ladies and gentlemen,
dear visitors of the official Model United Nations of Goldberg website,
On February 24th, “the Russian Federation launched a massive invasion of the sovereign territory of Ukraine in violation of the UN Charter. It was done after months of building up a military force of overwhelming proportion along the Ukrainian border. Since then, we have seen appalling human suffering and destruction in cities, towns and villages. (…) It is time to end this absurd war.“
This is a quotation by António Guterres. The UN Secretary-General delivered this speech on 22nd March 2022. In his remarks to the press, regarding the war in Ukraine, he stated that it is time to stop the fighting and give peace a chance.
We only have one world. One world in which war, a pandemic, climate change and other pressing issues are the biggest challenges we are facing. It is up to us to evaluate what effects they have on our lives and societies and take on responsibility for discovering the measures we need to take together to tackle these issues head-on.
Many countries were already suffocating financially under the burden of COVID. Now they have to additionally face the repercussions of war, including all the economic constraints, disadvantages and sufferings. Human rights are inherent to all people, regardless of their respective status. The international human rights law lays down obligations of governments to act in certain ways, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals and groups. Unfortunately, these rights are still not granted to every person.
Peace on earth is something that many of us hope for. Our ultimate goal is to strengthen universal peace and to achieve international cooperation in solving humanity’s problems. Together we can contribute directly to the reduction of as many factors leading to conflicts as possible. Especially in times like these, when many lives are in danger due to conflicts between nations, we need everybody’s contribution and consent in order to protect human beings, who are innocently endangered. In a world of conflicts and wars no one benefits. In fact, history has shown us countless times that conflicts which are closely interconnected to poverty, can result in the weakening of the rule of law, a collapse in economic development and often catastrophic humanitarian situations, displacing people and pushing them to the brink of starvation and poverty.
Keeping that in mind, we will try to act against these conflicts in our world. We can all start by educating and informing ourselves.
Our conference wants you to explore how global challenges affect our lives as a community but also on an individual level. MUNOG is a great opportunity for all of us to improve and develop our political knowledge and intercultural competence. This project enables us young people to express our opinions, which brings us one step closer to making a statement in the world. At MUNOG we are surrounded by great minds and by working together we can broaden our horizons. It is of great importance for our generation to care about the world’s problems, because we will be the key to a better future. It’s up to us to shape our future and it is never too early to start developing your plan of action.
I am very grateful for your interest and participation in MUNOG 2023 and I am looking forward to welcoming motivated and passionate students to our fifteenth Model United Nations of Goldberg.
MUNOG is a real possibility to encounter like-minded people and exchange views and opinions. But for years we have dealt with issues, which were mainly relevant in other parts of the world, on the basis of simulation. Never before have we felt these issues more than in the last years, affecting us in our daily lives. The recent pandemic was not something that was happening somewhere else – we clearly all remember its impact on our daily routines and the repercussions it had on more vulnerable people, but also on society as a whole.
Furthermore, most of us have experienced that global warming can directly affect our countries by now – it is not only an abstract threat to Vanuatu or the poles.
Two schools which participated in previous MUNOG sessions are experiencing war at this very moment. Some of our own students are grieving for family members they lost in the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
We have one world, but we have shattered its balance. Yet, let us not lose hope despite the latest events. Together we can work towards a world in which we are at peace.
H.E. Sheila Sugata
Secretary General of MUNOG 2023