Since I was the only internal chair of our committee (SDG 13), I had an opportunity to work with three different mentors who helped me to dive deeper into the topics and gave me some advice regards to the MUN. First of all, I met with Mr.Christie who is one of the IBDP Biology and ESS teachers. He had an experience with MUN 3 to 4 years ago also mentoring students who were in the committee related to environments. During the meeting, I asked him several questions related to the topics of the committee.
After a few conversations, I asked his personal thoughts about two topics. Firstly about the problem of oil extraction, not only did he talk about how humans’ actions can disqualify the climate we are living in but also he talked me through economic and social problems by saying “Oil extraction is a necessity and is important in terms of monetary.” This comment helped me to think more about the issue from wider and different perspectives. Next, about the problem of fishing operations on the ocean, he said “Fishes are a primary food source for humans and fishing operations will definitely impact biodiversity.” To further understand about climate action, I asked him the importance of biodiversity in our lives. Without hesitation, he stated, “Biodiversity collapses ecosystems as a whole!”.
To end our conversation or meeting, I asked him for some advice to bear in mind during the conference to help guide delegates better and keep a fruitful debate. One piece of advice was “These questions are now too broad, you need to break them into smaller pieces and focus on specifics.” Another really useful piece of advice was to look at different case studies or exemplars to better understand both sides (Pros and cons) not only cons. He also suggested I research specific industries and policies to protect to get into more refined pieces rather than having really broad or unidirectional topics. His suggestions really helped me to rethink the chair reports I wrote with two external chairs and topics generally to think about during the whole conference.
Our Committee Mentors
After a meeting with Mr.Christie, I also talked with Mr. Davis, a middle school and high school design teacher. This was the first time for Mr. Davis to engage with MUN activities and environmental issues specific to MUN. This meeting really helped me to dive in deeper with the two topics through conversation which extended my knowledge from Mr.Christie’s meeting.
First of all, in terms of oil extraction, he really helped me narrow down the topics such as coal burning. He even gave me some real-life examples and experiences during his lifetime which really helped me to dig deeper with case studies and exemplars from which Mr. Davis gave me advice. For example, he showed different videos related to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spills which happened during his lifetime, and their impact on marine life. Another example is the coal burning in India which led to many deaths of children. These real-life examples helped me to understand the significance of the topic to consider. Not only these case studies but also connected these situations to Hanoi we are living in such as high AQI. This really made the topic easier to approach. Not only finishing with this, he also said, “Not only the environmental impact, but also it leads to really serious consequences which include geopolitics, human rights, and morality.”
With the second topic, he showed me a movie highly related to fishing operations’ effect on oceans - Seaspiracy. This will definitely trigger my interest and motivation for the topics. Lastly, we explored different statistics and infographics related to fishing operations and life on water which emphasized the significance and importance of the topics.
All these conversations guided me to explore different sources of information that I have never explored before such as the UNDP booklet that wholly talks about fishing operations and Our World in Data. Also, I could connect with different SDG topics which not only focus on our committee but also observe different perspectives of the world.
Lastly, I met Ms.Hardie, a grade 5 elementary school teacher. This was the first time for her to participate in the MUN. I asked her how are you related to SDG 13 and climate change. She answered, “In my previous school, I was in the service learning group to coordinate with climate action to make the school more sustainable.” Furthermore, she helped and promoted students to reduce waste for a sustainable environment.
To start the meeting, we started with the first issue and heard the opinions from Ms.Hardie. When I asked her about the significance of the oil extraction she came up with answers that were completely different from other mentors. She talked about natural disasters like earthquakes and talked about the article on recent circumstances where earthquakes occurred in real life due to oil problems. She also stated that the biggest problem with oil extraction is that “We do have technologies, but we just not using them which is making the current society worse.”
For the next topic, which is about the fishing operations’ effect on the ocean, she talked me through the steps on how it relates to climate action. She stated that fishing operations disrupt the food web which affects the marine ecosystem as a whole, resulting in a huge impact on the climate that people are living in. Not only environmental issues but she also connected with economics in real life - supply and demand. This was to consider both perspectives since supply can’t happen if there is no demand. Therefore, countries who want fishing operations to occur want it to continue due to economic benefits.
To end the meeting, I asked for any key points that I should keep in mind throughout the conference. She told me that even though the committee is SDG13, think about the economic, historical, and political contexts that are behind the issues. She suggested I investigate different stakeholders that are included in the issues to know who is causing the issues and why such as the governments. Last but not least, she advised me “Think about the barriers that are keeping us from solving these two issues.” Even though this was the third meeting on the same topics, I really learned lots of different information and facts that I haven’t heard from other mentors.
