​ISC66

​TOPIC

The Overall Theme of ISC 66

Global Citizens: Our Action, Our Future

The current progress of globalization is expected to bring about societal changes. At the 66th International Student Conference (ISC66), we believe that we, the youth, have the responsibility and power to contribute to the formation of the future as global citizens. 

The term “Global Citizens” is rather relative, therefore there are no correct interpretations to it. At ISC66, we define “Global Citizen” by the following six keywords: Awareness; Action; Cooperation; Global; Sustainability; Empowerment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current movement of globalization itself is facing numerous obstacles such as terrorism, violation of human rights, inequity, and more. We believe that “Global Citizens” are individuals who should be aware of these current issues and determine to take action to resolve those issues. Through problem solving and cooperation with students from around the world, we expect to bring changes to achieve a sustainable society. Finally, we believe we should also empower our peers in realizing themselves as global citizens who are capable of creating a sustainable future. 

 

Through the activities at ISC66, we hope that every participant can recognize themselves as “Global Citizens” whose action can initiate changes to their future. 

Table Topics of ISC65

※The topics of ISC66 will be published once ready.

Table Topics​

Table 1: The Global Refugee Crisis in the Japanese Context

Table 2: The Feminist Perspectives on Wars and Conflicts

Table 3: Freedom of Speech and its Restrictions in Today's World

Table 4: Economic Growth and Human Well-being

Table 5: Mental Health Care

              -Creating a mentally healthy lifestyle for young people-

Table 6: Marine Plastic Pollution

About The Topic

According to the UNHCR, in 2017, at least 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide due to persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. The persisting Global Refugee Crisis has become an issue of global attention. Japan, often dubbed as the most "homogenous society", has one of the world's toughest asylum policies. Despite having the third-largest economy, Japan has accepted only 20 refugees in 2017, less than most developed countries across the globe. Currently, Japan finds itself in the context of the aging society and the rapidly declining population. To heal those social issues, the academics have purported that its rapidly shrinking workforce could possibly be recuperated by migrant workers and refugees. In theory, the intake of refugees sounds like a panacea to the myriads of social issues, but how effective could this be? In light of potential discrimination, stigmatization, and marginalization towards the foreign newcomers, how realistic could this idea be? What are the opportunities and challenges of taking more migrants in? How can this concern be interpreted in terms of political consent and social contract? Our table aspires to discuss the asylum policies which would effectuate the best advantage to society while also taking its long-term implication and the consensus of the public interest into consideration.

Table Chief

Damrongsoontornchai, Kanlongtham

Waseda University

From: Thailand

Message from the table chief

What is the first the image that comes to your mind when talking of “refugees”? Perhaps, it's the image of the dejected people fleeing away from their war-torn home and suffering from the poverty-stricken condition of the camps. Perhaps, it's the image of people who themselves are committing the act of terrorism or unlawful deeds in their host countries and this very imagination might be making you feel uncomfortable. Whatever what you recalled just now, one thing we must not forget is that at the end of the day, we are all human regardless of our status and circumstantiality. Our topic seeks to bridge the issue of global relevance with the Japanese society. Japan is a liberal democracy which upholds the value of human rights. Although the intake of the refugees might not be the easiest thing for Japan to come to terms with for the considerable challenges it entails and the conceivable disapproval from the society, we have high hopes that Japan will be able to embrace the human rights values and to gain, rather than to lose, from the opportunities found within this dilemma.

 

 

  

About The Topic

Most of us may have heard about and discussed wars in relation to international politics, diplomacy, geography, strategic planning, famous historical figures, social movements, economics – but what about in relation to gender? What about women in particular?

During World War II, 360 000 to 410 000 women were forced into prostitution by the Imperial Japanese Army, working from morning to late night and everyday of the week in so-called “comfort stations”. Most of the women, coming from occupied countries such as Korea, China and the Philippines, were tricked into prostitution by promises of work in factories and in some cases, were even kidnapped. During the Vietnam war, women were often induced to prostitution due to either outside circumstances, such as lack of jobs, or forced by men to serve their needs – in many cases, the reasons can be both. Brothels thrive in areas surrounding military bases in South Vietnam – and this same situation occurred in South Korea.  

