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We’re in the final stretch before the 2017 High School Model United Nations conference! This blog post will briefly go over two important issues: 1. Dress code and 2. Reminders and important concepts to keep in mind.

Dress code Dress for success. Now, I’m not saying you should put on your graduation gala outfit or anything. However, it is important that you look presentable and feel confident in what you’re wearing. The dress code is mainly business casual which means no jeans, no sweatshirts and no sneakers. Most male students will opt for buttoned up shirts, a suit jacket, dress pants and dress shoes. Most female delegates will opt for dresses, dress pants, a nice blouse and a smart looking suit jacket paired with flats or heels. Now, a quick tip for the ladies: DO NOT wear 6 inch heels. Girl, you’ll be way too busy trying to figure out how Sub Saharan Africa can export as much of their resources and the highest price. You might feel like Beyoncé for the first few hours of debate, but after that you’ll be feeling more like Amanda Bynes after her 2016 breakdown. Yikes.

Reminders and Important Concepts 1. Combatting child labour, trafficking and slavery 2. Private and public investments working together to improve existing infrastructure. You don’t need to build new rail or roads if you don’t need to. 3. Amending border policies to facilitate trade between LLDCs and countries with port access. 4. Keep in mind that you don’t need to build brand new infrastructure. If you can fix it and improve its efficiency do that first. 5. How are you going to monitor development? What about encouraging agreements and arrangements regarding LLDCs or even monitorial agencies? 6. Encouraging trade of specialty items of the world. Look at some resources that LLDCs can export to others. Really important concepts mentioned in most position papers 1. Multilateral and tripartite solutions. 2. The importance of technological innovations and sustainable development

Can’t wait to meet all of you at the conference! Good luck.

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Being a good delegate

 

Hi, it’s Adrienne again! This time I’m going to tell you how to be a good delegate. As your chair I am hoping to see some quality debate and discussion so I want to make sure you’re all coming in well prepared. I’m going to tell you a few things I’ve learned throughout my time as a delegate and hopefully it’ll help you out!

 

The absolute biggest thing that makes a good delegate is knowing your foreign policy. I cannot stress this enough. It makes debate much less interesting in committee when delegations are frequently contradicting their foreign policy. You are not expected to know absolutely everything and we have a wonderful foreign policy advisor to help you out if you stumble. Do your best and come in with a strong idea of what your policy is and listen to your foreign policy advisor, she is there to help you. If your country has little trace of foreign policy the best thing to do is look at previous UN resolutions that they signed onto and do your best from there.

 

Second, take the chance to speak in committee. Since this is a somewhat larger committee, take the chance to speak as soon as you can. You want to get yourself on the speaker’s list often. This way, you can catch the attention of the committee and they will be more interested in working with you. Even if you’re not a great public speaker, take the chance. You’ll be speaking for under a minute typically so it’s simple enough to prepare for.

 

Third, work with people not against them. I get it, antagonizing someone is fun, and HSMUN is not complete without it’s fair share of trolling but there comes a point where you need to try and compromise. The best and most exiting resolutions come from the committee working together (one of the best resolutions I’ve seen is when an entire committee worked together and made one big resolution).

 

Finally, be nice to your dias. We may seem like we’re killing the fun at times but it’s our job to keep things moving and prevent the committee from turning to anarchy so please listen to us. We want to see you get better and we want to make this the most enriching experience possible for you so just be kind and courteous and we will show you the same respect back.

 

Ultimately, remember that this is a learning experience. If it’s your first conference you may be intimidated by what you’re hearing but by immersing yourself in this environment you’ll pick up skills very fast and you’ll come out of it knowing more about your country, being a better public speaker, and having awesome consensus building skills. I’ve used some of my experiences in Model UN to demonstrate my skills in job interviews so the thing you learn will stick with you for a long time!

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Best,

Adrienne

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The Busan Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and South-South Cooperation

 

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan, Korea in 2011, aimed to forge an even stronger partnership between nations when it came to international development. It stressed the need for development cooperation founded on shared principles, common goals and different commitments. With regards to south-south cooperation, the agreement addressed the lack in action taken to resolve communication problems between Southern providers, and to enhance the communication between Southern providers and Southern nations.

