!). More information, including detailed descriptions of the topics, background information, and questions to consider will all be included in the Background Guide. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions at
. I look forward to working with you all!