My name is Maxton R Scotland and I am humbled and pleased to be appointed as the Secretary-General, for the inaugural The Future We Want Model United Nations (FWWMUN) to be held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, March 8th – 11th 2018. I attended my first MUN with Rotaract Global Model United Nations in 2014 and have since attended several MUNs as a delegate, Chair, Assistant Director and Secretary General. This conference will offer global youths an opportunity to become familiar with the United Nations Systems, by having meaningful debates at the UN, itself. Young people represent 1.2 billion of the global population – this is equivalent to half of the people alive on earth today. However, there are over 75 million young people with little or no access to education. FWWMUN wants to engage with youths especially from developing countries and provide them with a platform to encourage knowledge sharing, mutual respect, and a passion for the implementation and execution of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I have been privy to how MUNs assist with the holistic development of young people by building their confidence allowing them to display positive leadership skills during formal and informal debates. You will, therefore, learn how to achieve a consensus through building effective relationships, negotiation, which will greatly assist you in your future professional life.
Future We Want demonstrates the importance of including everyone in the decision-making process and making its conferences accessible to all. Our theme for this year is – The Role of Youth in Sustainable Development: Involved, Engaged, Empowered! This theme is very powerful and sends a strong message that youth from all walks of life are involved, engaged and empowered to confront the challenges of building a sustainable world, for all. Make no mistake, young people are at the centre of sustainable development and it is this involvement that will be crucial in ensuring that we achieve the UN 2030 SDG agenda. Throughout my time as Secretary-General, I look forward to bringing an even higher profile to what I see as a deep compatibility of objectives and values between the Italian Diplomatic Academy, FWWMUN, young professionals, the United Nations and its entities.
I look at how the generation of leaders that we are producing, develop the diplomatic and negotiations skills that enable them to achieve what is expected and I am amazed at the inspirational and unwavering commitment, expressed by all, to promote better relations between people worldwide. This is indeed living up to the UN Charter’s promise to “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours”. I passionately support the strong emphasis FWWMUN places on the leadership of young people, especially from developing countries and economically disadvantaged background. This will indeed ensure inclusivity for all, leaving no one behind. In fact, the prospect of empowering youth is what attracted me to Model UN in the first place. Therefore, I intend to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the full potential of this compatibility is realised – through building effective partnerships across cultural and language barriers that invariably exist.
There has never been a more important time than now for the world’s youth to have their say on global issues. The SDGs are especially of strategic importance; and the main focus of this MUN where 10 of the 17 goals will be focused on, extensively. Throughout my career, I have always emphasised the importance of the UN to international politics and world peace. I firmly believe that, with continuing debates around armed conflict, gender equality, the empowerment of young women and girls and the rise in populism, my choice of Committees will enable delegates to debate these vital issues, and, crucially, do so in a way that has an impact on the UN itself. Their resolutions will then be presented directly to UN officials.
The UN undoubtedly faces significant challenges, and I strongly believe that the powerful voice of united and informed youths, is a critical element in identifying the solution to these challenges. With the system currently engaging young professionals more, especially women, I strongly believe that we are indeed heading in the right direction. It is against this backdrop that I very much look forward to welcoming all of you to the inaugural session of The Future We Want Model United Nations, 2018.