 

A large issue with regards to south-south cooperation is the issue of communication. Not only is there no administrative system to guide southern cooperation between southern nations, but more often than not, misconceptions and communication issues can cause major tensions between southern nations and southern providers. This tension is due to the lack of data and analysis provided to the southern nations about their providers, and as such suspicions rise.

 

In addition, the post-Busan Interim Group established a Global Partnership for Effective Development (BGP) in order to implement resources that monitor internal accountability. This partnership was of concern to south-south providers, as they felt the BGP would attempt to influence the southern nations in a way like that of the north. As such, southern nations would have to find common ground with their development issues, so that they are not overpowered by the development issues of the global north.

 

Fast forward to 2015, and we have the Sustainable Development Goals put forth by the United Nations. The goals centre on global partnership, but how can the southern nations partner with the north if they are not in congruency with each other? South-south cooperation plays an integral part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, complementing north-south cooperation. However, the divergent ideologies of the global north and south still come into effect when discussing development and south-south cooperation, so much so that it is often difficult for southern countries to get their points across.

 

The hardships that occur with southern development between the global north and south come into effect when making resolutions, and is a topic that you should think about when debating the issue of south-south cooperation and it’s ties to development. Here are some helpful links on this topic:

 

http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/ourwork/development-impact/south-south-cooperation.html

http://ris.org.in/pdf/SSC_report_web.pdf

 

I hope that this blog post helps with your research!


Hi again, I hope by now you’ve started researching for your position papers so I wanted to give you a few tips. This is a style that not a lot of delegates are familiar with so I’m here to walk you through it! I’m going to go over the basic format as well as some things that make a good position paper stand out so you can all have fabulous position papers for us!

Basic format:

So first and foremost, be concise! Your paper should be no longer than two pages so get to the point! Now let’s talk about a common format used at Model UN conferences. Remember, this is not written like your typical essay. You don’t need the formal introduction, body, conclusion format.

 

Typically, there are three paragraphs for each issue:

  1. Brief background on the issue and your country’s position.
  2. National interests, policies, international commitments
  3. Proposed solutions (this should be slightly lengthier than the other two)

To get a good visual, check out the examples here: https://hsmun.org/students/position-papers/

Each issue should take up about the same amount of space in your position paper (about 1 page single spaced each). This shows that you’re knowledgeable on both topics and will be ready to debate either one.

 

Formatting considerations:

-Single Spaced

-12 point font

-Times New Roman

-written in the third person (don’t say “we support X policy”, say “X country believes in X policy”)

 

What makes a good position paper:

–       Demonstrates a strong knowledge of country’s position on the issue: this means using specific policies and actions to demonstrate this

–       Demonstrates knowledge of previous international actions on the topic: mention UN agreements especially and show that you know what they’re all about

–       Proposes realistic solutions that fit within the country’s foreign policy (the best papers include solutions that use existing UN frameworks and we will be super happy if we see that in anyone’s position paper)

And finally, don’t forget to cite. Any style is accepted, as long as you’re consistent.

If you’re still lost feel free to check out the page on position papers or email us with your questions!

-Adrienne Faulkner, ECOFIN Chair


Landlocked Developing Countries and Sustainable Development

Landlocked developing countries lack territorial access to the sea, which, in our increasingly interdependent world, can serve as a huge problem with regards to trade, transport, and infrastructure in these countries.  As a result, it is difficult for these countries to access the resources they need in different situations, whether that be natural disasters, poverty, or natural resources that they do not have access to.

Because trade is so difficult in landlocked developing countries, they are heavily reliant on their neighbouring countries to transport goods and services. In addition, infrastructure, such as roads and railways, are often in poor condition due to the lack of access to materials, which contributes to high transportation costs. Higher transport costs lead to lower levels of trade, which negatively impacts economic growth, thereby affecting sustainable development.

