Global View

Review of the MUN Youth Assembly 2017, New York

 Miruna Țuțuianu și Mihail Păduraru

How can we improve the implementation of SDGs worldwide?

The second edition of the Model United Nations Youth Assembly (MUN), organized by United Ambassadors at the UN headquarters between 22-25 August 2017, offered a specific answer for this question. Aiming to improve the MUN framework, it expresses its concern about the most powerful tool for solving the current global issues: the education.

During a working session on the same subject, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres officialy stated that „At MUN, you broaden your horizons. By learning and networking, you can be part of the UN’s effort to establish peace, secure human rights, and enable all people to live in dignity.”[1]

The attendance consisted of delegations from different countries (such as Mexico, Colombia, Romania, India, U.S.A., Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and many others) that represented a specific youth-oriented MUN actor interested in the problematic of this event. This category includes high schools, universities, educational clubs, NGOs, institutes and so on, that have an experience in MUN organization and brought forward new ideas on how the MUN framework can be developed in order to efficiently reach its goals. The delegation of Romania was the smallest one (2 persons) and it expressed the NGO UN Youth Romania’s position on the subjects of debate.

During the first day (22nd August), the participants acknowledged the important role of the first article on the UN Agenda: Enhancing the Accuracy of Model UN in simulating real-life United Nations issues. Therefore, the MUN reform should focus more on diplomatic importance than the competitive environment. After the opening ceremony, all the debates and speeches were carried out in 6 different committees.

In the second day (23rd August), the first session of the First Committee (in which the Romanian delegation was present) introduced the problematic of Sustainable Development Goals, having the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals as a background. Also, debating about how the SDG can be better tackled and implemented, the importance of education as a main mechanism toward development was highlighted. Thus, it was emphasized the need to invest in quality education, especially for the youth, as a long-term strategy to complete the SDGs.

In the third day (24th August) all the delegations focused their efforts into undertaking the draft resolution regarding the MUN advocacy on SDGs and Education. The meeting started with formal/informal debates, followed by the Vienna Formula, as reaching consensus was the most targeted scenario. After the Committee’s first session, the resolution was revised line by line.

Why is the inclusion of MUN participants as stakeholders for implementing the SDGs so important?

At the educational level, the main attention has been directed on the disadvantages children and youth who do not have access to necessary facilities for their development, but also on the new innovation centers that could offer a more comprehensive approach on the manner of implementing the SDGs (universities, NGOs, institutes and clubs, or similar actors). Offering the stakeholders an active role could create a more realistic image of the global needs in terms of both SDGs and education as a solution for a better implementation.

From raising general awareness on SDGs to more specific and practical solutions, education had a pivotal role in the resolution, even educative commercials for children having been taken into consideration. Also, both developing workshops and establishing partnerships with NGOs and other similar institutions were debated as a way to create more volunteering and internship opportunities and to support the disadvantaged youth population on the labor market. It is very important to sustain the education level in all its forms through scholarships, partnerships, sponsorships as it is one of the main ways to provide a better future for the next generations. It is a must to transform the youth generation into real stakeholders for the education field.

The most important aspect of the 2017 MUN Youth Assembly is that all the six resolutions were adopted by consensus, this being one of the leading principles for the UN framework.

During the sessions of the UN Youth Assembly 2017, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania-Turkmenistan was represented by Miruna Constantina Tutuianu, member of the newly created Competitive and Strategic Analysis Department.  The lack of information about this specific area emphasized the need to establish a fresh department as a new tool to implement the EU policies expressed through the EU Strategy for Central Asia.

The region of focus has been witnessing an unprecedented development in the past years, raising the need for a better consolidation of the economic and diplomatic relations with all the states from the area. Taking into consideration both the economic potential and the  energy resources, the region can offer effective alternative solution to reduce the EU’s dependency on the Russian Federation.

Acknowledging all this context, the Competitive and Strategic Analysis Department intends to offer a constant comprehensive flow of both information and data for the public and private actors through analysis and briefings disseminated in an accessible and clear format for the beneficiaries. The main goal is to provide the necessary information framework to help them in their decision-making process.

Given the lack of a similar structure at an EU and NATO level, Miruna presented the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania-Turkmenistan’s intentions to position itself as a center of reference in the analysis of geopolitical and economic Central Asian and Est-European dynamics.

In addition, through its new OSINT (Collection and Intelligence Analysis) internship, the institution extends the opportunities for the youth that aim to work in the International Relations and Diplomacy field, and offers an organized platform for debates, practical exercises and simulations that aim to develop the skills necessary for intelligence analysis. The main goal is to create a selection base for future personal specialized on Central Asian dynamics, on one hand, and to develop critical thinking and educating the civil society on the security culture, on the other.

Also, the Competitive and Strategic Analysis Department aims to support the Euro-Atlantic actions on combating misinformation and the lack of information that exists in the Eastern Europe, offering certified news in the online space. The need of both raising awareness on the problematic and addressing the psychological warfare has led to the creation of this organism.

Therefore, the Chamber of Commerce Romania-Turkmenistan expressed its openness to expand its national and international partners network. Thus, it extends an invitation for collaboration to public and private institutions from Romania or other countries that wish to join its initiatives, manifested through the Competitive and Strategic Analysis department, to consolidate NATO’s eastern flank in the information space.

In practical terms, the first actions have been taken, as the Chamber of Commerce already offers an online platform for debates and discussions (Facebook Group: Central Asia Intelligence and LinkedIN- Central Asia Intelligence), dedicated for practitioners, academics or any other individuals interested in Central Asian and Eastern European geopolitics.

Facebook – Page – Central Asia Analytics – Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania-Turkmenistan

Group – Central Asia Intelligence

LinkedIn – Page – Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romnania-Turkmenistan

Group – Central Asia Intelligence

[1] UNDPI, What is UN4MUN?, accessed August 2017, Retrieved from: https://outreach.un.org/mun/.

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