As an indispensable resource upon which whole civilizations are built, it is unsurprising that the issue of water security has become a key issue in recent years. Beyond the increasing prevalence of territorial disputes over transnational water sources like aquifers, rivers and lakes, basic access to water, particularly to remote communities in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, has become a pressing concern. Pollution, overuse and wastage in the wake of a rising global population coupled with rapid industrialization in developing countries contribute to a growing demand for the progressively diminishing resource.
Delegates of the United Nations Development Programme will have to consider the unique situations of different countries and regions as they deliberate the broad spectrum of issues related to water security. Delegates will also have to consider recent technological advancements in this field when debating on how to address both overconsumption and underconsumption of global water sources. In so doing they should attempt to generate feasible solutions that make tangible progress towards achieving the sixth Sustainable Development Goal of providing universal clean water and sanitation.
Contrary to common belief that youth around the world are apathetic and disengaged, youth are a rich source of energy, enthusiasm and passion who are full of ideas and have the potential to greatly contribute to the world both now and in the future. Despite their voices being regularly overlooked, the United Nations is increasingly understanding the importance of engaging youth as evidenced by the development of a Youth Strategy under the United Nations Development Programme as well as the passing of Security Council Resolution 2250 which urges member states to engage youth to help promote peace and to counter extremism in a volatile world outlook. Hence, delegates will do well to consider identifying leadership and representation opportunities for youths to play a more active role in policy and decision-making.
However, key barriers such as inadequate access to quality education and persistent unemployment hinder their empowerment. In underdeveloped countries, a large number of youth lack primary education, and across the world, youth unemployment rates are at an all-time high. Delegates will have to find means of addressing this gap in knowledge and economic participation as they serve as the foundation for the political and social empowerment of youth.
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