A Letter from Secretaries-General
As the Secretaries General, it is with upmost privilege and delight that we welcome you to the 18th annual session of Model United Nations Development Program, an affiliate of The Hague International Model United Nations.
MUNDP 2018 will be held from February 22nd to 25th at Koç High School in Istanbul. Over the 18 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 Europe and Central Asia, a region that has experienced immense growth in the recent decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The mainstream problems of the sparsely populated Central Asian, and culturally rich Eastern European countries will be discussed and solutions will be generated to these fundamental issues.
Over the past two decades, the region has been working towards having a stable economy, however many internal and external factors have disallowed for stability in the region ever since the collapse of the USSR and Yugoslavia. The region consists of 23 countries, with an approximate population of 367 million, with nearly 20% living under the poverty line. The region is very vulnerable to external instabilities, stemming from water scarcity, transboundary water disputes and unsustainable energy use, community-level tensions, and a range of cross-regional effects of instability and conflict in Central Asia, poverty, high unemployment, social exclusion and ethnic based conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Caucuses. Concerns for the future in this regard have resulted with low public confidence for representative institutions, and marginalization 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 6 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 once again 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. For the past 2 years, our team has been working towards creating strong content that is linked to these SDGs, thus allowing for the creation of these balanced and focused agenda items, which will only work towards enhancing the quality of MUNDP 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 the region, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) carries the purpose of encouraging cooperation on politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects between member states.
The organization has made varies efforts in the areas such as policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. One of the distinctive features of OSCE at MUNDP 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. OSCE 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!