International Maritime Organization

May 25, 2017

Meet your chair

Chair: Eric Petersen


Dear Delegates,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the International Maritime Organization at ILMUNC Perú II! My name is Eric Petersen, and I’ll be your chair for this engaging committee. The secretariat and staff have worked hard to expand this exciting conference and create opportunities to think critically about international affairs.

Before I get to know you all, let me introduce myself. I’m a junior studying economics and history, and love combining the two disciplines in my academics and extracurriculars. Outside of Model UN, I organize internationally-themed academic events and work in a non-profit consulting club. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, I attended ILMUNC in high school before making the long, 30-minute commute to the university I now call home. Although I have spent nearly my entire life in Pennsylvania, I love traveling and exploring the cultures of other countries.

For this conference, our topics will be Preventing Pollution and Environmental Degradation in Oceans and Revisiting International Whaling Laws. As developed nations attempt to institute stronger ecological protections on the environment, many other international players see their economic and cultural interests threatened, necessitating compromise on these sensitive issues. It will be important to balance both moral and economic concerns, meaning that successful delegates can integrate multiple perspectives in their solutions.

I strongly encourage you all to thoroughly research your country’s positions and have fun with your role. The delegates who enjoy committee the most embrace their country’s history and role in world affairs. If you have any questions about IMO or ILMUNC Perú in general, please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the secretariat. I look forward to seeing you this fall!


Eric Petersen
Chair, International Maritime Organization


Committee Topics

Topic A: Pollution & Environmental Degradation in Oceans

A major threat to the oceans is pollution and the environmental damage it has incurred over past years. As ships have grown in size and maritime fleets have dramatically expanded, international waters are increasingly threatened. From the Exxon Valdez disaster to the BP oil spill, global shipping on an increasingly large scale continues to threaten the environment. Although trade between countries has lifted many out of poverty, states must still grapple with the environmental damage incurred by increasing access to faraway products. Growing environmental awareness has led many world leaders to further regulate maritime activities, however more international accords are needed. This organization should focus on protecting the marine environment and the organisms that inhabit it, and update guidelines on pollution prevention and response.

Topic B: International Whaling Laws

Since 1982, the IWC has placed a pause, or moratorium, on commercial whaling, however international law allows states to catch a self-determined number of whales for scientific purposes. Japan and several other states have used this loophole to continue its whaling industry. In 2013, the International Court of Justice began listening to arguments brought forth by Australia that Japan is masking a commercial whaling venture under the guise of scientific research. However, further actions must be implemented in order to address this loophole and clearly distinguish whaling with scientific purposes from whaling with other purposes. The practice of whaling has remained a controversial issue in recent years and this committee should revise current whaling laws.