A Letter from Secretaries-General
As the Secretaries General, it is with utmost privilege and delight that we welcome you to the 17th annual session of Model United Nations Development Program, an affiliate of The Hague International Model United Nations.
MUNDP 2017 will be held from February 23rd to 26th at Koç High School in Istanbul. Over the 17 years since its establishment in 2000, MUNDP has ranked among the best Model UN conferences in Turkey and Europe, hosting more than 800 participants from over 40 schools and 8 countries.
As the only MUN conference in the world that models the United Nations Development Program, every year we have been setting one of the regional bureaus of UNDP as our theme. This year’s focus is Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that has experienced immense growth in the recent decades.
Even though the region’s share in the global economy has been expanding, the rate of growth showed a significant decrease in the past years with signs of hyperinflation leading to stagflation in Latin American countries. Moreover, a recorded 31.4% of the region’s population live in poverty and Latin America has the highest levels of income disparity in the world.The region has a diverse ecosystem that is of global significance, but the current economic climate is making its sustainability extremely difficult. There are threats to regional biodiversity which have been severely aggravated due to climate change and increased industrial activity. Concerns for the future in this regard have resulted with low public confidence for representative institutions, and marginalisation of large sections of society has made it especially difficult to overcome issues of corruption and income inequality. Acknowledging that these issues go hand in hand, UNDP has initiated a programme consisting of a set of 17 goals known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) designed to tackle these issues as a whole. The idea behind these goals puts forward that governments must adopt the obligation to let go of their reductionist approach by which they divide issues into their component parts and tackle them separately. They should, instead, adopt a more holistic “systems approach” as ecosystems and industrial systems are tightly coupled. The global target of achieving sustainability cannot become a reality unless such obligation is acknowledged.
For this year’s conference, agenda items for all 8 re-selected development committees have been adjusted to put focus on the most paramount social, political and economic issues in the region. As MUNDP is widely acclaimed for its quality of agenda items, this year, the content team has embarked upon taking a step further to systematically link each and every agenda item to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) advocated by UNDP. Up until the last year, MUNDP had focused itself on the 15 Millennium Development goals aimed at committing nations to a global partnership in the reduction of extreme poverty by setting out time-bound targets, with 2015 as its deadline. Functioning within the scope of the previously adopted Millennium Development Goals has made way for the creation of balanced and focused agenda items thus enhancing the quality of MUNDP immensely and elevating it to a place among the best conferences in Europe.
That said, we are proud to integrate the forward-looking vision behind the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as endorsed by the United Nations, into the follow-up Millennium Development Goals for the Post-Development Agenda.
With this vision, we have re-adjusted our agenda to encompass these 17 new goals and 169 focused targets in total, and ultimately aim to carry the conference to a new level along with ensuring a more effective and efficient solution process.
While Development Committees focus on certain developmental issues of Latin America and the Caribbean region, Economic Commissions (ECLAC) carry the purpose of contributing to the social and economic development, through promotion of regional cooperation and integration to world markets. One of the distinctive features of ECLAC is; that it is attended by the Prime Ministers/Presidents of the member state countries and that it follows an ad-hoc debate structure similar to that followed by the Security Council. ECLAC is a notably prestigious committee with decisions that are crucial for the region’s social, economic and political development, and the secretariat expects it to be among the most productive.
Another unique feature of MUNDP is “ Organization Internationale de la Francophonie” (OIF). As the first bilingual MUN conference in Turkey and one of the few in the world, we are proud to host this French speaking committee that focuses on strengthening the bonds between Francophone countries. This year, OIF will be undergoing some major changes in structure, as it will consist of 15 double-delegations in order to ensure enhanced cooperation and collaboration among delegates in terms of both language and context.
We, as the Executive Committee, are delighted to see you all in February to partake in a memorable MUNDP experience. Lobby, debate, and make sure you can prove that the solutions for the problems at hand have been delayed for no reason after all!