The primary issue facing landlocked developing nations is one of dependence on neighbouring nations, but lack of interdependence on a global scale. Landlocked countries must rely heavily on one or two passages from “transit nations” (neighbouring nations that deliver goods to the landlocked countries), which increases the cost of transporting goods and services. In addition, landlocked developing countries must depend on the good relations with their neighbouring transit communities, which may result in political and economic deception. Because these countries are so reliant upon their neighbouring countries, they can be manipulated into higher prices for both import and export of goods and services.

Because of the economic issues landlocked developing countries face, less money is spent on good education, health services, environmental protection, or protection of human rights, all key aspects to increasing development in developing nations. It becomes increasingly difficult to avoid what is known as “the poverty trap” in these countries when much of the focus lays in maintaining trade relations with neighbouring nations.

Landlocked developing countries are at a geographical disadvantage when it comes to trade, which may lead to economic collapse. Because landlocked developing countries must spend higher amounts of money on trade and transport, other aspects of society such as education and healthcare remain underdeveloped, contributing to the poverty which many landlocked developing countries experience. This poverty affects sustainable development to a great extent, and contributes to an ongoing debate over how much attention the landlocked developing countries should receive.

Interesting fact that I thought was pretty cool: Central Asian developing countries such as Tajikistan and Kazakhstan actually experience less poverty than other landlocked developing countries due to their socialist history (so you should research about that because that’s pretty interesting)


Looking at Multilateral Cooperation and Focus on the ILO

The Secretary-General’s South-South Cooperation Report is a really good place to start your research. It is a detailed document that explains how different countries are tackling South-South Co-operation for Development, past initiatives, supporting organizations, and multilateral strategies.

For instance, triangular cooperation (TrC) was one thing that was mentioned quite often in the first few pages of the document. Now don’t get it twisted this isn’t some crazy secretive illuminati mumbo jumbo. Triangular cooperation is a partnership between two or more developing countries that are supported by a single developed country. TrC is a multilateral approach that encourages cooperation programs and projects.

A notable organization that has been devoted to multilateral cooperation is the International Labour Organization (ILO). Their goal is to “create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income; enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all; and strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.” There are many developed countries that work in partnership with less developed ones. Solid and long-lasting partnerships are usually more successful when participating countries are close in proximity. For instance, recently China has been interested in building the Silk Road Economic Belt to promote economic prosperity and development of countries along the silk route. Cambodia and Lao PDR would be directly affected by this triangular cooperation since the project is set to expand employment services and enhance the labour market in both countries. Cambodia and Lao PDR have quite a bit to gain by being exposed to China’s advanced, comprehensive, and extensive employment field and system.

However, this does not mean that countries can’t contribute outside of their geographic sphere. Indonesia has engaged in South-South Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) programs outside of Asia with a focus on development, good governance, peace building, and strengthening their economy. The ILO estimates that Indonesia’s programs are roughly worth 49.7 million USD with partnerships in Africa, the Pacific, South America, and of course Asia and the Middle East. This just goes to show that countries can make investments and partnerships abroad, and that they are not constrained by geographic proximity, but aren’t harmed by it either.

Here’s a quick tip! If delegates want their position papers (and maybe even their working papers) to be as inclusive and holistic as possible it might be a good idea to look at initiatives that not only concentrate on the economy. The ILO has various global programs that tackle child labour, trafficking and modern slavery. We all know that child labour prevents children from acquiring necessary skills and education. It also perpetuates poverty which in turn negatively affects a country’s economy. How does this happen? Well, less educated children have less employment and training opportunities. This directly contributes to the creation of decent work for adults. If children are in school they are have more potential to contribute to their families and to their country’s economy in the future as productive and employed adults. [I’ve provided links at the end of this blog post for more in depth reading.]

Other interesting and collaborative organizations include the African Union, the BRICS, and the European Union. Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration. More often than not you’re strongest allies will be your next door neighbours, especially if they are developed or rapidly developing countries like China, Nigeria, Germany, or Brazil.

