2009 Conference theme: “The Millennium Development Goals: Lifting the Bottom Billion out of Poverty”
In September 2000, building upon a decade of major United Nations conferences and summits, world leaders came together at United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets - with a deadline of 2015 - that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals.
The top concern was urgent: almost three (3) billion people around the world were living on less than two (2) dollars per day; one billion of which still live on less that one (1) dollar per day. Together, representatives from the United Nations Member States pledged to decrease extreme poverty by halve by 2015 and eliminate poverty from the face of the earth by 2025.
Eradicating extreme poverty continues to be one of the main challenges of our time, and is a major concern of the international community. Ending this scourge will require the combined efforts of all, governments, civil society organizations and the private sector, in the context of a stronger and more effective global partnership for development. The Millennium Development Goals set timebound targets, by which progress in reducing income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion — while promoting gender equality, health, education and environmental sustainability — can be measured. They also embody basic human rights — the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter and security. The Goals are ambitious but feasible and, together with the comprehensive United Nations development agenda, set the course for the world’s efforts to alleviate extreme poverty by 2015.
United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were created to frame the most urgent problems of the world into eight (8) practical goals:
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Target 1: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day
Target 2: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
Target 3: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
Target 1: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Target 1: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education, no later than 2015
Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
Target 1: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health
Target 1: Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
Target 2: Achieve universal access to reproductive health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases
Target 1: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
Target 2: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
Target 3: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Target 1: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
Target 2: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
Target 3: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
Target 4: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Target 1: Address the special needs of least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states
Target 2: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
Target 3: Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt
Target 4: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
Target 5: In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications
However, despite the substantial human and financial investment made in the last eight (8) years, the developing world is still far from reaching the stated goals. Lifting the bottom billion people out of poverty is at the heart of the United Nations agenda and it will require a commitment from governments, the civil society, corporations and youth. At the Global Model United Nations, delegates will debate different alternative approaches to reach the Millennium Development Goals and especially, they will propose effective solutions in their resolutions to make poverty history.
The Global Model United Nations Conference aims to:
- Raise awareness of the role the United Nations plays in world affairs
- Serve as a model of best practices for other Model UN conferences
- Involve youth in all aspects of the planning process
- Inspire the next generation of leaders to become involved in global issues
- Encourage the creation of new Model UN Programmes in countries where they do not currently exist
In accordance with these aims, the Global Model UN conference would introduce innovations not typically seen in other Model UNs, for example:
- New rules of procedure that more closely represent how the United Nations functions
- Access to UN officials prior to and during conference deliberations
- Special training for those selected as Secretariat and General Assembly officials
- Online tools and forums that will allow participants to collaborate using new communication technologies
- Resolutions adopted by delegates of the Global Model United Nations conference will be presented to the President of the United Nations General Assembly.
- The conference aims to serve as a channel for the voices of youth so that their ideas and alternative solutions can reach the world’s leaders.
- The conference will serve as platform for the establishment of a Global Model United Nations youth network. Following each Global Model UN conference, all delegates will be encouraged to join this network which will be developed as a n international group of youth in support of the ideals and values of the United Nations and its programmes and campaigns.
- Delegates will be encouraged to develop projects that support and promote the work of the United Nations in their home countries, with special interest in projects and programmes related to the UN Millennium Development Goals.
- Delegates from the Global Model UN will be encouraged to create global partnerships to propel their ideas discussed at the conference, into action.