Head Chair: Julia Frerk Vice Chair: Lynn Pham Moderator: Jake Siecke Position papers will be due on February 2, 2019. 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: lhhsUNICEF@gmail.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello, delegates, my name is Julia Frerk and I am your head chair for UNICEF Advanced committee. I am a Senior at Laguna Hills High School and this is my fourth year in MUN. Aside from MUN, I am involved with Volleyball, CSF, and Spanish Honors Society at Laguna. When I’m not drowning in homework I am spending way too much money on food, boba, and coffee. Other than eating, my hobbies include going to the beach, hanging out with my family, going to the gym, camping, and listening to loud music in the car with my friends. I am so excited to meet you all in February! Hello, my name is Lynn Pham and I am your vice chair. I am a junior at Laguna Hills High School with this year being my third year in MUN. Within the Secretariat program, I am a Conference Coordinator. Apart from MUN, I am involved in tennis, lacrosse, CSF, and NHS at our school. Most of my time is spent sleeping, watching Netflix and procrastinating homework. When I am not feeling lazy, I love to hang out with my family and friends, go to the beach, and go to the movies. I look forward to committee! Hello, my name is Jake Siecke and I am your moderator for UNICEF advanced. I have been involved with MUN for 3 years now and I am a junior at Laguna Hills High. I am on the volleyball team and my hobbies include going to beach, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Other than going to school and dying in homework my favorite thing to do is travel and explore new places. I am excited to be apart of the conference in February and hope to see you all there!
Topic A: Universal Primary Education Background: The Second Goal of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal is to achieve Universal Primary Education. Furthermore, they want to ensure that children everywhere, boys and girls will be able to complete a full course of Primary education. Education is important to meeting Millennium Development Goals. Meeting the Education Goal will speed progress toward every other Millennium Goal. Educating children will help to reduce poverty and promote gender equality. It helps lower child mortality rates and promote the concern for the environment. If children can start off educated it allows the next generation the tools to fight poverty and prevent harmful diseases. However, Despite the significance of investing in education, the recent report, Fixing the Broken Promise of Education, from the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children, as well as UNICEF found that the world has missed this target of universal primary education, and there are currently 58 million children, of primary school age, out of school worldwide. Primary education is crucial to becoming successful and providing a sustainable life.
UN Involvement: The United Nations has taken great strides in the attempt to achieve universal primary education, especially within the 21st century. The UN sees the vitality of education for the eradication of poverty. In fact, from 1997-2006, it was the first declared United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty. Consequently, the Secretary-General deemed universal primary education a priority. During this first decade, numerous UN summits were held. Additionally, the Millennium Development Goals were established following the Millenium UN Summit in 2000, laying out goals to be reached by 2015. Specifically, the second goal is to achieve universal primary education by 2015. Following this, the second decade was declared in 2007 to continue the focus and work of this movement. Since the onset of these efforts, much progress has been made toward the goal of universal primary education. For instance, the number of children not attending primary school in southern Asia has dramatically changed from 100 million in 2000 to 57 million as of 2015, making this the biggest change. Overall global enrollment rates in primary education have greatly risen from 83% to 91% as of 2015. After failing to meet the goal for the MDGs by 2015, the UN set out the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, where the 4th goal is quality education as part of the 2030 agenda. Furthermore, social movements have played a large part in furthering universal primary education as well with the UN. An effective example is Malala Yousafzai, a brave girl who refused to be rejected from advocating for universal education. In fact, she was a speaker at a gathering at the UN in 2014, where 500 young people gathered to commend progress for the cause in order to encourage the international community to continue striving for quality education(SDG goal 4). Moving on, UNICEF supports these past actions and is very active itself in trying to achieve universal primary education. As of 2012, UNICEF helped over 3.56 million children gain access to basic education. Overall, in affected regions, UNICEF and its partners have significantly increased enrollment in primary schooling, literacy rates and decreased poverty as a result. As more action is taken, universal primary education will soon be completely achievable.
Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: Often considered to be the most developed bloc of the world many countries within this region have already achieved primary education for their citizens. Most countries mandate a first through eighth grade education and many a high school education as well. The educated class of citizens in this region has resulted in a smarter and talented workforce bringing in more revenue and boosting the economy in this bloc. Many of the Western nations have been pushing the UN to prioritize universal primary education because they have seen the positive progress that has come out of it. The Western Bloc still lacks primary education in a small amount of countries, however it has amongst the highest primary education completion rates.
Latin Bloc: For the most part the Latin bloc consists of developing or underdeveloped nations. Because of a lack of funding, many of the countries in this region are unable to pay teachers or build schools for all the children at the primary level. Due to setbacks in education, there is a weaker workforce compared to the more developed nations which results in a small economy. Overall there is a very small portion of Latin America that actually is developed enough to have the resources to have a school.
African Bloc: Much like the Latin American bloc, the African bloc also experiences similar setbacks in terms of achieving universal primary education. Many regions within Africa lack the infrastructure to sustain schools. For example, there is not access to electricity or water for the schools or enough money to pay teachers. Traditionally in Africa, the boys are allowed to go to school, but the families can’t afford to send the girls and value a more traditional role for women in the workforce. The lack of education in the African bloc has resulted in a unskilled, small, and male-dominated workforce which vastly limits the potential for growth and development in the surrounding regions. However, due to work from NGOs and the United Nations, the African bloc has improved their primary education completion rate from 50% in the 2000’s to 70% in 2015, which is still significantly less than the rest of the regions.
Asian Bloc: The Asian-Pacific bloc has taken substantial steps in trying to achieve universal primary education however progress has been more successful in some areas the others. Central and East Asia have both achieved nearly an 100% completion rate for education on the primary level. Countries in South Asia are more impoverished so they have failed to achieve universal primary education. These countries don’t have the infrastructure to build schools or the money to manage them and pay for teachers. The governments in this region need to prioritize things essential to living such as finding food, clean water, and shelter for all their citizens, and therefore can not put time into creating a universal primary education system, to be implemented in their region.
Questions to consider: 1. How could you implement universal primary education without imposing on the sovereignty of a nation? 2. Should gender parity be considered when implementing universal primary education? 3. Should the definition of primary education be broadened? 4. Should universal primary education be reintroduced to the list Millenium Development Goals? 5. If universal primary education was achieved, how would society change?