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- Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
Crisis committees are the creative and strategic side of Model UNs, it requires careful planning and imagination. It is often the highlight of most MUN conferences and the committees that challenge the experience and leadership of both the organizers and delegates.
But what is a crisis committee? It is a political/military organization/cabinet that addresses an urgent matter of delicate nature with developing events taking place during session, many requiring immediate attention from the delegate and often drastic changes of strategy.
Crisis committees are often where the most experienced delegates and organizers are within a MUN conference, and it is often its highlight and what many delegates remember the conference and the team by. For many experienced MUNers, the development of the crisis simulations are a representation of the staff's experience and the pretentiousness of the conference.
In a crisis simulation, the organizers and the delegates must always pay attention to the balance of power within the committee and must always think already realistically as possible. Bargaining and coercion between delegates is always in play and each must develop their own strategy and be flexible to change whenever needed.
There are normally five types of crisis committees:
The standard crisis simulates a single present day committee, where the debate and decisions are only made within one single committee. Delegates may by dynamic and interact with outside players, but they are simulated and organized by the crisis team or the chairpersons. Typical standard crisis committees are the UN Security Council, NATO, European Council and etc.
The historical simulates past events in all ranges of committees, being UN bodies, the League of Nations, national cabinets, or historical bodies from former states and empires. This simulation is particularly interesting as delegates and the organizers know how the real historical event took place and often deviate to an alternate set of decisions and events. Previous examples to historical are Obama's first 100 days in office, the UN Security Council on the Iraqi War, the Congress of Vienna, Charles V's cabinet, and etc.
Perhaps one of the most creative is the fictional bodies, as it simulates committees that take place in the future or from novels and popular motion pictures, such as the Fellowship of the Ring from the Lord of the Rings, the Hogwarts houses from Harry Porter and the lords from Game of Thrones.
Joint-Crisis Committees (JCC), on the other hand, is very different from the rest, it is a set of interconnected committees/cabinets in the same time period addressing numerous crises events and interacting with or against each for the purpose to maximize gains, and because of the complicated dynamics, JCCs are usually reserved for experienced MUNers. Previously used JCC scenarios are the US, Iraqi, Saudi Arabia, EU, Iran and Syria cabinets on ISIS, or the Austrian Empire, France, British Empire, Prussia, Russia and the Ottomans in the age of Empire in the 1800s, and etc.
The most recent form of crisis is the Interconnected Committees (IC), which is a set of realistically interconnected committees/cabinets addressing a general broad topic with a set of predetermined crises events. Each committee is represented by states with their assigned domestic positions and hierarchy (e.g ministers, head of governments, representative to the UN and etc.), who are in constant contact with their counterparts and allies in other committees/cabinets, and must interact with or against each for the purpose to maximize gains. A press committee is crucial to simulate interconnectivity. Interconnected Committees are usually reserved for experienced MUNers.