How do wars construct our understanding of what it takes to be a man and what it takes to be a woman? Do wars really stop after the declaration of peace? How do the legacies of wars keep reinforcing the images of how men and women should be? How do such beliefs and images creep their way into social institutions and everyday lives, which in turn have great impacts on our lives? All of these questions give validity to our inquiry on the relation between women and wars. As subtle and blurry this relation may be, the consequences are profound. We are here to make these situations clear to the world, and together we can bring about change!

Table Chief 

Nguyen Pham Lam Phuong

University College Roosevelt

From: Vietnam

Message from the table chief

Welcome to Table 2! We are the feminists who do not fight against men and we do not assume women everywhere are the same! Are you curious? Are you skeptical about feminism? Do you have a story to tell? Stories from your experience? Or from your mother and grandmother? Friends or teachers? Join us! Changes start from voices heard and stories told – from us thinking outside the system and taking actions to challenge it.   

As a girl who happens to take interest in studying wars, I found myself in a world which appreciates values often associated with men. As my research expands, I remember countless times when my heart was touched tremendously by what I read and heard about women in wars and time of transition to peace. That is why I brought up this issue, and together with you all, we will formulate policy proposals to tackle this problem.

 

 

  

About The Topic

Most countries today define themselves as liberal democracies, and as such they should place human rights and freedoms as important elements of a free and healthy society. And in a free society, one of the most important elements is the freedom of speech, because individuals and society become better only through a free exchange of opinions and ideas between opposed individuals and groups. Failure to provide this freedom limits society’s development, making it sink more and more into oppression, as liberties and rights erode.

Observing the world today reveals that freedom of speech is not being quite upheld – one can find so many cases of suppression, limitation, and punishment of freedom of speech, not only in the form of legal persecution from governments, but also in the form of social punishment and ostracization from citizen groups. In light of these dangerous new conditions, it becomes more and more necessary to take a step back, take into account all problems which plague freedom of speech, and determine successful and efficient solutions to them, in order to assure the existence of a healthy foundation for a free and liberal society!

Table Chief

Mikašinović-Komšo, Matej

University of Zagreb

From: Croatia

Message from the table chief

Hello, and thank you for taking interest in the Table 3 topic! The long-lasting debate about the limits and principles of freedom of speech is a constant issue, and one that is always worth discussing. This is especially true with the rapid globalization of the world, and the rise of the Internet – two elements which raise the problems and contradictions of the freedom of speech to a whole new level. The main goal of Table 3 will be to dive into the topic of freedom of speech in order to understand its contradictory nature, to share our different thoughts and approaches to it, and to come up together with potential solutions for the problems which we detect.

If you enjoy having completely open discussions about abstract concepts, then I believe that you will enjoy this topic a lot! I hope that you will have a pleasant time with not only the members of Table 3, but also with all of the ISC 65 participants!

 

 

  

About The Topic

An ultimate purpose of the economy is to satisfy human needs by producing goods and services. In other words, it can be said, economics was established to quantitatively measure human happiness. Due to this, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is often considered to be a proxy for measuring happiness in an economy despite the fact that it could only produce a poor estimation. However, observing through the events in the past, can we truly say that you are happy and satisfied with your life quality? Economics must focus on quantitative aspects, but the importance of considering qualitative aspects, which include social and environmental aspects, cannot be neglected

Though many scholars have been exerting their efforts on proposing a new indicator in social and environmental aspect, this issue still remains to be challenging. Table 4 is addressing: How can economy truly serve human well-being, not just only for national wealth. The aim of the proposal is to propose a new economic index, related to society and environment, and create a guideline for the government. In doing so, we show the gap within GDP that can be misleading and guide the government in the direction toward people’s happiness and well-being.

