The United Nations resolves issues while developing valuable international relationships. Not only does the UN unite all of its member states, but it also serves as a gathering location for young leaders from around the world. On Wednesday, July 8th, coordinators of the Global Leaders Conference invited international students with strong leadership skills to debate the validity of proposed resolutions. It was inspiring to observe today’s youth passionately discuss global problems related to Human Rights, Development, Environment, Trade, Globalization, Science and Technology, Politics, Peace, and Health.
The Conference Vice Chair welcomed the audience by reminding them that Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, and John F. Kennedy have walked the halls of the United Nations Headquarters before us. With this remarkable privilege in mind, young leaders posed as delegates from Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, The United Kingdom, France, The United States, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, and India, and brought significant insight to the table.
The preliminary topic of discussion was Human Rights for Women and Children. Delegates debated the proposed resolution which would ideally encouraged member states to implement women and youth rights in their education programs. The document’s main objectives included counteracting illegal human trafficking of women, encouraging nations or organizations to provide any evidence of sufficient funding for the cause, and ensuring that citizens are adequately informed of the consequences that occur when women and children’s rights are impeded upon. A majority passed the resolution with objections from Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Although it was emphasized that they in fact support women and youth rights, they argued that it is unacceptable to implement sex education in countries where it contradicts their morals and beliefs. However, this was not enough to discourage other nations from voting in favor of the resolution. A UK delegate refuted the argument and stressed that the UN only advises and encourages, without attacking the sovereignty of each country.
Soon after the Human Rights for Women and Children resolution’s passing, the issue of Food and Hunger was debated. This particular resolution called for investing in innovative means of food production, and emphasized that developing nations need to face the problem of starvation. It also encouraged an increase in labor production, as well as the donation of GDP percentages from member states to end world hunger. Other details of the resolution included high quality seeds to increase crop field growth, stable and predictable open trade parties, and an analytical discussion of advancements to be made two years after the resolution’s implementation. This resolution was passed by a majority with little to no objections.
Environment and Deforestation came next on the conference agenda. The resolution at hand included the implementation of afforestation policies and laws incriminating the act of deforestation. It also encouraged donor countries to raise international funds for developing nations where deforestation occurs. Arguments against the proposed resolution included the fact that many member states rely heavily on lumber industries and cannot sustain imposed anti-deforestation measures. However, it was then explained that the UN does not implement extreme policies but instead encourages international laws without hindering the economic improvement of developing countries. Another issue was raised regarding the UN’s inability to fund such an extensive project. Nonetheless, a majority of the delegates voted “yes” and the resolution was also passed.
Last on this morning meeting’s list of objectives was Trade and Globalization with a focus on Debt Relief. A unique resolution was proposed involving a complex plan to essentially feed debt owed by member states back into their individual economies through a newly created organization. Initially, the notion of relieving countries from their debt obligations sounded ideal. However, many delegates argued that the resolution lacked practicality. The main issue at hand was that the World Bank already handles debt relief. In addition, it was argued that the resolution was not founded on basic economic principles because it essentially called for the spending of money that each nation never really had. With these notions in mind, most delegates voted against the resolution and it was not passed.
The Global Young Leaders Conference was filled with remarkable insights, valuable discussions, and substantial arguments from young adults around the world. Because the youth will be driving our future, it is never too early to develop their critical thinking and negotiating skills. This meeting displayed the tremendous potential that the young leaders of our world have in ensuring the Earth’s sustainability. Through similar programs, the UN symbolizes a beacon of hope for health and prosperity.
Meeting Title: Global Young Leaders Conference
Date: July 8, 2014
Location: NLB Conference Room 4, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Suzy Hallak
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan