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Belarussian Model United Nations for University Students 2012 [Sustainable development: the way forward]

Instructional Guide GA 2 (Economic and Financial Committee)


Belarusian Model United Nations for University Students 2012 GA 2 (Economic and Financial Committee)

Dear participants, Welcome to BELAMUN 2012. This year the general topic is devoted to the Sustainable Development: the Way Forward. We are George Borisov and Eugenia Tserkovskaya, chairmen of Economic and Financial Committee, Second Committee of the General Assembly. It’s a pleasure you have chosen mainly this Committee, and with your help the debates on the topics promise to be hot! This year we have two issues: Financial Assistance to Science and Technology for Development Achieving Integrated Sustainable Management of Natural Resources Financial Assistance to Science and Technology for Development Anyone can hardly argue that science and technology play significant role in developing solutions for the problems facing the world today, including climate change and the food and energy crises. Moreover it gives the knowledge that countries need in order to address their resources on social and economic problems already exist. The innovations help to manage not only the problems on the global stage but also in citizens’ everyday life. Technological innovation is a driver and critical source of sustainable economic growth in the new millennium, many developing countries have yet to benefit from the promises of science and technology. Science and technology are the catalyst of food security, sustainable development and economic growth. A striking example is Japan, which after World War II initiated and implemented a system of targeting not only specific sectors and industries for local development, but also particular technologies, together with a package of policies for acquiring, assimilating, diffusing and further developing the technologies. If to consider the African continent three main problems can be pointed out: the high population growth rate in Sub - Saharan Africa, the low productivity of agricultural production in the entire food chain; and the environmental degradation. It seeks to achieve three transitions namely: the agricultural transition from low productivity to high productivity in the entire food chain; the demographic transition from high population growth rate to low population; and the environmental transition from environmental degradation to rehabilitation and conservation. Science and technology are like a cross - cutting tool for attaining these transitions. The focus is to seek ways by which science and technology can be harnessed to accelerate the three transitions. To succeed in technological sphere the cooperation of countries takes place. There are a lot of examples of Scientific & Technological Cooperation Programs such as U.S.-Germany Science and Technology Cooperation, U.S. China Science and Technology Cooperation, Scientific & Technological Cooperation Program Switzerland-Russia and Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program. The latest one is implemented by the US National Academy of Sciences on the US side, and is intended to increase the strength and breadth of cooperation and linkages between Pakistan scientists and institutions with counterparts in the United States. So what does Science and Technology for Development mean? Science and Technology for Development program (STDev) is designed as a gateway to information on science and technology within the United Nations system. It seeks to: provide access to information on activities in the area of science and technology for development (policies, programmes, projects, networking and partnership opportunities, publications available on-line, etc.) within the United Nations system, other multilateral and bilateral development institutions, NGOs, etc.; Page 2


Belarusian Model United Nations for University Students 2012 GA 2 (Economic and Financial Committee)

build awareness of scientific and technological developments that are of particular importance for fostering economic and social development in member States; provide information on international science and technology-related treaties and protocols, as well as on other international initiatives and forthcoming major events and summits; identify and disseminate information on best practices in the development assessment, transfer, adaptation and diffusion of technology. STDev is an initiative of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). It is developed and maintained by the Science and Technology Section, Science and Technology & ICT Branch, Division on Trade and Logistics, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The issue of scientific and technologic sphere has already been widely discussed. Below you can see the list of resolutions, connected with the issue on the agenda: 1) ECOSOC Resolution 2009/8 - Resolution on ''Science and Technology for Development'' 2) General Assembly Resolution 2009 - Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on "Creation of a global culture of cybersecurity and taking stock of national efforts to protect critical information infrastructures" 3) General Assembly Resolution 2008 - Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on "Science and technology for development", Sixty-second session 4) General Assembly Resolution 2006 - Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on "Science and technology for development", Sixtieth session There are also certain organizations and commissions that are involved in the swift process of technological development: http://www.unctad.info/en/Science-and-Technology-for-Development--StDev/Science--Technology-on-the-UN-Agenda/CSTD/ - The Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), which is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); http://www.iasted.org/ - The International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED), which is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting economic and cultural advancement; http://csted.sri.com/ - The Center for Science, Technology and Economic Development (CSTED), which helps organizations, regions, and nations become more successful in today's economy through more effective science and technology, economic, environmental, and educational programs and policies. So you see that the financial assistance to Science and Technology for Development program can be helpful for the problems the world and certain country face every year. It should also be taken into consideration that it is always much more reasonable to refer to the already existing organizations and institutions, than to set up the new ones. In this case it could be for example the International Monitory Fund (IMF), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) or the five institutions of the World Bank, such as International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Page 3


Belarusian Model United Nations for University Students 2012 GA 2 (Economic and Financial Committee)

