Dear Delegates, Advisors and Friends,
It is with profound pleasure that I welcome you all to the eighteenth session of Paris Model United Nations Conference.
The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Sharing Responsibility to Implement Sustainability’ effectively encapsulates both the ideological tenets of the conference and the increasing demand for greater awareness and contribution for current and future development. This year, the executive team was able to unanimously decide upon the key element of our theme: sustainability. Over the previous century, human societies have made tremendous strides with technological innovations that have revolutionized our political, economic, social and cultural functions. However, in pursuance of immediate and maximal gains, our civilizations have been negligent of the sacrifices made in the name of progress, and only recently, emerging trends remind us that our recklessness have serious implications for the environment and the overall wellbeing of our societies. Environmental issues such as climate change and pollution, growing economic inequalities and social division are examples of such effects that have made sustainability the common goal of humanity.
Consequently, in response to this imperative, the international community has recently undertaken an ambitious project, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in hopes to further expand on the relative success of its predecessor, the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). The current framework consists of comprehensive goals and indicators that aim to achieve sustainability on various levels, ranging from the eradication of poverty to the management of marine resources to establishment of fair and stable institutions. However, the challenge that now presents itself to the global community, and consequently the United Nations, is how these goals will be realized.
As conveyed by the theme, this year’s PAMUN strives to answer this question through emphasizing on the shared responsibilities of the constituents of this world. Our societies in the past decade have experienced unprecedented levels of globalization and interconnectivity, but also of competition and strife. In this new world order, we can no longer continue in our divided and fragmented state. The shortcomings of the MDGs revealed to us that without the cooperative and mutual effort of all relevant parties, the concept of sustainability will never be fully attained. Likewise, the philosophy of our theme is ingrained in the notion of shared responsibilities, which necessitate each and every one of us to rise to the occasion, while reaping the benefits of our actions as a mutual organization.
Over the past 2 months, we have sought to express the theme in the issues of our Agenda. A close examination of the committees and their respective topics will reveal that each of them can be associated with a different goal of the SDG, either directly or indirectly. Moreover, this year, we have introduced three novel committees: UNODC, UNCTAD, and the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) who we found to be of high relevance to this year’s theme. In these committees, we seek to tackle a variety of issues, ranging from the “question of food security and agriculture” (goal 2) to “the question of gender mainstreaming in all sectors of economy” (goal 5). In the other committees, such as ECOSOC, delegates will be dealing with issues such as the “question of financing the SDGs in LEDCs through mutual cooperation” (goal 17) that seeks to addresses these pertinent concerns as a collective body. Finally, to provide long-term assurances of sustainability, many of our committees address legal aspects, with the Special committee entirely devoted to the reform of the ICJ.
In the coming December, delegates will discover that contrary to their best intentions, coming to an agreement that satisfies every country’s needs will prove to be a difficult task. Our world consists of conflicting interests and to find the balance with the greater objective will require compromise, patience and effort. The executive team and I are looking forward to what the delegates will produce through this arduous but necessary process.