NYMUN'16

#NYMUN2016 ECOSOC – Tackling the food crisis turns into a crisis of depth

UN_Economic_and_Social_Council

ECOSOC takes up the challenging topic relating to rising food prices and food security. Palestine takes center stage in debate.

The first session of the ECOSOC committee for the NYMUN 2016 commenced with the topic set to, “The rise in global food prices and the threat it poses toward global food and nutrition security” which is highly relevant in the contemporary global arena. First, I would like to commend the Chairs of the committee Saritha Irugalbandara and Avinash Jayasekera for their professional conduct and for reaching out to the delegates, especially to the new comers. Next I would like to commend the delegates for the points brought out which made the first session productive to everyone present.

Singapore was first to speak on matters and established an important concept of “Nutrition Security”. The delegate was aware of the geographic restrictions faced by the country and used the fact to his advantage to emphasize on how policy based on scientific research is vital to address the topic at hand. This was followed by the speech of the delegate from Palestine who claimed that the main reason for the situation regarding food prices in the country is due to the inaccessibility to water resources in the area. They made a strong claim that 85% of the water recourses are held by Israel. However there was no Israel delegate present at the ECOSOC committee to address the claim. The Russian delegate took an active role throughout the session and was prompt to reach out to Palestine with their intentions to open trade partnerships.

The United Kingdom voiced their opinions on the topic which revolved around how Economic Development, Research and Development, and Public Private Partnerships are important to maintain food security. The delegate from the UK stated that it has reached out to countries like Mozambique and Nigeria to offer solutions to achieve food Security.

Egypt made a strong claim by openly stating that they needed assistance to achieve the SDGs which they claimed was challenging under their economic condition. This I believe is the position of many developing countries so I would have liked if more developing countries did touch on the relevance of SDGs to the main topic.

Afghanistan also took initiative to claim the importance of trade, imports, and regional economic institutions. The Japanese delegate raised a POI regarding the state of the domestic farmers in Afghanistan under an import driven agricultural sector. In reply the delegate of Afghanistan turned towards the important concept of “Food security under conflict situations” which was stated accurately, pushes the country to depend on imports.

Germany did not let its voice be heard as much as the delegation would have liked however the German delegate was proud to claim that Germany is self sustainable in terms of the agricultural sector up to 90%.  The German delegate was not very willing to extend ‘unconditional’ assistance to other nations and it was notable that developed nation states were less willing to “commit” but rather stating its past contributions to developing countries.

The Moderate Caucus topics very diverse which was a positive sign; however it is my opinion that it lacked depth, partly due to the fact that the topic at hand is vast. The Middle Eastern an African countries need to make their claims heard and I believe that climate change was not given adequate discussion time during this session. The delegate of Singapore brought up claims about Agro Technology and its importance, the delegate of Afghanistan proposed subsidies and tax exceptions as a catalyst to increase food production. The Russian delegate stated the importance of the private sector investments in both domestic and foreign markets.

I’m impressed by the progress of the committee so far, and look forward for discussions which have more depth. However considering that many delegates are attending a Model United Nations session for the first time I believe that the ECOSOC of the NYMUN 2016 should be commended for tackling a vast and challenging topic quite comprehensively.

Also, don’t forget to follow and tweet about the ECOSOC on #EcosocNymun

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