2nd ECOFIN Head Chair: Melody Ravanipour Vice Chair: Keana Gindlesperger Moderator: Jordan Feng
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: lhhs2ndECOFIN@gmail.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello delegates, my name is Melody Ravanipour and I am your head chair. I am currently a senior at Laguna Hills High School and have been involved in MUN for 3 years. I have also been involved with Girls Tennis for 4 years and have been on the Varsity team for 2 years. Your vice chair will be Keana Gindlesperger who has been in MUN and girls soccer for 2 years and is currently a sophomore and your moderator is Jordan Feng who is also a sophomore.
Topic A: Money Laundering Background: Money is usually the root cause of all criminal activity. Money laundering is the process that cleans the illegally obtained funds of criminal origins. It allows them to be used within the legal economy. The system of money laundering is often used to hide large deposits of money away from the government. In many cases, the funds earned from money laundering is used to support crimes. This process is most widely known to be carried out by terrorists. However, money laundering is as old as money itself. In history, criminals have used laundering to avoid things such as taxes and criminal prosecution. Over 2000 years ago, chinese regional governments banned forms of commercial trading causing wealthy merchants to launder their money. In addition, pirates obtained bounties and they needed ways to sell their items without drawing attention to themselves. Not until 1986 was it considered an illegal crime in the United States. Before, prosecutors would have to evict criminals with smaller, related crimes. But since this law took action, the evidence of concealing money was sufficient enough to bring the criminals to prison. Today, the modern economy has explored offshore banking, the darknet, and global markets. In which these aspects have only complicated the process of money laundering. But the process of laundering can be divided into a basic three steps: placement, layering, and integration. Money is placed into legitimate holders such as banks or large corporations. The money is then layered and transferred so that the value of the money is taken farther away from its illegal origins. Lastly, criminals take the money and integrate it back into the economy. Money laundering has toyed with the modern economy and has left organizations such as governments, nonprofits, and most importantly, the United Nations to fight against it. UN Involvement: More recently, the international community has taken notice of the dangers that money laundering can create within nations and has taken actions in order to alleviate this issue through a part of the UNODC, the United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism. This was created in 1997 in order to assist member states in complying with the UN conventions, documents, and other instruments which pertain to money laundering. This includes the 1988 Vienna Convention,the 1999 Convention, the 200 Palermo Convention, and many others.In recent years, this branch of the UNODC has broadened its scope to reach the growing needs and demands which occur when attempting to implement various UN instruments and international documents which attempt to battle the consequences of money laundering.
Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: The western bloc contains a variety of economically stable countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and other European countries. Many of these countries have a low rate of money laundering within their countries due to the fact that they have a developed and stable economy and government, allowing them to monitor and enforce regulations manageably. Latin Bloc: In Latin America, money laundering has been increasing and continues to increase every year. Despite the assistance and additional enforcement from other countries such as the United States, Latin America continues to have issues with money laundering. A key reason money laundering is such a pressing issue in Latin America is due to currency exchange control, trading of currency and the exchange of currency through unlicensed businesses. A solution that could be taken to help alleviate this issue would be the use of the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT) which aims towards developing a global plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. African Bloc: Money laundering is a common occurrence in Africa. Many African countries thrive on oil or on rare stones which frequently cause funds to be move around the continent thus causing an increase in money laundering in the African bloc. Combating the issue in Africa requires a multitude of solutions given that every country has a different economy and stance on the topic. One reason that money laundering is so common in the African bloc is due to their weak and unstable economy and government. Asian Bloc: The Asian bloc consists mainly of two different stances on the issue. A portion of the Asian bloc believes in eradicating the issue of money laundering and the other portion is conservative in where they don’t want to implement monitoring bodies to enforce anti-money laundering laws. Many Asian countries thrive to implement an international standard against money laundering in order to reduce the amount of money laundering that is occurring.
Questions to consider: 1. How has your country assisted in the alleviation of this issue? 2. How effective has your government been in combating money laundering? 3. How has money laundering affected your country's economy? 4. What steps have your countries taken to help combat money laundering in neighboring countries? 5. Is money laundering a pressing issue in your country, and if so, why?