Let’s take a closer look at the BRICS countries. If you didn’t know already BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (you can even include certain parts of Subsaharan Africa: Nigeria and Kenya). These countries account for 25% of the world GDP. For instance, Brazil has Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) concentrated in Portuguese speaking parts of Africa. In a joint program between the ILO, the Brazilian government, and the countries of Tanzania, Ghana, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome & Principe, emerged a collaboration targeting the prevention and eradication of child labour. How did all of these countries come together if they’re not close in proximity? The unifying key is the Portuguese language. The Portuguese Speaking African countries put together and approved a document called the National Action Plan for Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour. They created a list of hazardous work prohibited to children and teens. Moreover, they have established advisory bodies and tripartite committees to deal with issues regarding children’s work. Collaborative programs are important because they strengthen important interactions and dialogues between member countries. It allows countries to share their experiences, failures, and successes with others in similar situations. It also ensures accountability, and that the ratification of child labour is continuous, not stagnant.

Another hot topic issue, especially in light of the recent Paris climate conference in 2015, is the environment and reducing emissions. A part of South-South Cooperation also includes environmental protection, climate change and job creation. The ILO is a great organization that delegates can mention and seek inspiration from in their position papers and during the conference. In fact, the ILO has been an active member in the Global South-South Development Expos. In 2013, they showcased the the South-South Cooperation work of Brazil with the involvement of other countries in the Americas called the “Green Grant” or “Bolsa Verde.” The Green Grant targets environmental conservation, indigenous peoples, rural settlements and family farmers. The objective is to protect and conserve ecosystems for maintenance and sustainable use, promote citizenship, improve living conditions, raise the income of the population in extreme poverty, and encourage cooperation with other countries in the Global South to promos sustainable development. With the goal of conservation and protection Brazil aims to build sustainable infrastructure that will surely stimulate the economy by offering employment to many. [more information here:http://www.ilo.org/pardev/south-south/lang– en/index.htm].

The BRICS are also important players in South-South Global Development. The surge in Brazil, China, India and South Africa’s economies in the past few years saw the creation with Russia to form the New Development Bank (NDB). The NDB has the objective of funding infrastructure projects with developing countries and to meet the goals of other governments through sustainable development. The NDB is a fantastic example of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) and its growing influence in geopolitical and economic areas towards more fair partnerships and relationships between regions. The BRICS demonstrate a combination of growing wealth, technological advancement, political stability and the possibility of countries becoming middle-income through collaborative and sustainable initiatives. This is surely a topic that delegates may want to explore.

Helpful links

  • Combatting Child Labour, Trafficking and Modern Slavery

THIRD BLOG POST

In terms of Landlocked Developing Countries, the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) published the Almaty Declaration and the Almaty Programme of Action. These two documents reflect the commitment of addressing the special needs and challenges that landlocked developing countries face and will continue to face unless aid is provided through meaningful and effective international partnerships.

The Almaty Programme of Action’s greatest goal is to create lasting partnerships between countries to address specific landlocked territorial problems that result from remoteness, isolation and lack sea access. It is obvious that remoteness, isolation and lack of access to the sea negatively impacts world trade opportunities for many landlocked countries. The Almaty Programme of Action outlines and describes 5 priorities which we will discuss in this and following blog posts.

Priority 1

First, fundamental transit policy issues targets the following:

  1. The revision of landlocked transit and transportation practices to allow for greater participation and inclusivity in private sectors. — It is important for landlocked countries to review these practices to ensure the effective and efficient movement of trade between other countries and cities, especially those with port access. The building of new infrastructure may need to be considered and implemented at the discretion of each nation. However, the Almaty Programme of Action strongly suggests that development be sustainable at local and global levels and that policies about poverty reduction should be included.
  2. International, development partners and aid agencies in particular should prioritize sustainable transportation projects. Investments should be public, private and including foreign direct investments is also important for the development of transportation systems.
  3. Required actions:
    1. Integrated and combined approaches for trade and transportation development is required in order to take social and economic aspects into consideration.
    2. High priority must be given to modernizing existing facilities.
    3. Transport reform should be actively pursued with the increasing inclusion of the private sector.
    4. The promotion of public/private sector dialogue and cooperation.
    5. Creation of regional transport supports, rules and standards.
    6. Institutions must monitor and promote the agreements and arrangements of landlocked countries .
    7. The promotion of combined training programs at all levels in private and public sectors.

