Annual Conference 2017

Reasons for the variable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets.

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Source: Http://www.mdgmonitor.org

 

By Florence Goodrham

The MDGs established in 2000 by international agreement are probably the most significant major attempt to defeat poverty ever undertaken.  The UN set out eight development goals to reduce global poverty substantially by 2015.  They are viewed as basic human rights – the rights of every person on earth to health, education, shelter and security.  Reasons for variable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets can be determined through examining different regions. These include Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Firstly, Sub-Saharan Africa has made little progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets. Primarily, this could be due to persistent poverty. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 48.5% of the population is living on less than $1.25 per day, and 69.9% on less than $2.00 per day. With a little over 910 million people living in the region, this places around 637 million Africans below the poverty line. This poverty is fuelled by limited progress in economic development due to a lack of trade and participation in globalisation. There is no headquarters of a TNC in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, particular problems such as a lack of adequate nutrition have been exacerbated by war, conflict, drought, desertification and population growth.  No less than 28 Sub-Saharan African states have been at war since 1980, as pointed out by international development organization, ID21. Lastly, low levels of medical infrastructure and personnel has prevented Sub-Saharan Africa from being able to begin achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets such as reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

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Secondly, it can be observed that East Asia has been able to progress to some targets effectively but has fallen short of reaching others. The continued growth of China’s economy has supported development throughout eastern Asia. Thus, there have been clear benefits from growing wealth and jobs in China as industrialisation and urbanisation helps to explain falling poverty. Investment in doctors and hospitals, plus an increase in urban births helps to explain a reduction in maternal mortality. However, China’s ageing population has led to a reduction in the agricultural workforce, hence the risk of increased hunger. Despite the risk, as a result of progress in China, the extreme poverty rate in Eastern Asia has dropped from 61 per cent in 1990 to only 4 per cent in 2015. The Caucasus and Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Latin America and South-Eastern Asia have reached the hunger target, due mainly to rapid economic growth in the past two decades. China alone accounts for almost two thirds of the total reduction in the number of undernourished people in the developing regions since 1990.

In contrast to this, in South Asia, India’s population is continuing to grow rapidly, and due to the relative lack of urbanisation in India, villages in rural areas receive minimal assistance in feeding more people, hence a failure to meet the target eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, exemplified through the 2007 – 2010 Indian food crisis. Nevertheless, an increased amount of aid and investment in India may explain good education progress. Furthermore, in the early 2000s, low oil prices massively boosted the development of countries with a large reliance on imported oil, such as India. However, Countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan have suffered from war and conflict, which may limit or reverse progress.  South Asia has made the most progress in reducing its infant mortality rate (IMR); this could be due to both increased government spending, as the previously high IMR was seen as a major problem, restricting economic growth and social development, and new technologies, which can easily be distributed to the large population. There has been surprisingly poor progress expect for child mortality, it could be suggested that this is due to a large urban slum poverty and hunger. There is further possibly a lack of political will to address the remainder of the problem.

Overall, it can be concluded that the variable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets in different areas of the world can be put down to levels of development, war and conflict, industrialisation and economic growth. The region which has reached the most targets and has achieved the most progress has been East Asia. This region has undergone rapid economic development and industrialisation as well as little conflict. The region which has made the least progress has been Sub-Saharan Africa due to a lack of trade, limited participation in globalisation as well as suffering from large amounts of conflict and physical difficulties.

 

Hope Restored: My GIMUN Experience

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Photo by Tatyana Gancheva.

By: Ashlee Pitts.

This year, I participated in the Geneva International Model United Nations Annual Conference for the second time. Based on my first experience and the incredible memories that I hold dear to this day, it came of absolutely no surprise to me that for some students, this annual conference was actually their third, fourth and even fifth time having a role in the conference.

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Photo by Tatyana Gancheva.

 

The opportunities and potential for global networking, cross-cultural exchanges, mock negotiations and enhancements in written and verbal communication were enough to draw me in. Adding in the fact that this week-long conference is held on United Nations’ territory in the beautiful city of Geneva undoubtedly made applying to be a journalist at this Conference one of the easiest decisions that I have ever made. There is an extraordinary feeling that fills me up when I step foot in the United Nations office in Geneva. I feel that I am a part of something special and unifying. Everyone in that building has passion and is committed to global affairs and the issues that are of great concern. They are not just talking about it over coffee. They are putting in the actual work required to reach concrete solutions. How could I not be inspired by that?

I want to get involved. I need to make a difference, somehow. Walking through the corridors and passing by so many different faces and mother-tongues, there is a feeling of incredible unity even amongst complete strangers because there is this inherent sentiment that though you do not know the purpose of their time at the UN, you can be sure that they want to make a difference, just like you.

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Photo by Tatyana Gancheva.

 

Right now, my home country, the United States, is deeply polarized and divided by a plethora of issues related to differences in political ideologies, seemingly never-ending racial tensions and clashes in viewpoints on religion, sexuality, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights and so on. The list goes on and on. In the midst of all the bickering, insults and misunderstandings, we forget that our diversity is actually one of our strongest assets. After the incredibly disheartening and tumultuous presidential election season, I was itching to arrive at the United Nations again. I needed to find the hope that I had lost somewhere between the conclusion of the primary elections and Inauguration Day.