Topic B: Poverty Reduction Background: 805 million people in this world do not have enough food to eat; of that, 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. The goal of poverty reduction is to permanently lift people out of poverty. In some countries, poverty is something that is inevitable. Although the roots of poverty may vary, some of the main causes include diseases, country-wide economic issues, overpopulation, and environmental issues. This situation is growing exponentially and although this is a global issue, African countries experience poverty at its worst. In the continent of Africa, poverty is present in every country. Poverty causes hunger, which inhibits proper mental development, and also has the potential to cause mental impairment. This prevents people from working and learning. Their mind has not been exersized to their full potential. Additionally, poverty also restricts education. Children who are in poverty have to leave school because their families need them to work. Because those in poverty have limited access to healthcare and education, they are at a extremely higher risk of diseases. The astonishing high numbers that poverty has created calls upon a global situation that needs to be put to an end. In order to escape the cycle of poverty many programs have came in to stop it. NGOs like Save the Children, or Overseas development Institute, which are both UK based non governmental organizations, fight against poverty across the world. This also has left it up to the United Nations to contribute to the reduction of poverty.
UN Involvement: In its 1997 Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, which put emphasis on the complexity of poverty not only nationally but also internationally, the General Assembly decided that poverty reduction should not only be included but be one of the main themes in sustainable developments. In another way of regarding the need for poverty reduction, the outcome document of Rio+20, “The Future We Want,” also put an emphasis on making poverty eradication the highest priority on the United Nations development agenda. This document addresses not only the root causes but also the challenges of poverty. Then, in 2000, the ACC Statement of Commitment for Action to Eradicate Poverty, approved the UN Poverty Reduction Roadmap approach. This established one of the first efforts formulated to bring together many of the UN agencies in order to address the issue of poverty eradication in a more unified demeanor. Moreover, poverty reduction was also included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for it establishes the first goal. Within this goal is seven targets, some being to eradicate extreme poverty for everyone everywhere, to implement nationally appropriate measures for all, and to create substantial coverage of the vulnerable and poor.
Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: The western bloc encourages its member states to take action in order to reduce the poverty levels and social exclusion. A target goal for many EU countries is to reduce the poverty levels by at by lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020. Many solutions are being proposed and taken in order to reduce poverty levels. Many european countries in the western bloc are trying to reduce poverty levels by focusing on it in sections in order to gradually decrease their levels. Latin Bloc: Poverty reduction in the Latin Bloc has successfully reduced in the past decade. Between the time period from 2000 to 2014, the overall population living in poverty reduced by 20% in Latin America. The Latin bloc had favorable circumstances regarding the international market as well as high commodity prices which assisted in the reduction of their poverty levels. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has been working in Latin America to help decrease the amount of people in poverty. African Bloc: Africa’s poverty rates have been growing in the past century due to the distinctive problem that their economy isn’t really growing. Africa has not been economically growing, and its income levels are too low for redistribution to resolve poverty completely. Thus, making it the world’s poorest continent. To add on to the issue, however, the continent of Africa is also one of the fastest growing populations in the world. Africa faces many environmental problems as well, those include deforestation, desertification and drought. These issues all contribute to the reduced food availability and agricultural productivity. Many different methods will need to be used in order to combat poverty in their region. In order to begin reducing their poverty levels, Africa would have to break out of their economic stagnation. Asian Bloc: Over the years, Asia’s economic growth has significantly assisted in reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific. Due to their growing economy and industrialization, poverty levels in Asia have reduced throughout the decades. Although there are still regions that are in poverty, the overall infrastructure has improved immensely. Basic improvements have been made, such as an increase in schools, sanitation, hospitals and water services. Some Asian countries have even assisted with overseas aid to help alleviate poverty in other countries.
Questions to consider:
Should efforts be targeted at extreme poverty or extended to all forms of poverty?
What measures are your country’s taking in order to combat poverty?
Has your country helped assisted neighboring countries reduce their poverty levels?
Is poverty a pressing issue in your country, and if so why?
Has your country received aid from other countries in order to battle poverty?