Priority 2

The second priority is about infrastructure development and maintenance. The goal is to improve existing rail, road, air and pipeline infrastructure and cater to the local needs of every country. For instance the predominant mode of transportation in South Asia is rail, but Africa is more biased towards road transportation. The Almaty Programme of Action outlines five requirements in regards to infrastructure development:

  1. Public funding for infrastructure should be supported by investment donors, international financial institutions and other assistance agencies when possible.
  2. Landlocked countries should make an effort to work towards environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
  3. “Missing links” should be filled between regional and subregional transport networks to ensure nationwide success of infrastructure development.
  4. Private-sector participation should be encouraged.
  5. Partnerships between private and public investors should be promoted with the use of common information and monitoring systems to keep all those involved accountable and in the loop.

Rail transport

It is clear that railways play an important role in transportation and linking oceans ports to landlocked countries. However, a major challenge that arises is limited equipment such as locomotives, wagons, and poor maintenance of standards. Another concern is problems regarding inter-railway agreements between countries. Four specific actions are required when establishing a rail system:

  1. Building new railways and maintenance programs should be accomplished in conjunctions with technological innovations and examined/monitored bilaterally and at subregional and regional levels.
  2. Landlocked developing countries should prioritize, improve and maintain the tracks and rolling stock (locomotives, carriages, wagons, or other vehicles on a railroad) and purchase rolling stock where and when justified by traffic volume.
  3. Developing and landlocked developing countries should pay attention to the expansion of training programs and inter-railway staff exchange programs.
  4. Governments are encouraged to abide by relevant international conventions related to rail and combined transport. This will provide internationally accepted rules and ensure for environmentally safe inter-country rail systems and operations.

Road transport

Road transport is the main mode of transit transport in Africa and it remains an increasingly important mode of transport everywhere else. The key problems associated with the expansion of roads include international road transport, worsening road safety, lack of social infrastructure along ageing roads, poor maintenance, which are very closely associated with overloading vehicles. There are three required actions that the document outlines in regards to road transport:

  1. High priority should be given to transit corridors that link landlocked developing countries to other transport networks in developing countries.
  2. Countries should consider taking initiatives to agree and implement international conventions related to road transport .
  3. Taking into specific circumstances in certain landlocked countries bilateral, subregional and regional levels should work together in order to gradually liberalize road services.

There are other sections that outline and describe the importance and the requirements regarding ports, inland waterways, pipelines, air transport, and communications. I would suggest reading these sections for a more in depth view of other options available to developing and landlocked countries. For the purpose of this blog post I have only paraphrased rail and road transport because they are the most desireable for the majority of developing countries.

Priority 3

The third priority deals with international trade and trade facilitation. The document explains that one of the main causes of landlocked countries marginalization derives from the international trading system and its high trade transaction costs. Evidently transport is essential to trade and without it the movement of goods is impossible. Therefore, profit can hardly be made. Excessive transport costs create a barriers in foreign markets. This in mind, the document suggests that international agricultural and nonagricultural trade persons consider giving particular attention to products of special interest to landlocked developing countries.

Another challenge that include additional and avoidable costs and the inefficiencies

include troublesome border-crossing barriers, customs procedures, proper documentation, unmaintained or inadequate infrastructure facilities, and expensive bank costs. More often than not landlocked and developing countries are at a disadvantage when it comes to the inefficiencies and barriers that separate countries. It is strongly recommended that delegates not only study what their border procedures are, but it might be helpful to know if their country’s neighbors have border procedures that inhibit trade in any way.

