Polity Link International organized UGC with a comprehensive Model United Nations. The theme for the conference was Nature Drives Nations. When interpreted correctly it not only means nature in term of environment but also the nature of human beings and citizens of the nation. The session had two committees, UNGA and EU. UNGA discussed on climate change and it’s special impact on developing countries, whereas, the EU had the agenda of discussing the impact of European policy on migration crisis and the principle of “Burden Sharing”.
Our keynote speaker for the opening ceremony was Dr. Shirely Yeung. She is the Associate Vice President, UNESCO HK/ Secretary General, World Institute of Sustainable Development Planners(WISDP). In 2016, Dr. Yeung was nominated as Local Change Leader of United Nations. She talked about the various platforms that are now available to the youth not only to voice out their concerns but also to implement and take responsible actions for various issues. She had invited Mr. Bernard Lee, the President of Rotary Club of Hong Kong, who she hsad worked and coordinated with to guide the conference. She insisted upon the necessity of such platform for deliberating upon issues and discussing a solution for them. Peace and collaboration are an important part of creating a network together as pointed by Dr. Yeung. Our next speaker was Mr. Bernard Lee shared his wisdom through a phrase about how it is more blessed to give than to receive. He talked about leadership through action, ”lead by doing”. He has been mentoring and teaching various candidates throughout his career. The thought process and positive influence from various mentors are a necessity for young leaders today according to Dr. Lee. Followed by him, our next speaker Mr. Sheldon Lee talked about the importance of youth leadership and positive change. He is himself a student of higher diploma in Transformative Business and believes in practicing over preaching. Our speakers gave strong and positive messages to begin the conference with.
A workshop on diplomacy was organized on the first of the conference to help increase the quality of debate and discussion and make sure that the delegates understood what kind of quality work was expected out of them. To ensure a quality debate the committees and agendas were split out. The first committee, UNGA, chaired by Mr. Harishankar Padmanaban, discussed environment and climate change one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today.
Climate change affects every country and can have devastating effects on communities and individuals. Developing countries are the most impacted by climate change and the least able to afford its consequences. Their vulnerability is due to multiple factors that can limit their ability to prevent and respond to the impacts of climate change. Climate change has the potential to reverse significant development gains made in these countries. The countries discussed mitigation, climate objectives, leveraging the private sector, etc. In developing countries, women and girls are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate change. This deepens existing social inequalities and threatens women and girl’s health, safety, and economic well-being. Gender inequalities and development gaps increase the impacts of climate change for women, especially for those that depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. Environment and climate action are most effective when women and girls play an active role. While they are the most vulnerable, women and girls are also powerful agents of change to advance action on climate change, pollution and other environmental concerns. The committee discussed all the important aspects of the issue and came to the conclusion that developed countries must atone for the damage that they have caused and pay the developing and under developed nations.
The second committee, European Union was chaired by Ms Ida. EU discussed the refugee crisis quite effectively. Their agenda was a crucial, complex and technical one. They discussed the impact of EU policy on the migration crisis and principle of “Burden Sharing”. Given the issues in Middle East and current situation in Afghanistan it became essential to bring to light the importance of the crisis and discuss solutions to it. While some nations stuck to the notion that the EU still needed global solidarity to contribute to the migrant crisis and take it as sharing responsibilities, some refused to believe so. Dublin’s system was discussed as EU’s binding tool of burden sharing. Burden sharing was discussed as a concept in refugee context developed by the UN as a result of decolonization of Africa.
The session ended in an exchange progressive ideas and the discussions on Global development, climate crisis and refugee crisis made a meaningful impact on all the participants individually as well as on the conference. It was a great opportunity for network building across borders. The delegates learnt the importance of listening to others and coming to a compromise in order to pass a resolution. The best delegate for EU was bagged by the Delegate of Greece who thoroughly impressed the Chair and the committee with his diplomacy, whereas, the High Commendation went to the Delegate of Cyprus and the special mention was given to Delegate of Slovakia. The delegates did such a fine job that it was difficult for the chair to limit herself to three commendations. She gave special verbal mentions to Delegate of Ireland, Sweden and Austria. As for the UNGA, verbal mentions were given to the Delegate of New Zealand, Japan and Malawi. For special mentions, it was the Delegate of Zimbabwe, Ukraine and United States and South Korea. High commendations went to the delegates of Algeria and Sri Lanka. Best delegate was given to the Delegate of Norway. However, like the end of a successful conference one award that each one of us carried forward with us was that of special networks and friendships.