Spoiler alert: I found it. I found it in the people that I met at GIMUN who seek to bridge the divides in this world. When I look back on my time with my fellow journalists as well as the delegates, interpreters, and Chairs, I truly feel like we had one collective voice; a voice that unequivocally refused to accept hate, division and partisan political undertakings as the norm. We want solutions and I think that every single participant of the conference said in their own way: I want to help and I want in on the process. I have hope and am certain that everyone at this conference will play a role in making the world better for future generations. And the diversity of talent that I witnessed amongst the participants is what makes me certain of this. I could see many of them creating positive change throughout the world in many different ways may it be in the realms of governing, teaching, consulting, writing or even through music or art.

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Photo by Tatyana Gancheva.

 

By now, I would hope that we have all come to terms with the fact that no one individual country or world leader can solve the pressing, urgent and dire issues of our world on their own. It will take all of us to have a hand in coming up with solutions. It will not be swift and it will not be easy, but if we want any chance at world peace, we need to put the arms down, lift our heads up and link hands in solidarity while understanding that peace-talks and negotiations will go further than any amount violence, intimidation or psychological warfare. I am humbled by my experience at GIMUN and while this conference was my last, the memories and lessons learned will be irrevocably everlasting.

 

The GIMUN chronicles, 31st of March 2017.

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EDITORIAL.

By Lama El Khamy & Michelle Bognuda

@Lamaelk_GIMUN | @mbognuda_gimun

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Alas, along with your final committee sessions comes our final issue. This conference had it all: fierce debates, laughs, and long queues (especially the fight for coffee!). We hope that your week has been as fun and successful as ours. The conference was filled with many surprises which made it all the more interesting, like for instance the opening ceremony concert. We have been graced with guest speakers and debates that have filled our brains with more information that we could ever ask for. Our last three guest speakers are featured in this issue, and we managed to get informative interviews with two of them.

Memories were made and friendships were created. Try to keep in touch with the people that you have encountered here, because they might just be the most important people you’ve ever met.

If you have not saved a copy of each of our issues and would like to see them again, do not worry, we have a solution for you. You can find us on the GIMUN website, or on GIMUN’s blog ‘UNO You Know’. We hope you enjoy your last read of the GIMUN Chronicles, 2017.

As a final word, we would like to share with you a quote from the eternal Dante Alighieri:

“Considerate la vostra semenza: fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza” (Inferno, XXVI)

 “Consider well the seed that gave you birth: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge” (Inferno, XXVI)

See our articles

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Read more about it at https://issuu.com/nathborys/docs/friday_31st_march_gimun_newspaper

The GIMUN chronicles, 30th of March 2017.

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EDITORIAL.

By Meryl Brucker & Valentina San Martin
@MerylBk_GIMUN |@ValSanMar

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La semaine bat son plein, commençant peu à peu à s’essouffler pour bientôt toucher à sa fin. Prochainement, cette 18ème édition du GIMUN 2017 s’inscrira dans les mémoires de chacun d’entre nous comme un souvenir figé dans le passé. Il est temps de prendre conscience qu’il ne nous reste plus que quelques heures pour profiter de l’ambiance intense des débats et de la solennité du Palais des Nations qui accueillait encore hier la présidente du Chili. Il est temps de prendre conscience que l’expérience humaine dans laquelle nous sommes plongés va bientôt se terminer, et que nous avons probablement manqué quelques occasions de rendre cette semaine encore plus inattendue et sans pareil qu’elle ne l’est déjà. Avez vous saisi la chance de parler à votre voisin qui vient peut-être de l’autre bout du monde et qui n’a pas eu le temps de vous raconter son histoire? Avez-vous eu l’opportunité de partager la diversité de vos opinions avec vos collègues? Dans cette avant-dernière édition, nous vous proposerons notamment de retrouver nos invités d’honneur Didier Péclard et Abel-Hamid Mamdouh. Enfin, il est temps de partager vos avis sur les grandes questions abordées lors de leurs discours. Au plaisir de vous retrouver sur les réseaux sociaux…

Read more about at https://issuu.com/nathborys/docs/thursday_march_30th_gimun_newspaper

The GIMUN Chronicles, 29th of March, 2017.

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EDITORIAL.

By Lama El Khamy & Michelle Bognuda
@Lamaelk_GIMUN | @mbognuda_gimun

image 29_03There were so many of them, and they all arrived in a mass. They came from all over, at different times and in different ways. Some were tired, some were excited. They were all anxious about what lied ahead. Mostly, they came, because they wanted to pave a better future for themselves and those that they cared about.

So many people wanted to cross the border, and not all of them managed to do it. Some had friends from within the walls and knew what to expect, others had no idea whatsoever of what they would find. They swarmed in, all at once, and the locals were overwhelmed.

However, everything turned to be fine. Indeed, it was an utter success. People from all over the world were together, in the same place, and they discussed freely. They exchanged different points of view and they learned from each other. After a week of debating they unfortunately had to leave the Palais des Nations, because the Annual Conference had come to an end. They
loved it though, and leaving was bittersweet. They left the UNOG as better versions of themselves. Their views and horizons were better and grander than they were on registration day at Uni-Bastions. They promised their new friends to keep in touch, and they promised themselves to apply to GIMUN again the year after.

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Yes, dear delegates and staff, this introduction was indeed about the conference, and not about illegal immigrants. But, Marco Sassoli’s contribution to the Human Rights Committee yesterday struck a nerve with us, and we wanted to tease your mind. As you will see if you check our article about his speech, he talked about diversity and immigration, among other things. And he talked about legal immigration as a possibility of solving a lot of the problems that we hear about, like raft accidents and so forth. If you were not there, ask your friends who were to bring you up to speed.

So, work hard in your committees. Learn how to debate, and use this invaluable skill to tackle discussions and topics such as that of Mr. Sassoli, even with people who don’t have your same frame of mind. We need this now, more than ever. Or, as Director General Michael Møller said, tagging us on Twitter, “faites entendre votre voix, participez dans le débat”!

The GIMUN Chronicles, 28th of March, 2017

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EDITORIAL.

By Valentina San Martin & Meryl Brucker
@ValSanMar | @MerylBk_GIMUN

image 28_03Depuis quelques heures, la conférence annuelle de GIMUN 2017 bat son plein. Vous-mêmes, participants, êtes au coeur de cette expérience qui ne fait que débuter. N’est-il pas excitant de savoir que les débats, mais aussi les évènements post-conférence, vont continuer à se succéder au cours de cette semaine, alors que les rencontres et les discussions ne feront que s’intensifier ? Les articles du jour aborderont des thèmes tout à fait sérieux comme les injections létales ou le maintien de la démocratie. Ceux-ci seront agrémentés de clichés de la journée d’hier ainsi que d’autres divertissements variés. De quoi certainement patienter en vue de se retrouver ce soir autour d’une boisson rafraîchissante pour éventuellement élargir les débats. En ce qui vous concerne, sachez, chers participants, que nous savons que vous avez oeuvré pour cette conférence et que le résultat qui s’ensuit n’a pu être possible que grâce à des efforts continuels de la part de chacun d’entre vous. Il est désormais temps d’en récolter les fruits ou plutôt de «manger le gâteau », comme l’a si bien dit notre cher Secrétaire Général, Charles Bonfils-Duclos, lors de sa dernière interview. Nous voulons que vous savouriez ce gâteau, que vous partagiez ce plaisir via Twitter, Instagram ou même Snapchat ! Nous comptons sur vous pour faire de cette conférence la meilleure expérience genevoise possible car vous l’avez bien mérité. Sur ce mot de la fin, nous aimerions vous remercier pour votre ouvrage.

The GIMUN Chronicles, 27th of March, 2017.

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EDITORIAL.

By Lama El Khamy & Michelle Bognuda
@Lamaelk_GIMUN | @mbognuda_gimun

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If you are a veteran MUNer, you know what is waiting for you: debates, concentration and fulfillment. If you are new to this world, you will find out that even though we all know that this is a simulation, it is terribly real. Real, because you will meet people who will inspire you. Real, because you will talk about and defend actual issues, that UN committees, literally next door, are also discussing. Real, because you will leave this week feeding for more, and longing for your next conference.

What is so special about MUN, you may ask. Well, first of all, MUN is found in countless countries around the world. But, let’s focus on what’s important here. In general, it helps you understand that in fact there are other youths interested in something grander than themselves. By participating, as you may already know, you realize that your doubts and thoughts about the future have a platform here. You are fighting for a country that most likely is not your own, but you get to learn about a new culture, and when you hear fellow quasi-delegates speak, you realize that everyone is practicing and learning and defending. These are
keywords for virtually everything. Practice makes perfect. Learning feeds the brain, whatever it may be about. Defending what is right, or maybe even wrong, makes you think, and thinking is the invaluable base of everything. MUN is a great opportunity to open your mind to the world, an opportunity that helps you grow as a person. And what better way to do that than in style!

GIMUN, in particular, has its perks. Geneva is a multicultural city, and GIMUN takes place at the actual UN headquarters, thank you very much. You are waiting in line to be vetted by security and you hear real-life delegates chit-chatting. You are waiting in line at the cafeteria and you catch a glance at some super-serious-looking person that’s obviously the real deal. It gives you strength. It shows you what is next, after classes and exams and job applications. You can explore what you want to do next. And while you learn how to debate, a larger than life skill, you can actually see minds at work for the greater good.

In this issue of the GIMUN chronicles, we have prepared a great surprise for you, and it involves a very important UN public figure. We’ve also provided you with several discussions about current topics, which we are sure that you’ll enjoy and discuss with your colleagues. Now, enough of us and read on. Welcome to the Palais des Nations!

Read more here :