Transparency, Accesibility, and Other Snazzy Things UNDP

Transparency, Accesibility, and Other Snazzy Things UNDP

UNDP Recap

by Arslan Tarar –

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had a vicarious discussion at GCIMUN 2013. Delegates generally agreed that communication must improve between different countries and peoples because discrepancies can cause unnecessary problems. Better communication would help fix many of the ailments of the modern world.

Delegates also discussed how aid is distributed. Inconsistencies in the way aid is delivered to countries can allow corrupt bureaucrats to abuse the system and then take the money for themselves. For example, Afghanistan loses about a third (~$5 billion) of its aid because of problems like this. Resolutions proposed by the delegations involved pressuring governments to make their aid public. Another proposal included stipulations that states within in the UNDP should trade mainly with each other to create a self-checking system.

But of course, to give and receive aid properly, a country needs to be sufficiently developed first. UNDP delegates proposed ideas that would help develop infrastructure in developing nations, such as electrical and water systems. A collaboration of efforts between big and small countries would benefit both of the parties involved if done properly. Access to basic necessities and education for all peoples would help the world rid itself of very unneeded problems.

The UNDP discussed how aid should be additionally donated on the individual, rather on the member state level. Humanity needs to help itself grow to become the best it can be.

There is Still MUNey in the Banana Stand

There is Still MUNey in the Banana Stand

by Alex Jaksha –

Last week, The Conference Chronicle covered the Bluth Banana Stand on its tour while it was in New York City. Today, Editor in Chief of The Conference Chronicle, Alex Jaksha, appropriately in her LAMUN “MUN in the SUN” tank, followed the Banana Stand on another part of its tour through Los Angeles in sunny Southern California.

Because she was missing all of the GCIMUN Secretariat so badly, Alex accepted a last minute request to grab a ride with a high school friend from Westwood to Culver City. The line wrapped around more than a block, and without missing a beat, Alex reenacted Maggie, Kara, and Austin’s chicken dance as best as one person can do. After being so inspired by a previous quote from Austin Matthews on The Conference Chronicle, Alex agrees that “it was worth postponing picking up my graduation robes because it was, indeed, a pinnacle moment in my life.”

Alex remains anxious for the release of the new season of the show Arrested Development and nostalgic for all her amazing GCIMUN memories.

The stand will be in various places in Los Angeles this week.

Diversity at The Chronicle

Diversity at The Chronicle

The Different Tongues of The Chronicle 

by Yada Pruksachatkun –

In the GCIMUN, delegates from more than 20 countries have come together to celebrate the potential of youth and to explore world solutions, and The Chronicle is no exception.  

Behind the articles in this website, there are people from Thailand to Sweden to Egypt. The audio file below exemplifies this diversity and collaboration between cultures and across boundaries, from the conference table at The Chronicle headquarters. 

 

Check out this awesome clip featuring many different languages!  

Transparency and Development

Transparency and Development

The Primary issue of aid donation to nations in need

by Annie Scherba, Maya Miltell, and Arslan Tarar –

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) will finalize their resolutions on the topic of the transparency in aid today. Delegates arrived at the solution of improving communications to avoid corruption.

Transparency in aid is a term used to describe the accessibility of information about the aid provided to countries by donor nations. “The five principles of aid is ownership, alignment, harmonization, managing for results, and mutual accountability,” said the guest speaker on Friday, Yuko Suzuki, policy advisor in the effective development cooperation at UNDP.

Argentina proposed the idea of improving the transparency in aid by introducing a more creative way in which to use the aid. This includes providing aid in the form of service such as medical care and education instead of money in order to stop corruption. The delegates also suggested the idea of improving contact with donor nations and nations provided with aid to make the process more efficient and to allocate the necessity of aid accordingly.

The delegation of Argentina wishes to put together a group of people who will communicate how the provided aid will be used. This communication will educate donor nations to give aid for appropriate purposes.

A second working paper presented to the committee brought to attention the idea of transparency and tracking of the aid. The UN uses a program to log data, but the delegates thought it necessary to improve the way in which this logging is done since the data can often be corrupted.

The chairman Anthony Aslou said that “there is not much disagreement but more discussion [in the committee]. The only slight disagreement is the way of getting an efficient solution for all nations.” The delegations have agreed on the targeted goal – to decrease corruption in aid and increase transparency – but the most effective way to reach this has not been settled.

