Head Chair: Cara Nguyen Vice Chair: Shahr Ghazizadeh Moderator: Josh Richter
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: email@example.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello, delegates, my name is Cara Nguyen and I am your head chair! I am in 12th grade at Laguna Hills High School and this will be my second year head chairing. I am Captain of the Varsity tennis team and have lettered in tennis, water polo, and swimming. I am the President of MUN, Relaxation Club, and the Hawks KPOP Dance Crew, and I enjoy karaoking with my friends when I have free time. I don’t know what to do with my life yet, but I do have a political science internship!
Hello delegates! My name is Shahr Ghazizadeh and I will be your vice chair for the LHHS MUN conference! I am a junior and this will be my third year in MUN and my first time as a vice chair. I am in varsity swimming, track, and cross country and enjoy to participate in other clubs at the school and spending time with my friends! I am looking forward to seeing all of you in committee!!
Hello deleguys and delegirls. My name is Josh Richter, and I will be your moderator! I am a sophomore at Laguna Hills High School and in my second year of MUN, but this will be my first time being a moderator. In addition to MUN, I enjoy playing water polo, swimming, and hanging out with my friends. I am very excited to be in the ECOSOC committee and think that together, we really can make M-U-N F-U-N. Let’s make this the best conference yet!
Topic A: Rebuilding Communities after Conflicts and Natural Disasters Background: Thousand of natural and manmade disasters have affected billions of people and costed governments trillions of dollars. They leave lasting scars on communities, some of which never heal. These problems can destroy a community’s economic structure, political system, and many other vital parts that allow a society to function. In many parts of the world, varying religions and ideologies cause violence and instability in communities. In addition, after a violent conflict or a natural disaster, many inhabitants of a community flee for safety. However, when these events are resolved, many of these people do not return causing societal problems to continue even after the conflict is over. This further breaks down many economies as a large part of a society’s workforce becomes displaced. Larger and wealthier countries are somewhat protected against these problems because of their finances, but poorer countries are much more severely affected. For example, a 6.9 earthquake once hit Armenia and killed over 25,000 people, but a 7.1 earthquake occurred in California and only killed 63 people. Both of these natural disasters happened in densely populated areas, but the United States’ wealth allows them to build much more stable buildings and far superior disaster relief causing far fewer casualties. The same goes for manmade disasters and warfare; wealthier countries, like the ones in North America, Europe, and certain parts of Asia, generally have stronger militaries, giving them greater protection and allowing their citizens to stay safe. However, the weaker and financially unstable countries, like the ones in Central and South America, Africa, and certain parts of Asia, generally have weaker militaries and often times have corrupt government officials as well, making conflict and violence much more brutal on the community and creating many more civilian casualties. For example. When the Arab Spring conflict that started in 2010, Syria lost over 226 billion dollars in the following six years ultimately crippling its economy. Thus, GDP plays a significant role in how fast a community can recuperate.
UN Involvement: In the past few decades, it has been proven that many nations, developed or developing, will be vulnerable to any natural disaster and or conflict. Many of the disasters in which have occured left a lingering effects on the nation, corrupting their economy and the impact that it had to its bordering countries as well as a global level. The United Nations have noticed this and begun to take a role on how to properly rebuild the community and the nation as a whole. The United Nations gathered 30 national volunteers and 3 international volunteers to be ready when a disaster struck. The UN Volunteer committee is very mobile and quickly accessible and this organization started almost immediately after the 2016 Ecuador earthquake. The UN also has created the UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) which is the office for disaster risk reduction, with a large audience on media, helping spread awareness. The United Nations has worked with many NGO’s to help the nation get back up on its feet after an immense amount of destruction, and help regain the community that it once had. A leading NGO is Plan International USA, which provides immediate care and assistance to affected areas in a country and work with other partners to ensure the safety amongst children. Other NGO’s such as ARC (American Refugee Committee) and UST(Unnayan Shahojogy Team ) also have a very similar role in taking part to helping these communities, one being that they are a long term partner for the country. They not only help them once a natural disaster occurs, but as well as a long period of time after to help make sure the country is able to manage it and is in good shape once more. The American Red Cross also largely helps with post disaster distress in citizens and provide the proper aid needed. These NGO’s ensure life-saving necessities to the citizens such as food, water, aid, shelter, and more; they will help the nation rebound as quick as possible. On December 14th, 2001 the United Nations passed 14 resolutions to strengthen disaster relief assistance. The resolutions state they will be doing so by including humanitarian organizations, collaborating with non-governmental organizations, encouraging the participation of member states, and fostering cooperation.
Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: Many countries in this bloc, such as Canada and France, are developed. Since they have strong militaries and funding for organizations, they can send supplies and develop projects to help communities. Since it is faster and more efficient to focus on destruction in urban areas, rural areas are often neglected. The Western Bloc should focus on ways to increase disaster responses in rural areas so that location, which often is attributed to an individual’s income, does not play a role in the type of post-disaster treatment received. Many countries in the Western Bloc, such as the United States, have led projects in other countries to revive their infrastructures and economies.
Latin Bloc: This bloc has issues with drug cartels and gangs, which destroy infrastructure and tear apart communities. This bloc is affected by many natural disasters because it is bordered on both sides with bodies of water. The Latin Bloc has some of the poorest and lowest learning countries and states in the world, such as Haiti, Suriname, the Bahamas. This means that there are fewer funds to rely on when rebuilding communities.
African Bloc: This bloc is often plagued with conflicts, especially because of the presence of Boko Haram and pirates. Repair after conflicts is very slow due to corruption and lack of funding. This bloc dominates the list for poorest countries, so their financial situation does not alleviate their droughts and wars.
Asian Bloc: This bloc is very similar to the Latin bloc in terms of its corruption and low standard of living. Countries such as China are very rich in GDP, but the high population and poor sanitation makes it difficult to rebuild communities. On the other hand, developed countries like Japan and South Korea are able to provide money for sustainable projects and relief. As a whole, however, the Asian bloc as a whole suffers from poverty and natural disasters like typhoons and monsoons. Since they are often seasonal, this makes it difficult to make permanent repairs and economic productivity fluctuates. Due to the wealth disparity, the poor usually need more time to recuperate, whereas the rich can recuperate more quickly.
Questions to consider: 1. To what extent should countries interfere to aid other countries in their rebuilding efforts? What balance should there be to avoid dependence and ensure sovereignty? 2. How should strategies for countries and states with frequent conflicts or seasonal disasters differ from those of “normal”countries and states? 3. How should the safety of aid workers be ensured when they work in post-conflict zones? 4. How should we incentivize businesses and investors to return to post-conflict or post-disaster areas? 5. What areas should be focused on in post-disaster regions? Those in urban cities (higher population) or the rural countryside (lower population)?
Topic B: Sustainable Global Access to Food Background: Currently, one in nine people, or 795 million people, are malnourished globally. Starvation and malnutrition account for about half of the deaths in children under five years old. The majority of these people are in developing countries that cannot afford proper food security. Although poorly structured governments and economies can cause this, other issues like energy poverty, over farming, and soil erosion can also contribute to the problem. In addition, not only is the amount of food being produced not meeting the demands, but the types of food being produced themselves also contribute to malnutrition. In fact, since the 1900s, about 75 percent of crop diversity has disappeared from farms and fields. The lack of agricultural biodiversity puts farms at risk of a single crop killing disease wiping out their main food source. For example, Ireland used to almost entirely depend on potatoes for food, so when a disease destroyed the potato crop, one of their only food sources was gone, allowing over a million people to starve to death. The largest amount of starving and malnourished people are located in Asia, where about ⅔ of the country is hungry, followed by sub-Saharan Africa with about 23 percent malnourishment. A lack of sustainable access to food also contributes to violence. When food becomes less available or food prices are raised, there is often violent rioting, and because these food riots most often occur in poorer countries, the law enforcement is usually unable to quickly stop the violence.