Nguyen Trung Nghia
Greetings to our distinguished delegates, honorable chairs, esteemed directors and guests,
I am Trung Nghia, a sophomore at Delta Global School, and it is my honor to be serving as the Head Chair for the SDG 13 committee at this upcoming November UNISMUN conference. This conference will be my 5th time attending an MUN and my 1st ever as a chair.
For this conference, the theme is “How do we ensure sustainability through multilateral cooperation?”. As every conference starts off on different aspects such as economic, political or social sides of sustainability, SDG 13 brings to the table ways to tackle environmentally challenging problems which will encourage our delegates to think of unique and integrated proposals.
SDG 13 aims to resolve and tackle climate change and mitigate its impacts upon the global community. I believe that outside of raising points and connecting ideas on a smaller scale, it is recommended that we think about how connected the environment really is to areas such as economic development. This will most likely require delegates to cooperate multilaterally and take into consideration whether their solutions are sustainable or not for future generations to utilize.
With that being said, the two topics for SDG 13 include: “The issue of the environmental impact of oil extraction” and “The issue of fishing operations’ effect on oceans”. These topics both include environmentalism and involve a number of stakeholders that can be taken into account when discussing and or debating during our conference.
Enough about me and the topic, I really hope everyone in our committee can be as prepared as they can be so we can all have an enjoyable time during the November conference. I’m very excited to meet all the different chairs and delegates, and I look forward to working with everyone, good luck!
Nguyen Trung Nghia
Warm greetings to honorable directors, fellow chairs, distinguished delegates, and the most esteemed guests,
My name is Jiyeon Kang, a senior at the United Nations International School of Hanoi, and I am honored to be a deputy chair of the 2023 November conference at UNIS for SDG 13. This will be my 4th official MUN participation since 2022 and my first and last experience as chair.
This conference’s theme is “How do we ensure sustainability through multilateral cooperation?”. This theme will encourage participants to think about recent issues and problems in regard to sustainability whether this is economic, environmental, or social. Our committee, SDG 13, will put our heads together to focus on environmental sustainability.
It is nearly impossible to solve this problem perfectly. However, this conference will be meaningful if we intend to break down this issue part by part for actions and perceive the importance of multilateral cooperation to address the issue of sustainability without the goal of clearly solving it. This is important and necessary to recognize and understand the importance of global viewpoints in tackling the issue of sustainability. That being said, SDG 13 has two topics to aim significantly which are:
The issue of the environmental impact of oil extraction
The issue of fishing operations’ effect on oceans
All these topics contain concerns with climate change and environmental issues which the SDG 13 committee is trying to aim at - Adapting and limiting climate change. Therefore, this is principal and crucial for delegates to overcome these issues through debates and solutions which will be made by multilateral cooperation.
I encourage all delegates to participate in a fruitful and insightful debate at this conference and I am really looking forward to working with different delegates and chairs for the upcoming 2023 November conference, Thank you!
Nguyen Trung Nghia
Distinguished guests, esteemed directors, fellow chairs, and honorable delegates,
My name is Phúc-Huy Mai and I am a sophomore at Delta Global School. I am honored to be serving as the procedural chair of the SDG 13 committee at the UNIS MUN November 2023 conference. While I have attended several conferences in the past as a delegate (including UNIS MUN November 2022! Security Council, anyone?), this will be my first time participating as a chair.
This year’s theme—“How do we ensure sustainability through multilateral cooperation?”—is especially relevant to the 13th UN Sustainable Development Goal of “Climate action”. In spite of worsening natural events and increasingly desperate pleas from scientists, activists, and the public, the efforts of the world’s governments to protect the climate and environment are falling far short of the least-ambitious goals. Moreover, while climate change, pollution, and other environmental problems are truly global issues, effective international cooperation has been sporadic and short-term.
The committee’s two topics—environmental impacts of oil extraction and fishing—embody the “globalness” quite well. As oil will remain the central source of global energy for decades, oil extraction, if unaddressed, will continue to inflict substantial, serious, multi-faceted environmental damage. On the other hand, fish resources are accessible and shared by everyone. Therefore, universal cooperation is crucial to ensuring that future generations will still have the same resources as we do.
Delegates, you will face those challenges, and more, during this year’s conference. Yet, there is no reason not to remain hopeful. Our generation, the youth, is increasingly proving to be THE instrument of change. Our ideas and our actions are slowly but steadily changing the entire world. This is what I immensely look forward to hearing in the conference: Innovative, realistic, and inclusive ideas that are born by productive, earnest, and active debates and teamwork. To ensure this, I encourage delegates to prepare well.
I immensely look forward to meeting and working with fellow chairs and delegates. Together, let us make UNIS MUN November 2023 the best conference it can be. Thank you.