Still a World Away? - The Elusive Pursuit of Equality
Honorable delegates, chairs and staff,
Dear friends and supporters of MUIMUN,
Welcome to MUIMUN 2017.
After last year’s conference was all about our 10-year anniversary, this year we will focus on tackling the issue of equality, under our 2017 motto “Still a World Away? - The Elusive Pursuit of Equality”.
Since its foundations in 1945 equality has been at the center of the United Nations’ work. Art. 1 of the UN Charta states among the UN’s key objectives “To achieve international co-operation … in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” One of the first actions of the UN was to define this rights in 1948 in one of the most ambitious and universal declarations in history.
Equality has remained a core issue ever since, be it in 1965 when the UN made a binding convention to end all racial discrimination, in 1979 when the same was done for discrimination based on gender or in 1989 and 2006 when it declared that children and persons with disabilities, too, had special rights.
Yet, the work to ensure equality has hardly ended. Eloquent declarations sometimes disguise the fact that 168 million children still have to work in child labour and women still receive lower wages than their male counterparts - if they can get work at all. People across countries and cultures are discriminated against because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, age or many other often arbitrary reasons. Universal equality might indeed still be “a world away”. As it was for the activists of the past it will be our generation’s task to identify this discrimination and define our own fights to ensure equality for all.
Maybe we have to start small. Equality is not just a grand overarching issue for high politics, but one we can best tackle in our everyday life. When we open our arms and hearts to strangers, try to perceive issues from their perspectives and talk and discuss the world in a spirit of tolerance we might have just made the dream of equality a little more of a reality.
Indeed, an MUN-conference might just be the place to do these things. When students from all over the world and many different walks of life convene to discuss international politics they might not just have made new friends and learned about global issues. They will be part of an international community of young idealistic people out to change the world.
With that in mind, we are looking forward to another week of eloquent debates, inspiring discussions and thought-provoking resolutions and hope to see in Münster for a wonderful MUIMUN 2017.
Franziska Funke Jonas Maeser
Secretary General Deputy Secretary General