As our continuously growing population keeps on increasing at this fast rate, so will the need for more effort for increasing agricultural product, feeding those who cannot get/obtain food, increase the overall need for the global supply chain, wasting less food, and in need of more innovation. One of the United Nations resolutions is the sustainable Food Developmental goals also known as the SDG’s (sustainable development goals). This overall aims to achieve food security, invest more into agriculture and end hunger. The UN also works with other NGO’s to help solve the issue of supplying food globally. NGO’s such as the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) to make sure people have enough nutritious food and live an overall healthy life. The IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) is the funding branch; this NGO helps rural areas with production and mainly working with the poorer countries in order for the poverty population to be able to obtain food. The UN, for the past 6 years, has been attacking the issue of the right for everyone on a global aspect to be able to get safe, nutritious food as well as to free those from hunger. The UN’s Secretary General, António Guterreshas been in contact with other nations, for a global partnership, as well research centers and governments in ranging countries to help end the issue of hunger and malnutrition, formally known as the Zero Hunger Challenge. The Zero Hunger Challenge want to overall help end kids who are dying from malnutrition and 100% be able to feed all of these suffering children and adults. The UN has noticed the challenge of the food production and the amount of food waste the world goes through, so this act calls upon more less food waste and to take action in it. The NGO, Bioversity International is a research center that helps with farmers conservation of agriculture. The challenge goal is to overall end hunger by the year 2030 mostly in the poorer and undeveloped nations/regions. In 1961 the world food programme was established and has conferences to help terminate the global issue of hunger. Half a century later, on the 28th of July in 2010, the General Assembly passed the resolution of access to clean water and food as a humanitarian right which was A/71/283. The resolution calls upon other nations to take an active role in the resolution and strengthening the ability for the United Nations to support other member states to help financing the battle to provide sustainable global access to food.
Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: This bloc is guilty of over consumption, especially the United States. Since their economies are stronger, commercialism causes shoppers to purchase more than what is necessary and dispose excessively. Although these countries have a high GDP and can financially afford to do so, their resources will be exhausted at the rate of consumption. Since they are wealthier, countries in the Western bloc are able to fund research to find ways to increase production, but this connects to GMOs, which are a controversial topic.
Latin Bloc: Countries in Latin America typically produce agricultural products for exports. However, those in the bottom tier of society live on very low wages, so they cannot afford to buy the most basic products. The wealth is concentrated in the higher ranks of society, so although there is food, who receives it is more exclusive. In Venezuela, the government is having trouble distributing food due to its low GDP. Since it exports less than it imports, this resulted in a deficit so not enough food is available for the entire population. Due to high corruption in this bloc, the land used to produce agriculture is often done in unethical means. In severe cases of pollution, it can contaminate water and be uptaken into crop roots. Latin America has severely overweight populations due to the sugary contents of food, so they are working to make food development healthier and more sustainable.
African Bloc: This bloc is very poor and has difficulty recuperating from natural disasters, so there are often food shortages. The countries also cannot easily import food because of violent conflicts and instability. Food is often stolen by gangs or poor members of society out of desperation since they often cannot afford it, given the high unemployment rates. Africa is greatly impacted by climate change, which increases the number of natural disasters and affects crop development. This reduces the amount of products available to be exported, which lowers the overall GDP. Africa should try to find new methods of food production that are independent of climate change, a challenge difficult for its developing countries that are reliant on other countries for food.
Asian Bloc: Asia has the highest number of hungry people, due to its low wages and political instability. Malnutrition causes 1 out of 5 infants to die. Asia is primarily based around agriculture, so whenever natural disasters occur, crop production dips and throws off the economy. Asia is the continent with the most people, so there is not enough food to go around. Even if they had enough production for imports, the impoverished would still have trouble purchasing them. Asia should work towards a way to produce food cheaply but of sufficient quality so the most number of people can access it.
Questions to consider: 1. How do regions’ different social, economic, and political aspects affect their ability to provide access to food? 2. Why are countries with rich natural resources unable to provide food to the majority of its citizens? 3. Is it possible to use the same technology used to produce food more efficiently in developed countries in developing countries? Are certain technologies only able to be possessed in countries with more resources, capabilities, etc.? 4. What are some strategies or technologies that we can use to increase food quality but lower prices? 5. In what ways can we address the causes of inaccessible food? Can we identify a common pattern among countries with unsustainable access to food?