Achieving Integrated Sustainable Management of Natural Resources Resources are the backbone of every economy. In using resources and transforming them, capital stocks are built up which add to the wealth of present and future generations. However, the dimensions of our current resource use are such that the chances of future generations - and the developing countries - to have access to their fair share of scarce resources are endangered. Moreover, the consequences of our resource use in terms of impacts on the environment may induce serious damages that go beyond the carrying capacity of the environment. These effects risk being aggravated once the developing world has taken up growth and resource use similar to the industrialized countries. In the long run, economic competitiveness requires efficient use of resources. This is obvious for resources a business purchases – the less it spends to produce a given amount of output, the greater its profitability. But it is also true for important resources that are shared rather than purchased, such as the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land on which we live and recreate. Areas of concern also include: sustainable agriculture, water, energy, biodiversity and biotechnology. Each resource has its own reasons for being important and all are interconnected. Degradation of one resource will affect all the other resources negatively. Fresh water is an indispensable resource for all life on Earth and is becoming increasingly scarce. Many of us in developed nations may take this finite resource for granted. However, a lack of access to clean water is the cause for an estimated “80% of all diseases and ⅓ of all deaths in developing countries.” In the more developed parts of the world, fresh water is used for a wide-variety of purposes such as agriculture, industry and hydro-power. Neighboring wildlife also requires its share of fresh water. This highly contested resource is needed to sustain healthy ecosystems and its biodiversity. According to the World Health Organization 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies, this is approximately one out of eight people in the world. Due to United Nations Human Development Report, an American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day. Sadly, children suffer heavily from this crisis. 4000 die from preventable water related diseases every day making it the biggest killer of young children, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined every day. But if we can make progress - the rewards are immense. More children will have time to attend school, instead of walking for hours each week for water The world’s forests are shrinking due to human expansion. Every day the Earth’s peoples are losing precious resources and habitat for the survival of many of the earth’s species. The loss of human resources is also increasing, timber for building materials, paper etc. Last and maybe most important is that forests are a carbon sink. Plants are the only place we can actually reverse and store the carbon (from CO2) that is accelerating the greenhouse gas effect changing our climate, sea level and impacting everything living on earth. Mismanagement of forests is linked to degradation of soil and water, loss of wildlife and biological diversity, pollution and global warming. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths the size of Panama are lost each and every year. The world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. Brazil once had the highest deforestation rate in the world and as of 2005 still has the largest area of forest removed annually. Since 1970, over 600,000 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. In 2001, the Amazon was approximately 5.4 million square kilometers, which is only 87% of the Amazon’s original state. Rainforests have decreased in size primarily due to deforestation. Despite reductions in the rate of deforestation in the last ten years, the Amazon Rainforest will be reduced by 40% by 2030 at Page 4


Belarusian Model United Nations for University Students 2012 GA 2 (Economic and Financial Committee)

the current rate. Between May 2000 and August 2006, Brazil lost nearly 150,000 square kilometers of forest, an area larger than that of Greece. According to the Living Planet Report 2010, deforestation is continuing at an alarming rate, but at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 9th Conference 67 ministers signed up to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. Above is the result of how we treated the environment and the economy as if the improvement of one necessarily hurt the other in the past. We know differently now. Over-consumption of scarce resources and emissions of waste products are signs of economic inefficiency as well as harmful to the environment. On the other hand, both the economy and nature are helped if we adopt innovations that simultaneously increase economic and natural resource efficiency. Ultimately, the kind of future in which our children and grandchildren can expect to live depends upon how successful we are in finding and implementing such win strategies. There are some organizations, commissions and funds involved in solving the problem of sustainable management of natural resources: UNEP http://www.unep.org ; UNCCD http://www.unccd.int/secretariat/menu.php ; FAO http://www.fao.org/ ; WHO http://www.who.int ; CBD http://www.cbd.int/ ;

UNFCCC http://unfccc.int/2860.php ; IMF http://www.imf.org/ ; World Bank Group http://www.worldbank.org/ . As the problem of using natural resources is widely discussed, there are some documents and publications on the topic: Sustainable Land Management http://www.fao.org/nr/land/sustainable-landmanagement/en/ ; Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, IV. Protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/WSSD_POI_PD/English/POIChapter4.htm ; Water, health and ecosystems http://www.who.int/heli/risks/water/water/en/index.html .

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Belarusian Model United Nations for University Students 2012 GA 2 (Economic and Financial Committee)

Here are some links, which can help you when preparing for the debates: Financial Assistance to Science and Technology for Development: http://www.unctad.info/en/Science-and-Technology-for-Development---StDev/ http://www.unige.ch/collaborateurs/recherche/STCP-CH-RU.html http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/07/fact-sheet-us-germany-scienceand-technology-cooperation http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/dsc/pakistan/index.htm http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/esth_executivereport.html ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/inco2/docs/china.pdf http://ec.europa.eu/research/iscp/pdf/canada_draft_roadmap.pdf

Achieving Integrated Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestationoverview/ http://www.mongabay.com/brazil.html http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/index.php?id=25 http://www.endwaterpoverty.org/the_issue/ http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/ http://flowingdata.com/2009/04/24/how-long-will-the-worlds-natural-resources-last/ http://www.tutorvista.com/content/biology/biology-i/natural-resources/naturalresourcesindex.php

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GA2 (EcoFin) Guide