Conclusion

All in all it is evident that the issue of Landlocked Developing Countries is not solely about the money. On the contrary, it is about the money and so much more. Delegates should consider multilateral partnerships, border procedures, rebuilding or maintaining infrastructure, environmental repercussions, amending existing agreements or even creating new ones with those with sea access or those with a keen interest in a country’s special natural resources. It may be helpful to learn whether or not your country is also open to private and perhaps even foreign investments.

Helpful Links

Programme of Action (aka where I got all of this information — worth a look!)

http://unohrlls.org/UserFiles/File/LLDC%20Documents/almaty_programme.pdf


Looking at Multilateral Cooperation and Focus on the ILO

The Secretary-General’s South-South Cooperation Report is a really good place to start your research. It is a detailed document that explains how different countries are tackling South-South Co-operation for Development, past initiatives, supporting organizations, and multilateral strategies.

For instance, triangular cooperation (TrC) was one thing that was mentioned quite often in the first few pages of the document. Now don’t get it twisted this isn’t some crazy secretive illuminati mumbo jumbo. Triangular cooperation is a partnership between two or more developing countries that are supported by a single developed country. TrC is a multilateral approach that encourages cooperation programs and projects.

A notable organization that has been devoted to multilateral cooperation is the International Labour Organization (ILO). Their goal is to “create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income; enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all; and strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.” There are many developed countries that work in partnership with less developed ones. Solid and long-lasting partnerships are usually more successful when participating countries are close in proximity. For instance, recently China has been interested in building the Silk Road Economic Belt to promote economic prosperity and development of countries along the silk route. Cambodia and Lao PDR would be directly affected by this triangular cooperation since the project is set to expand employment services and enhance the labour market in both countries. Cambodia and Lao PDR have quite a bit to gain by being exposed to China’s advanced, comprehensive, and extensive employment field and system.

However, this does not mean that countries can’t contribute outside of their geographic sphere. Indonesia has engaged in South-South Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) programs outside of Asia with a focus on development, good governance, peace building, and strengthening their economy. The ILO estimates that Indonesia’s programs are roughly worth 49.7 million USD with partnerships in Africa, the Pacific, South America, and of course Asia and the Middle East. This just goes to show that countries can make investments and partnerships abroad, and that they are not constrained by geographic proximity, but aren’t harmed by it either.

Here’s a quick tip! If delegates want their position papers (and maybe even their working papers) to be as inclusive and holistic as possible it might be a good idea to look at initiatives that not only concentrate on the economy. The ILO has various global programs that tackle child labour, trafficking and modern slavery. We all know that child labour prevents children from acquiring necessary skills and education. It also perpetuates poverty which in turn negatively affects a country’s economy. How does this happen? Well, less educated children have less employment and training opportunities. This directly contributes to the creation of decent work for adults. If children are in school they are have more potential to contribute to their families and to their country’s economy in the future as productive and employed adults. [I’ve provided links at the end of this blog post for more in depth reading.]

Other interesting and collaborative organizations include the African Union, the BRICS, and the European Union. Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration. More often than not you’re strongest allies will be your next door neighbours, especially if they are developed or rapidly developing countries like China, Nigeria, Germany, or Brazil.

Let’s take a closer look at the BRICS countries. If you didn’t know already BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (you can even include certain parts of Subsaharan Africa: Nigeria and Kenya). These countries account for 25% of the world GDP. For instance, Brazil has Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) concentrated in Portuguese speaking parts of Africa. In a joint program between the ILO, the Brazilian government, and the countries of Tanzania, Ghana, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome & Principe, emerged a collaboration targeting the prevention and eradication of child labour. How did all of these countries come together if they’re not close in proximity? The unifying key is the Portuguese language. The Portuguese Speaking African countries put together and approved a document called the National Action Plan for Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour. They created a list of hazardous work prohibited to children and teens. Moreover, they have established advisory bodies and tripartite committees to deal with issues regarding children’s work. Collaborative programs are important because they strengthen important interactions and dialogues between member countries. It allows countries to share their experiences, failures, and successes with others in similar situations. It also ensures accountability, and that the ratification of child labour is continuous, not stagnant.

