United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environmental Programme promotes sustainable development of the global environment. Since its establishment in 1972, UNEP has worked in partnership with several groups, including other United Nations entities, governments, NGOs, businesses, industry, and the media to execute its goals. From helping governments form national biodiversity strategies to driving innovation through the Green Economy Initiative, UNEP’s mission is to inspire and support nations and communities and to improve their quality of life, without compromising that of future generations. Structurally, UNEP includes six substantive divisions, all responsible for different aspects of climate change.
UNEP is a beginner-friendly committee: while experienced delegates will do very well on this committee, first-time or less experienced MUN attendees will also be able to excel. Position papers are not mandatory for this committee, but are highly encouraged nonetheless, to aid in your preparation.
One of the six priority areas of this committee, hazardous wastes can endanger human health and the environment if not managed correctly. Much work remains to be done to understand and mitigate the negative impacts of the improper disposal of wastes; this issue is especially important today as the number of new and potentially hazardous substances has increased dramatically as a result of industrialization. Some major issues that arise from the inadequate management of these wastes include an increase in the number of contaminated sites, the continuing illicit trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes, and the irreversible diffusion of radioactive materials.
This year’s UNEP is tasked with evaluating the current situation, reviewing past legal instruments, and developing solutions to help governments create appropriate policy and control systems to deal with harmful substances of global concern. The committee will also, in the course of its debate, examine the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, a series of nuclear meltdowns that have released tons of radioactive wastes into the ocean. This relatively recent incident not only illustrates the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, but also impels this committee to take immediate action.
Geo-engineering refers to technologies that seek, through large-scale and deliberate modifications of environment, to reduce temperatures and counteract anthropogenic climate change. Unlike traditional mitigation measures, such as carbon emission reduction and the promotion of renewable energies, the reliability of geo-engineering is still being questioned. Only a small number of studies have been published that document the environmental effects, sociopolitical impacts, and legal implications of geo-engineering. Nevertheless, the world is only starting to understand this new technology, and it may appear to be greatly beneficial as more research is carried out. Currently, there is no international agreement or organization that governs the full spectrum of possible geo-engineering activities.
Right now, the Kyoto Protocol, which has produced a significant amount of legal compliance but has resulted in little actual impact on global warming, is being criticised by the international community. It seems impractical to expect countries with diverging preferences to agree on an effective carbon emission target as many governments would prioritize economic development over environmental concerns. As a result, the option of geo-engineering is gaining more and more attention worldwide. With the possibility that this technology may be developed in the near future growing, delegates are called upon to debate the future of the battle against climate change.
This committee will have about 60 delegates.
|Albania||Antigua and Barbuda||Argentina||Australia||Bangladesh||Belgium|
|Brazil||Canada||Central African Republic||Chile||China||Colombia|
|Iran (Islamic Republic of)||Italy||Japan||Kenya||Republic of Korea||Lesotho|
|Russian Federation||Saudi Arabia||Senegal||Spain||Sudan||Switzerland|
|United Republic of Tanzania||Thailand||Togo||Trinidad and Tobago||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||United States of America|
Bob Wang is a second-year IB student at West Vancouver Secondary School. Having delegated at numerous conferences, he truly appreciates the interactive learning experience and the wonderful social circle that MUN has offered him. Before he was introduced to the realm of Model United Nations, he was mainly involved in debate, participating in both local and international competitions. His interests include Oriental literature, Chinese history, western philosophy, macroeconomics, Japanese manga, and various types of sports. When free from the disturbing workload of IB Diploma, he can be found crashing on a sofa, debating with himself while watching some Japanese anime.
Josh is an all-around passionate person. He adores (intelligent) argument and sound reason. He loves practicing and teaching yoga — when he is not arguing with someone, you can find him in solitude practicing a headstand or two. He is also a foodie with a flair for flavour and an avid television watcher. VMUN 2013 is going to be exciting and fresh — as long as you note the “intelligent” part of the above statement. He looks forward to being your Chair.
Kidston Short is in grade twelve at Nanaimo District Secondary School. She has participated in several MUNs and is looking forward to her first year as part of the VMUN staff. Kidston is also very involved at school as a co-president of Students Council and a representative in District Students Council. Outside of school and MUN, Kidston is enjoys horseback riding, snowboarding, and traveling. She hopes delegates at VMUN 2013 will achieve a greater understanding of what it means to be an aware global citizen while engaging in debate and consensus building.
Lancy is a senior at York House School. She enjoys drawing and painting, talking and listening to other people talk, and reading when not necessary and not reading when necessary in her free time. Although Lancy only started Model UN last year, she was quickly drawn to it after she attended VMUN 2012 as a delegate in UNEP. This year, she hopes to assist the rest of the dais in making an even more rewarding and enjoyable time for all UNEP delegates.
You can reach the dais at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions regarding the committee or its debate procedures will be answered by email. Your position papers should also be emailed to this address.