MUNUC Online

Special Meetings on Emergency Situations SMEC

GROUP: Online Traditional (Medium)

  • Topic A: 2008 Global Food Crisis
  • Topic B: 2015-16 El Niño Phenomenon

TOPIC A 2008 Global Food Crisis

TOPIC B 2015-16 El Niño Phenomenon



  • Jingwen Zhang
Email Committee Chair

In response to Member States’ call on ECOSOC for better and more rapid responses to global economic, environmental, and humanitarian emergencies, ECOSOC Special Meetings on Emergency Situations (the Special Meeting) strives to create a high-level policy platform for global coordination in combating these crises. Its goal is to forge more coherent responses to emergencies. With its first conference held in 2003, the Special Meeting has addressed global health emergencies, natural disasters, and economic-related crises. Here at MUNUC 33, delegates of the Special Meeting will go back to the time when the crisis took place and craft their own solution with creativity and cooperation.

Topic A is the 2008 Global Food Crisis. The global food supply chain is more vulnerable than we imagine. In 2008, we witnessed a sharp increase in the price of basic food including rice, corn (maize), wheat, and soybeans. The cereal price index that year was 2.8 times higher than in 2000. This increase in basic food prices posed a great threat to those living under poverty, while its causes were highly complicated and difficult to identify. Through researching this crisis, we will shift our focus to one of the most forms of basic subsistence available to human beings and those that are most in need. Delegates will look for solutions to ease the pressing situation and develop long-term remedies for global food insecurity.

Topic B is the 2015/16 El Niño Phenomenon. Based on historic data, an unusually warm pool of water forms in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean. This natural short-term warm condition – El Niño – is the warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and affects local aquatic environments as well as global climate. The weaker-than-expected El Niño in 2014 eventually led to the strongest El Niño event on record in 2015 and 2016. Millions of people were affected worldwide, and Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands were among the most affected. These effects included abnormal rainfall, flooding, drought, a sharp increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and a rise in temperature. Due to the El Niño event, 2014 and 2015 were two of the warmest years on record. Its socio-economic impact was also disturbing. Over 60 million people faced hunger and malnutrition in 2016 due to extreme weather and drop in food production. When dealing with this topic, delegates will study the connections between socio-economic sectors, climate change, and humanitarian aid.