It is a pleasure to greet all the students participating in the 3rd North East India International Model UN Conference. You gather at a moment of great challenge and consequence for the human family as we cope with dangerous threats while endeavouring to lay plans for long-term peace and sustainable prosperity.
The global landscape today is scarred by conflict, exploitation and despair. Nearly 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes – more than at any time since the end of the Second World War. In every society, women are victims of violence. The consequences of climate change are ever more apparent. Huge sums of money continue to be squandered on destabilizing military arsenals. And although the world said “never again” after the Holocaust, and again after genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica, we continue to witness atrocious crimes by violent extremists and others.
As the United Nations this year marks its 70th anniversary, we know there is still a great distance to go in realizing the vision set out in our founding Charter. At the same time, we can look back on a proven record of fostering peace, alleviating hunger and poverty, safeguarding human rights and providing relief in the aftermath of disasters.
I have seen in my own life the difference the United Nations can make. When I was six years old, the Korean War forced my family to run for the mountains. We survived thanks to United Nations operations providing food, medicine and security, and we took heart from knowing that the world cared.
Today, the United Nations is mobilizing countries to address conflicts, disasters and other immediate crises while striving to secure our long-term future by forging a new vision for sustainable development as well as a universal climate agreement. Along these lines, I am pleased that NEIMUN will be focusing on the theme “The Sustainable Development Goals: Reshaping the Global Development Agenda” which is a critical to achieving dignity for all.
Through your participation in this Model United Nations, you demonstrate your concern for peace, justice, human rights and human dignity. I hope NEIMUN will inspire you to be a lifelong global citizen who advances these common goals.