A final proposition was that countries involved help other countries with building their infrastructure, which involves building water and electrical systems in poor countries. Solving the basic problems allows a society to elevate to a newer level it thought was previously unattainable. Aid should be given with no need for compensation. It should not be aid given from country to country but aid given from human beings to human beings. 

 

Photography by Maya Miltell.

Introducing The Different Faces of the United Nations Women Committee

Introducing The Different Faces of the United Nations Women Committee

by Yada Pruksachatkun – 

At the  United Nations Women, delegates representing countries from Austria to Nigeria were hard at work on the topic of the empowerment of rural women. Some of the many solutions include finding ways nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are able to play a role in the spread of women’s education and job opportunities, emphasizing the importance of education at an early age, and including sex and political science in women’s curriculum. 

Education proved to be the central focus of the debate, with many countries taking different focuses. While Ireland, Japan, and the Solomon Islands believed that there should be sex and political science education, others agreed that there needed to be more accessibility in education through mobile units and info graphics for the illiterate. 

Many of the African and Middle Eastern countries agreed on focusing on sanitation and security for women in order to promote education. During moderated Caucus, Nigeria brought up points on building formal bathrooms, as girls are most likely to get sexually assaulted during restroom breaks. Many countries also had cultural barriers against gender equality, such as Saudi Arabia. Even though the delegate of Saudi Arabia said that Saudi Arabia was liberal in women’s rights, women having a part of almost every sector of industry and constituting 30% of bank accounts in the country, advances in women’s rights should be “in accordance to what we feel.”  The Dominican Republic also added that men come “with a certain mindset,”  and that raising awareness on women’s rights will be the way forward in eradicating this mindset. 

Delegates from countries such as Malawi and Algeria focused on job opportunities for women instead. While the delegate of Malawi proposed monitoring a business decorum  and skills program for women and compiling a list of internships to offer at the completion of the program, the delegate of Algeria looked to NGOs in creating job opportunities for women. The delegate of the Maldives also developed an interesting focus on women in the agriculture sector through providing vocational training for entering the crop market and subsidies. 

And yet even other countries believe that equal pay is most important. As the delegates of the Dominican Republic said, even though women have as much or more education than men in their country, they still “get paid less than men.” This inequality of pay discourages women in pursuing education. 

However, the lines between the different blocs were blurred, as delegates merged and combined resolutions. When interviewing Nigeria, the delegate said that 50% of all women are illiterate, and therefore, access to education must increase. Delegates generally agreed that providing government and business positions to women, as well as increasing education, was important. As the delegate of Malawi said, the main purpose of the committee is to empower women, which may or may not lie in education. 

In the course of one session, delegates have successfully bridged the gap between differences in points of view to come together and progress in the issue. In the next few sessions, the resolutions being drafted and finalized will be presented and debated on, and the different faces of the UN Women Committee, will come to full view. 

 

Photograph by Inderjit Kaur.

Dr. Wilson in UNICEF

Dr. Wilson in UNICEF

by Dara Gleeson – 

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) discussed child immunization and had the opportunity to hear Dr. Paul Wilson, a scientist and immunization specialist speak about his occupation.

Dr. Wilson spoke to UNICEF about the issues of the child vaccinations, such as safety, culture, and funding. He included his opinions about the Bill Gates Foundation, and he commented that he was surprised by Gates’ motives to provide funds to children around the world for healthcare needs. The delegates representing Djibouti and Belgium, spoke about how they found it influential and beneficial to their committee. Dr. Wilson contributed and did research for the website Gavi.com, which many of the delegates used for research. Many of the delegates used research from Gavi.com, to which Dr. Wilson contributed. The delegates found this very motivating to ask him questions about their main internet source. In a interview, the delegates said, “Dr. Wilson set them straight for the committee, and when they spoke in debate, they would say ‘As the speaker said…’” The delegates were very happy that they had the opportunity to hear Dr. Wilson speak.

Dr. Wilson was very helpful to the delegates to correct the viewpoints for their respective countries and for remaining diplomatic while in committee. UNICEF was very impressed by the work by Dr. Wilson and what he spoke about. 

 

Photography by Maya Miltell. 

Traveling to the The Big Apple

Traveling to the The Big Apple

New York from the Eyes of Locals

by Yada Pruksachatku –

New York, the city that never sleeps, is an obvious attraction to many tourists around the globe. With its dazzling bright lights, surprising parks, and oasis of opportunities, it is clear why this city is such a legend. However, for the locals, the view is more diverse. For some, the magic of this city is still fresh in their minds, but for others, the city is not so glamorous. 

