MUNUSAL 2023

United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development

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Tomás Branco
UNCSTD Chair
UNCSTD Chair
Koen Kockx

TOPIC A)

Moving Forward - The implementation and development of electric vehicles

Over the past few decades, global warming has become a growing concern to all the world’s nations, which has led developed countries to try and find ways to reduce it. One of these measures has been the development of electric vehicles of all kinds since the transportation industry represents the largest share of CO2 emissions. Having the US commercial hegemony shifted towards China, a country not very concerned with the climate crisis, the development of electric vehicles has slowed and the influence over developing countries has diminished, making these nations have an even more difficult access to this 21 st century technology, especially considering electric vehicle market shares have been plummeting since 2015. What measures can the international community take to help the implementation of this kind of vehicle? Or is it even worth implementing? India has been one of the most forward developing countries to adopt EVs (electric vehicles), having implement several policies regarding the topic. In the rest of Asia and Africa however, EVs represent a very small share of the transportation market, making it a luxury only available to developed and western nations. China has been adamant on its position to continue with its CO2 emissions, seemingly not worrying about the issue of global warming despite having a population that does. Russia, Ukraine and Japan follow suit, having the most skeptical of populations worldwide in regard to climate change. Should the international community ignore the possibility of EV in the face of climate change? Should EVs be mass produced and exported? Are they even a viable alternative to fossil fuel vehicles? These are only some of the questions we hope you can answer and reach a consensus on.

 

TOPIC B)

Looking to the future – rethinking policies on genetically modified organisms

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) pose a unique challenge in our contemporary world: do we make full use of this powerful technology and reap its benefits or do we act carefully to avoid future disasters? There are two sides to this debate: in on corner stands the EU (and New-Zealand), who are sceptical of this technology and are acting with the utmost caution. For example, the EU only allows genetically modified plants into the food chain if no foreign DNA has bee introduced, which limits export possibilities for certain US companies, who rely heavily on combining DNA in order to improve their products. The EU has strict administrative protocols as well, which makes introducing certain products into the internal market a nightmare. In the other corner stands the US, China and India. These countries take a “result-based approach” to GMO’s, looking at the end product to check if it is safe to being introduced on the market, instead of the “process-based approach” the EU uses. The “results-based approach” guarantees a more liberal market, seeing as only the end product is taken into account while the “process-based approach” looks if any foreign DNA has been introduced at all. This is the case for both genetically modified plants and genetically modified animals. Another aspect of GMO is the possibility to genetically modify humans. This has been prohibited unless it is for medical or therapeutic reasons. Should the possibility to genetically modify humans be rethought? Should this box of Pandora be opened? These are all questions that are at the centre of this topic. We hope a lot of people are as interested in debating this topic as we are!

General information

English

As a subsidiary of the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development hosts a variety of discussions on science and technology, and their implications for development in their yearly forum. Its membership consists of 43 Member States selected by ECOSOC, but civil bodies have also been welcomed to the forum.

These discussions result in high level advice for the UNGA and ECOSOC including analysis of the technological and scientific developments in question as well as specific policy recommendations to allow these bodies to make informed decisions.

The topics considered include questions pertaining research efforts to address future pandemics and health crises, the implications of frontier technologies such as big data, genome editing and artificial intelligence, as well as addressing the ever-expanding gap that technology and science are leaving in the world.

UNCSTD

Matrix

Please note countries in bold are reserved for experienced delegates

Countries in red text are no longer available.

Keep in mind applications early on in a wave have a better chance of obtaining their first option

India

Cuba

South Africa

Turkmenistan

Hungary

Brazil

Israel

Portugal

Switzerland

Turkey

US

UK

Japan

Russia

China

Egypt

Saudi Arabia

Guatemala

Gambia

Latvia

Romania

Peru

Oman 

Burundi

Austria

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Picture: UNSC 2019