Table Chief 

Theeritsara Laopaiboonpipat 

Soka University

From: Thailand

Message from the table chief

Is not economic growth suppose to strive for human happiness? If you only focus on production and profit, then yes. However, is it enough to only focus on quantitative value? 71% of the people from debating website, disagreed that GDP growth is a good indicator of improving life quality. This result clearly shows that it is crucial to consider about the gap of GDP seriously. Thus our challenge would be  how can we create a new framework for sustainable finance and shifting gradually from the current focus on short-term profit towards a target of long-term value creation, in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. I am looking forward to meeting you all and together create something great for our world.

Come and join table 4 in a global transformation.

 

  

About The Topic

It is easy for us all to recognize physical changes in our body, for that we mostly focus on what is happening visually. But like a drop of water onto the surface, our mental problems are less cared as they might seem like “no big deal”, but eventually, those little drops erode the ground like how our mentality matters have taken us.

Depression, disorders or any mood-related problems come like a sudden wind. First we feel fine with being touched by them, but little do we know that they can get us cold, and as a result, we are sick just due to that lightly wind at first. Another serious issue that comes with these problems is how the sufferers tend to stay silent and try to get through things all by themselves. We are so used to sitting alone with our electronic devices, or Google-ing things by ourselves that we forget to reach out for the help of others when needing it. If this state continues, we will have more social media platforms but less true communication between people. This worsens young people’s already existing mental related problems.

Sustainable development of a society can only be achieved when its achievers stay firm and strong until the end until we reach our goals. And by firm and strong, it includes both physical and mental factors, because how can we go to the end if we run out of battery so fast? And how can we support others when we do not know how to support ourselves?

Table Chief 

Tran Anh Thu

HCMC University of Foreign Languages - Information Technology (HUFLIT)

From: Vietnam

Message from the table chief

Mental health problems have been and surely will be problems that are normally neglected, not only by those who do not care, but also by the patient himself. It is sad how a lot of people think mental care is not as important as physical care and display of an unhealthy mind is just pretentious. We know that this is not true. We know that more and more young people are suffering from depression, anxiety or mood disorder.  And we know that if we do not take the initiative to change the perception about it now, who will?

  

About The Topic

Can you imagine the ocean containing more amount of plastic wastes than fish? According to the World Economic Forum (2016), the ocean has more than 150 million tons of plastic wastes today, and it is estimated that there will be more weight of plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.

Marine plastic pollution is the pollution by plastic wastes in the ocean. Most artificial plastics are derived from petrochemicals and are difficult to decompose except biodegradable plastics because the photodegradation is the only way to decompose plastics. Marine plastics including microplastics (5mm or undersize of plastics) stay submerged in water forever unless people remove them. On June 9, 2018, in G7 Charlevoix Summit 2018, the Ocean Plastics Charter was announced and signed by five countries: the UK, France, Germany, and Italy and the EU. Recently, marine plastic pollution has been well known as one of the most serious problems around the world since it causes the collapse of the ecosystem. It is caused by human activities such as improper disposal of plastic wastes and products with microbeads. We have to take actions to solve this environmental problem because we are responsible for it.

Table Chief 

Yuki Kanayama

Keio University

From: Japan

(Table chief was changed)

Message from the table chief

Many people use a lot of single-use plastics such as plastic bottles and plastic bags every day without thinking about their negative impacts on the environment. Some of them believe that plastics are recycled properly, but recycling of plastics as materials is very difficult because there are unwashed plastics and different kinds of plastics. In fact, many plastic wastes are burned or landfilled. Moreover, deteriorated tiny plastics from landfills, vehicle tires, chemical fibers, and other plastic products are usually blown off by wind and finally enter the sea. Therefore, our lives cause marine plastic pollution. I believe we can solve this problem if we take actions against it. Let’s think about marine plastic pollution together in ISC to make a better future!

  

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