WELCOME TO YOUTHMUN!
11-13th MARCH 2022
Held at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science, YouthMUN is an annual model United Nations conference serving secondary students of all experience levels. During the course of the three-day conference, delegates will be tasked with debating and solving some of the most challenging issues confronting the international community today. We invite you to join us on one of the best weekends of the year!
There is a new world dynamic taking order through the recent challenges confronting the international community. With 2021 marking the 6th Anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the current state of world affairs begs the question of whether the UN has fulfilled its founding goals of global cooperation for peace and prosperity. Are these established frameworks suitable in responding to today’s threats?
‘Terrorism’ has evolved to produce new forms: emerging from the burgeoning climate-change related issues is ‘eco-terrorism’. Special interest groups, like PETA and Greenpeace, are employing strategies ranging from arson to vandalism to threatening governments into taking action. Yet, the UN has produced just the single Paris Agreement in response, which mushrooms concerns about continued dissatisfaction leading to new and existing groups becoming rampant.
International and domestic challenges result in democratic institutions being dominated by the rise of populism, loosely defined as the ‘anti-institution’ sentiment. This makes it a particularly difficult challenge to confront - how can the system act to gain support when citizens lack trust in the actions of that very system? By 2018, as many as 20 populist leaders held executive office. Thriving since 2011 amidst the global financial crisis and digital revolution, today’s global context is only expected to boost this political opinion.
As a result, the UN’s role as a body promoting global governance is threatened and demands reform. Birthed by the pandemic was a strong nationalist sentiment across nations: beginning with the racism toward Asians, to domestically focused economic policies due to public health concerns and peaking at the vaccine-development race. The slowdown of economic integration coupled with the growth of populism, indicate two major constituents of multilateral cooperation diminishing.
The WHO Director-General urges the world to ‘invest in preparedness, not panic’, for which information sharing and cooperation is pivotal. International ‘eco-terrorist’ organisations, by their nature, demand a global response. However, increased competition for resources hinders both. Governments, organizations, and the economy claim exclusivity of resources, such as masks and medical equipment which are more desperately needed in other countries. In the same vein, resources become scarce owing to disasters, 90% of which are climate related, intensifying competition. This has a straining effect on global relationships due to escalating tensions, both economic and otherwise, despite the ideal response demanding the opposite.
Technology has equal power to threaten global democratic structures. Information warfare is being utilised to spread misinformation and mobilise large groups against governments by distorting opinion. They also pose increasing threats to international security: from cyber warfare, to online propaganda by terrorist organizations, to violations of basic human rights, like privacy.
In 2021, the UN ‘reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism’ during their 75th anniversary. At the same time, President Emmanuel Macron stated that it was “clear that...globalisation was reaching the end of its cycle”. Delegates of YouthMUN 2022, who will explore solutions to these changed dynamics to restore multilateral cooperation, are desperately needed by the international community. Through simulation of various UN Committees, we invite the youth, who are living through and experts on the nature of today’s issues, to come together to tackle them in the interest of global governance.
We look forward to seeing you all in March!
- Secretariat Team