#NYMUN2016 ECOSOC – Range of directives for a complex issue

I have already written about how the delegates performed and how well the head table conducted the committee; finally it is time to focus on the directives that would define the ECOSOC of the NYMUN 2016.

Delegates had few doubts that the African region needed special attention when it comes to food security. Being the region that contributes the most in terms of population growth as well as the poorest region in the world, it was right for the ECOSOC to focus on Africa in its very first directive. It establishes a new IGO which would be a combination of the African Union and the BRICS bank. The IGO will take upon a variety of tasks starting from moderating agricultural legislature in African countries. It will act as the portal to supply agro technologies to the region and act as the research center in regard of agriculture. Further the IGO will work towards creating mutually beneficial niche markets in African nations. In my opinion it was a good initiative to work along with the already established African Union however the very first step should be to study the factors that is resulting in the inefficiencies in the African Union today. The BRICS bank would have to act as the supervising body of the IGO as it is a well know fact that there are many inefficiencies in many African governments, which in itself is the main problem faced by that respective country.

Advocated by Germany, the BioDome initiative was given a green light by the house. Climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge in achieving food security and this initiative attempts to take on that challenge. Even though it could be very beneficial if implemented right, it is important to note that this project is quite capital-intensive. It might not be the best option for developing nations, unless of course a developed nation is ready to take on that burden. BioDomes were argued to be a better option to achieve ‘nutritional security’ as it shifts the focus away from genetically modified seeds.

The third directive led to the formation of special panels in nation states that will moderating trade in agricultural commodities. The panel will have both local and foreign representation and will be monitor the quality and quantities of exported and imported food. It is my view that this would be a challenging initiative as this directly links to certain trade restriction being imposed if necessary. We cannot rule out that such a panel would lead to inter institution complexities between organizations such as the FAO and the WTO. Certain economic factors such as trading with foreign markets being more profitable than selling in a domestic rural market should be considered, this could simply be due to better logistical capabilities linking two countries than the rural and urban areas of one country.

The FAO would establish a panel specialized in controlling pests and animal diseases linked to agricultural commodities. The expert committee will indulge in continuous data collection, research and monitoring on various patterns and potential threats to crops in terms of harmful organisms. One standout policy was the initiative to create food banks to be used as a buffer in case a country faces an outbreak. However this leads to stockpiling concerns which needs special attention to detail.

Delegates of Russia and Afghanistan indulged in an impressive lobbying session to gain the necessary votes to pass a directive which included amending a country’s fiscal and monetary policies. The initiative came in as a suggestion – a framework where countries can use various combinations of fiscal and monetary policies to increase the money supply within the economy. This policy does require government involvement in regulating the market so it takes a step away from the laissez fair economic policies advocated by the West. The framework was comprehensive as it even supports policies such as sub-urban development along with government warehouse management where the state would be purchasing commodities at the market price. The efforts of the delegation from Russia and Afghanistan were able to convince the house that this policy would be a good option.

The sixth directive addressed micro financing as a step towards empowering the rural farmer. This is clearly a step towards the right direction and the delegates were convinced of this fact. Also the directive focuses on diversifying the sources of income which will contribute towards creating sustainable livelihoods. The backbone of this initiative is that governments will transfer ownership of land to the farmers. It would have been ideal if a delegate, preferably from Japan or South Korea, did speak up and commend the initiative to providing land ownership. This is simply by the fact that one of the initial steps which resulted in the development of said countries was them empowering the agricultural sector by providing land ownership which resulted in household subsistence farming. However this initiative portrays that delegates were very analytical in their approach to the topic.

The next directive focused on population control which as a concept has taken much precedence in the international arena. The directive touched on both direct and indirect means of declining fertility levels. It is important to note that this directive is very relevant to developing regions as developed countries are facing threats of declining populations. Africa took center stage again as it is home to the countries with the highest birth rates. The policy aims at creating change in terms of both societal norms and administrative legislature. Educating and empowering women can go a long way in addressing this issue and what complements in further is female participation in the work force. The directive includes a sub section which has restrictive controls on child marriage, increasing female labor force participation and easing abortion rights. It is understood that there are cultural obstacles when it comes to factors such as abortion; however abortion rights are no doubt a sign of progress.

MNC regulation is a challenging task which the delegates are confident they can work towards. The house agreed on the importance of MNCs operating within economies and the fact that developing countries would be easing regulations to attract the firms to the domestic market. MNCs are also widely criticized for having negative effects on smaller countries. The directive addresses that fact as well by suggesting changes to legislature which the MNC would be agreeing to before establishing operations. The legislature would focus on knowledge sharing, employment opportunities and market creation.

The last directive focused on the topic of bio fuel production and taking necessary steps to making the production process more sustainable. It is understood that countries such as the United States is involved in large scale bio fuel production in expense of arable land for agriculture. The directive urges working towards avoiding such practices and implementing more eco-friendly steps such as using agro waste, food waste and seaweed as the raw material for production.

It is my view that the directives of the ECOSOC carry the necessary depth to work towards addressing the issue at hand. Even though certain policies tend to be idealistic I do not view this as a negative factor. Each of these directives can be implemented and each of them would entail its own challenges. However with necessary amendments it is no doubt that these policies will contribute towards making countries food and nutrition secure.

Well done Delegates!

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