The General Assembly at TEIMUN 2019
The General Assembly (GA) is a collection of representatives from each of the 193 member-states of the United Nations (UN). It was established to promote international cooperation and represent a homogenous effort to resolve international issues. Its overarching goal is to maintain international peace and security. This principal organ of the United Nations was established in 1945, with 51 members joining the first annual session. The permanent Headquarters of the UN in New York City is the primary meeting point.
The General Assembly may assemble to discuss any matter regarding issues contained within the UN Charter. The powers of the United Nations General Assembly are described in Chapter IV of the UN Charter, which includes describing its mandate. The GA is a council that can give recommendations and advice to any other council within the UN on any topic, excluding matters of peace and security that are under consideration by the Security Council. It also has the ability to establish subsidiary organs to facilitate its own function. All member-states have equal representation and voting power, which makes this council the main representative and policy-making organ of the UN.
Topic 1: The Environmentally Destructive Growth of Multinational Organizations
In the area of unending circles of growth, especially economically, have come to a point where the environment presents us with the consequences. Multinational organizations think in terms of unlimited economic growth but this is not feasible in the long term. Growth comes together with a cost-benefit analysis. Growing has a price tag, and due to the behavior of both multinational organizations and states, the price that needs to be paid to compensate for the damage sustained has become very high. Many multinationals and states often give it the cold shoulder but the international community should start seriously considering the dilemma between growth and sustainability. The environment is our friend and one we should cherish. Therefore, damage to and destruction of the earth can be considered as ecocide. Leading environmental scholar Polly Higgins frames ecocide as a crime, as it leads to damage and destruction to structures that are inevitably intertwined with human activity. Therefore, it is very important to think about solutions that shift the narrative from the protection of nature as calculated necessity to a more deeply embedded willingness to do so.
Economist Kate Raworth created “The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries” which helps illustrate that there are boundaries to growth. MNC often do not, or refuse to see these boundaries. Humanity’s biggest 21st-century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet. In other words, it is to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials, while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend. Therefore, how can we make sure that every single country takes their responsibility to the environment? From this, we see that the problem is quite clear. Another problem is the fact that some MNC are now bigger than some countries GDP, which provides them with greater leverage but also heightened responsibility. The delegates are tasked to create a viable solution to this impertinent problem that is plaguing our times, by considering ambitious structural long-term solutions.
Topic 2: Evaluation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is an ambitious project that has been set as the global overarching framework for investment and development. If successful, this project has the potential to save millions of lives and bring betterment towards the world as a whole; addressing important issues such as poverty, health, gender equality, and education.
However, some people have noticed that the goals are quite troublesome and somewhat unrealistic, for they seem to ignore the root causes of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Several leading scholars on sustainable development have criticized the choice of words for these SDG’s, claiming that they did not deliver the right message, which might be quite fatal as a set of global goals and may be misinterpreted by some. Apart from that, world progress towards achieving these goals has been proved to be stalling, for which a lack of prioritization mechanisms towards these goals is seen as the major cause, making it merely a scattered group of ambitious ideas. In response to this matter, the General Assembly will have to address the concerns towards these SDGs. Delegates are tasked with revisiting these goals and possibly revise them, as well as discuss the necessary measures required to ensure the long-term effectiveness and clarity of these goals into the future.