Another hot topic issue, especially in light of the recent Paris climate conference in 2015, is the environment and reducing emissions. A part of South-South Cooperation also includes environmental protection, climate change and job creation. The ILO is a great organization that delegates can mention and seek inspiration from in their position papers and during the conference. In fact, the ILO has been an active member in the Global South-South Development Expos. In 2013, they showcased the the South-South Cooperation work of Brazil with the involvement of other countries in the Americas called the “Green Grant” or “Bolsa Verde.” The Green Grant targets environmental conservation, indigenous peoples, rural settlements and family farmers. The objective is to protect and conserve ecosystems for maintenance and sustainable use, promote citizenship, improve living conditions, raise the income of the population in extreme poverty, and encourage cooperation with other countries in the Global South to promos sustainable development. With the goal of conservation and protection Brazil aims to build sustainable infrastructure that will surely stimulate the economy by offering employment to many. [more information here:http://www.ilo.org/pardev/south-south/lang– en/index.htm].

The BRICS are also important players in South-South Global Development. The surge in Brazil, China, India and South Africa’s economies in the past few years saw the creation with Russia to form the New Development Bank (NDB). The NDB has the objective of funding infrastructure projects with developing countries and to meet the goals of other governments through sustainable development. The NDB is a fantastic example of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) and its growing influence in geopolitical and economic areas towards more fair partnerships and relationships between regions. The BRICS demonstrate a combination of growing wealth, technological advancement, political stability and the possibility of countries becoming middle-income through collaborative and sustainable initiatives. This is surely a topic that delegates may want to explore.

Helpful links

  • Combatting Child Labour, Trafficking and Modern Slavery

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ECOFIN and its Mandate

Hi everyone, hope you’ve been following the blogs and starting to research the topics! Before you get too into brainstorming ideas for this year’s conference, I just wanted to talk a bit about ECOFIN’s mandate. Basically this outlines what kind of things this committee has the power to do and the general kinds of things it talks about. First and foremost, resolutions passed in this committee are non-binding, meaning that all clauses are more like strong guidelines than actual rules. This also means that no country’s sovereignty can be infringed upon by resolutions; if it cannot be enforced, it cannot infringe upon a country’s sovereignty.

Now let’s go over what this committee deals with:

-issues relating to economic growth and development (trade, macroeconomic policy etc)

-financing for development (yes this means that funding can be discussed)

-sustainable development

-human settlements

-eradication of poverty

-operational activities related to development

-agriculture development

-food security and nutrition

-information and communications technologies for development

So ideas that fit within those categories can be considered in resolutions. Now here’s a few things that aren’t within the committee mandate that I have heard a lot of discussion about past conference:

-budget details: ie. Discussing which countries are going to fund things, while the committee does cover financing, it is actually the fifth committee of the general assembly that covers all the details of it. So when discussing financing it is best to keep it general (ex. Microloan programs for rural communities)

-creating new organizations: while this is technically something that can be done, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you have an idea for an organization, there is likely something very similar that already exists, plus to create a new organization involves a lot of planning which will take up a lot of space in your resolution. It is best to see what you can do within existing UN orgnaizations.

So those are just some basics to consider when starting your research and considering ideas. If you would like to look more into the committee I would highly recommend checking out its website: http://www.un.org/en/ga/second/. Here you can find out more information about the mandate along with some previous resolutions to inspire you.

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Hey guys! I hope everyone is as excited as I am about HSMUN, especially about the topics! I’m here to talk a little bit about why South-South Cooperation matters, and why it’s so relevant today.

South-South cooperation seems pretty simple, and theoretically it is. If southern countries work together, especially developing countries, development can happen more effectively and efficiently. In addition, the development is sustainable, as more interdependence means that more countries have to account for one another. However, because of many factors are involved in development, it can be difficult to determine where to start, and how to go about approaching cooperation. Cooperation in the south is key to attaining the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which is why it is being discussed so early on.

The current methods of development are largely ineffective, and the South has reached a plateau. This stagnancy is a result of income; namely investment, infrastructure, education, and health. Before fully developing the trade and structure of a nation, these factors need to be addressed. Unfortunately, many countries do not have the means of addressing these issues, and so the plateau continues.

