Commission for Social Development
1. Developing Strategies to improve Social Integration of the Youth
There are many social groups that need to be socially integrated, one of them being the young people, the most active part of every society’s population(1). They can be defined as persons between 15 and 24 years of age, and they represent around one fifth of the world’s population. For them, the process of social integration is of an extreme importance, as they need to experience a “sense of belonging and responsibility to become productive citizens and participants in society”(2). Although there have been huge steps towards the active social integration of the youth, there are still many factors that defer this, like:
- the lack of access or the poor quality of education
- the unemployment and underemployment of young people combined with the illegal employment of minors
- as well as the lack of access to healthcare.
Furthermore, there are still some countries in which young people are deprived of the same rights as their older counterparts, resulting in a low percentage of young people’s participation in the political landscape and social life.(3) Last but not least, the lack of social integration of the young people, that are part of marginalized groups, such as migrants, people living with disabilities and young women, is even graver. Taking all this into account, it comes as no surprise that several demonstrations and movements around the world which happened during 2011– including the Arab Spring(4), “the Indignant” in Spain(5) and the “Occupy”-Movement – have in parts been credited to this “lost generation”. 2011 marked the International Year of Youth, and thus, maybe it is now time to focus on solving effectively this crucial and timely issue.
(1)“Studies in different parts of the world show that young people “yearn to be part of society and to be respected for their contributions” and in many cases “possess the desire to play an active role in improving their countries.”, Yates and Youniss, 1999 in UNV, 2006
(2) Discussion Paper prepared for the 48th Session of the CSocD, UNV, 2011
(3) Discussion Paper prepared for the 48th Session of the CSocD, UNV, 2011
(4) cf. http://cliodynamics.ru/download/Korotayev_Zinkina_Egyptian_Revolution_Entelequia_New.pdf, pg. 28; retrieved on Oct. 16th, 2011.
(5) cf. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,763581,00.html; retrieved on Oct. 16th, 2011
2. Post-Conflict Re-Integration of Ex-Combatants in Countries Affected by Civil War
Unfortunately, many shifts in power are accompanied by civil wars, the latest example being the revolt in Libya. In many cases, the international media only takes notice of the resolution of the war and then immediately turns its attention to other items. However, disarmament, demobilization and re-integration of the armed forces are crucial steps on the way to ensuring long-lasting peace, social stability and economic growth. Having realized this, the United Nations Security Council decided that “disarmament, demobilization and re-integration (DDR)” shall be included in the last seven peacekeeping missions it established (amongst others Liberia, DR Congo, Haiti and the Sudan). However, there also are DDR programs in place in countries without UN peacekeeping operations, for example in Afghanistan, Republic of Congo and Uganda. Given this relevance and the fact that many DDR programs are established by courtesy of Security Council resolutions, it is surprising that there are no noteworthy resolutions by UN committees on how to implement DDR. All work that is done on this is being done by an Inter-Agency working group without the direct participation by the UN member states. Therefore and in the light of recent events, the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) at MUIMUN 2012 will make an effort to find a consensus on the re-integration of ex-combatants into societies that just went through a transition.
Tobit Batel, Director
Tobit Batel, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Lübeck, will serve as the Committee Director of the Commission on Social Development at MUIMUN 2012. While attending high school in Oldenburg (Lower-Saxony), he took part in three MUN-conferences as a delegate and was part of the organizational team for OLMUN 2008 where he also chaired the UNEP Governing Council.
While acting as the Committee Director of ECOSOC at MUIMUN 2011, Tobit was impressed by the high level of debate – with regards to content as well as rhetoric. He also enjoyed getting to know participants from nearly all over the world and learning about their culture at the social events. When he was in grade eleven, Tobit discovered his passion for getting to know other cultures during his exchange year in Dillingham, Alaska. He recently took up doing volunteer work for his youth exchange organization YFU again. Tobit enjoys spending his spare time with friends, doing sports and taking advantage of the fact that he lives just 15 kilometers from the Baltic Sea.
Konstantinos Alexandris, Vice Director
Konstantinos is 21 years old and was born and raised in the beautiful city of Athens. After finishing high school, he studied Law at the Democritus University of Thrace for one year, and then moved to Thessaloniki, where he is now studying Law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Travelling is his passion, and he tries to have a trip abroad whenever possible.
Other interests include cinema, theatre, reading and meeting new people. His first MUN experience was at Rhodes MRC 2010, and after such a great start, he attended HamMUN 2010, and SofIMUN 2011, each time liking the conference even more. This is his first time in MUIMUN, and his first experience as a vice-chair, and he is really looking forward to it, hoping to do his best, together with his fellow chairperson, so that you will have some fruitful debates and a great time in this year’s edition of MUIMUN and in the Commission for Social Development in particular.