A Letter from the Secretaries General
As the Secretaries General, it is with utmost privilege and delight that we welcome you to the 19th annual session of Model United Nations Development Program, an affiliate of The Hague International Model United Nations.
MUNDP 2019 will be held from February 21st to 24th at Koç High School in Istanbul. Over the 19 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 Africa a region that has experienced reasonable growth in the past decade, although still immensely struggling with persistent poverty rates. The mainstream problems of the tremendously culturally diverse African continent will be discussed and solutions will be generated to these fundamental issues.
As a continent, Africa, with its rich cultural heritage, its lavish natural environment and increasing potential faces many political, social and economic hardships as well as oppressive governance in several regions. The continent encompasses 54 countries with an approximate population of 1.2 billion, with 47% of Sub-Saharan Africa living on $1.90 a day or less. This widespread famine as well as issues such as terrorism, drug trafficking, illicit poaching and political corruption pollutes the lives of citizens of many African countries every day, which is why it is one of the UNDP’s regions in most urgent need of attention and recovery. Cooperation between governments, NGOs and the UN is crucial for the advancement of the African continent in order to empower women, end hunger, prevent corruption, improve education and boost economic growth and social development in many countries across the continent in order to salvage a region with great potential be it in terms of its rich environment, economic development or its young and bright entrepreneurs.
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 3 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, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) carries the purpose of encouraging cooperation on politico-military, economic and social aspects between member states. The organization has made various efforts in the areas such as policing strategies and economic activities. One of the distinctive features of UNECA 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. UNECA 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!