South-South Cooperation has the potential for hope in these nations. By cooperating, the nations could develop with each other, and become stronger as a result. However, this would require all nations in the global south to work together, something that is generally unheard of in the world of politics and economy. The framework for southern development begins with South-South cooperation, or so it seems as of today.

With that, I will end the post here! I hope that gave you some insight into South-South cooperation, and I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say on this topic!

  • Jenna Mulji, ECOFIN Vice-Chair

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Hello and welcome to HSMUN 2017! My name’s Micah and I will be your Foreign Policy Advisor this year as we explore the topics of Encouraging South-South Cooperation for Development and The Issue of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). In this blog I will be outlining a few pointers to help you with your research regarding LLDCs.

To start, I would highly consider going beyond the initial Google search or Wikipedia page. Perhaps thinking about hitting up un.org and using their search option as a starting point. Don’t worry too much about finding the “right source” right away, because you’ll eventually find a document or many documents that outline your country’s foreign policy for the topic at hand. However, if you find yourself getting lost in the abundance of documents don’t fret! Head back to safety, aka Google, and simply try to narrow your search. Take keys words such as: ECOFIN and Landlocked Developing Countries. You might not end up at the ECOFIN  website or the resourceful websites.

For instance, if you want to know what a “Land Locked Developing Country” looks like I would suggest heading to the UN Office of The High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) at http://unohrlls.org. This website will give you valuable information about landlocked developing country profiles and initiatives that each country has taken to improve their citizen’s quality of life. Not only that, but there are fact sheets that outline what a Landlocked Developing Country (LLDC) is and how that affects a country’s GDP, trade, debt relief, foreign investment, humanitarian aid, infrastructure and environment. But wait there’s more! The UN-OHRLLS also publishes UN Reports and trade profiles which could be helpful for your research and your plans to tackle the issues of sustainability at hand.

You may also want to compare a country’s statistics over a given time period to see if improvement has been made and what factors or regulations have impacted this development. This information can be accessed here: http://unohrlls.org/about-lldcs/indicators-and-statistics/.

Once you’ve looked at UN documents and summarized key points it would be advisable to also refer to your county’s own government websites. Here you will be able to access pertinent information about the initiatives your country has put in place to either advance the sustainability of landlocked countries, or maybe nothing at all!

It is important to remember that not all countries will have the same approach or the same interest in LLDCs, but that is okay. Foreign Policy is particular to every country and their government’s plans and ambitions.

That’s all I have for you for now, but be sure to check back in the future, and especially leading up to the conference for much more detailed posts.

Valuable Resources:

Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries:

http://www.lldc2conference.org/custom-content/uploads/2014/11/Vienna-Programme-of-Action1.pdf

LLDC Profiles and Statistics:

http://unohrlls.org/about-lldcs/country-profiles/

http://unohrlls.org/about-lldcs/indicators-and-statistics/

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“Hey there, welcome to ECOFIN and HSMUN 2017! I’m Adrienne and I’m going to be your chair for the conference! I’ll be working with Jenna, your vice-chair and Micah, your foreign policy advisor. We’re all super excited for the conference this year and we hope you are too!

From now until the conference we’ll be keeping you posted on developments regarding this year’s topics along with some conference tips. Our topics will be “encouraging south-south cooperation for development” and “the issue of landlocked developing countries”. In the mean time we encourage you to start looking into the topics.

If you’re not sure where to start I’ll just list off a few things you should be looking at to get off to a good start:

  1. Look into your country’s economic standing-find out where you are in terms of development (the human development index is a good place to start as it takes one of the most holistic approaches to development)
  2. Look up what the “global south” is, this will be key for one of the topics
  3. Look at challenges faced in development by landlocked countries
  4. Look at challenges in development in general.

Hopefully through examining those points you should be able to get a good grounding in the general issues and terminology you will be dealing with in this committee. If you have any questions you can feel free to contact us at hsmun.ecofin@gmail.com. Good luck!

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