When asked about the five recommended places, a New Yorker representing Norway listed off Central Park, Times Square, China Town, Bowlmore Lane, and Mongolia Bakery. She said that China Town had “very good dumplings,” and that Bowlmore Lane was for the bowling lovers. Another local, suggested Ellis Island, while someone else chipped in with “everywhere in Brooklyn.”  Yet others find solitude and relaxation in Coney Island, the Bronx zoo, the American museum of Natural History, the United Nations building, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. 

However, for others, New York has lost some of its magic. An advisor commented on how he originally had high hopes in his move to Manhattan from Brooklyn, but now thinks that it would have been better to raise his children in a more suburban area because New York can sometimes be seen as “pretentious.” 

An interview with a delegate from Manhattan and a delegate from Brooklyn showed the mutual bickering between the two areas. While the delegate from Manhattan humorously joked that New Yorkers do not consider Brooklyn as part of New York, the  delegate from Brooklyn refuted with calling Manhattan “obnoxious.”

And yet even for those who is less positive in their perspective of Manhattan, the fact that New York is a place to make money and strike big in any industry is indisputable. The people interviewed agreed that it is advisable for tourists to be careful, as New York is not as safe as many may assume and that tourists should seek out more local gems. 

The Crisis of Mali

The Crisis of Mali

by Lana Zaki – 

Today in the GCIMUN Conference, Security Council discussed a very intense topic discussing the horrible situation in Mali. Currently Mali is suffering from an abundant amount of issues such as dictatorship, problems with the refuges, education, and how the country is an undeveloped country.

In Security Council there were a number of interesting crises occurred. One of the topics discussed in the committee was democracy and how the Security Council should promote democracy to the country of Mali. However, the delegate of the Russian federation said, “it is not the Security Council’s job to enforce democracy; however, Security Council does play a role in [helping] the countries reach there.” The delegate of Korea interfered and said, “we can’t change the dictator of Mali nor can we punish their people; however ,we could provide aid.” The Russian federation advertised that the countries should provide aid rather than blaming and punishing the Malians.

Mali is now known as the fifth poorest country in the world. The delegate of Togo mentioned the reason for this: “I am very concerned of the problem because it is an African country, and Togo is one of the African countries as well. The jihadists are attacking the people in Mali killing an abundant amount of innocent people’s lives. We want to help the refugees with the UNHCR, which is the UN refugee agency. We also encourage education because it is a very important aspect in a country’s development.” The delegation of Togo is very concerned about the issue and recommends any solution to help and support the people in Mali.

There are many different countries that are suffering poverty and many other issues that must be expunged out of this universe. People must be aware of the issues that other countries are facing and try to help fix these problems.

 

Photography by Isabel Lozano.

Interview with a World Traveler

Interview with a World Traveler

by Dara Gleeson and Natalie Towba –

Think Global School is one that travels across the world to study in different areas, such as the Galapagos Islands, Tanzania, and different cities in Europe! Imagine what that life is like! A reporter on the Press Corps Staff, Yada Pruksachatkun.

 

Interviewer (Natalie): How did you hear about the Think Global School?

Yada: I heard it through my school counselor who heard about it through and advertiser.

Interviewer: Where are you originally from and when did you hear about the school?

Yada: I am from Thailand and I was twelve years old.

Interviewer: Were all of the students at your school informed about the Think Global School?

Yada: No, I am not sure but I was one of the only students told.

Interviewer: How long has this program going on?

Yada: I am going to be in the first graduating class and has actively been around for three years but has existed for ten years.

Interviewer: How will the graduation program class?

Yada: It has been yet to be decided because we are in the first graduating class, so it is in our hands.

Interviewer: Where do you stay when you are traveling?

Yada: We will stay in hostels, hotels, or in school dorms.

Interviewer: How do you reach your destinations?

Yada: We have done many methods of travel, car, plane, train, bike, or even hiking.

Interviewer: What is the most life changing experience you have had so far?

Yada: I would have to say, speaking to the son of the last son of the Shah of Iran because he had so much hope for the future especially in a country such as Iran. 

Interviewer:  What do you do in terms of religion?

Yada: The school is very accepting of different religions. In some of the countries that we travel to, we are on our own to find different places of religious worship, which can be difficult, but religion is always inside of you no matter where you are. 

Interviewer: Where are some of the coolest places you have been?

Yada: With TGS- The Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Lijiang, China, Saltzberg in Europe (where The Sound of Music was filmed!)