Wrapping up 2021 and into 2022
Just like that, 2021 is coming to an end. After a year filled with uncertainty, physical distance, and many surprises, we remain as proud as ever to be a part of the Model UN community. The ongoing commitment to learning and global citizenship that we have witnessed in our students has been nothing short of impressive. This gives us hope for not just the future but also for the present, as young leaders continue to take on a larger and larger role in the world.
At the beginning of this year, much of the world was still paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the start of the year brought welcome news about successful vaccine trials and the rapid distribution of numerous vaccines, there were still many challenges to overcome. Public trust in the vaccines remains fragile, and major questions about the right to access affordable vaccines across the developing world continue to be hotly debated. The pandemic also highlighted where we collectively lack infrastructure and essential public services, and many hospitals and clinics remain at capacity, with healthcare workers reporting increasing levels of stress and fatigue. Of course, the pandemic is not the only way our world was transformed this past year. We watched newly energized social movements take over our streets, and many countries saw momentous changes in leadership across the globe. Ultimately, this past year put a spotlight on the many ways in which humanity must grow and evolve to achieve the SDGs and other vital development targets so that we can guarantee a safe and prosperous world for the next generation.
With another new year on the horizon, we now find ourselves with new questions. The spread of doubt and misinformation continues largely unabated, which threatens all future attempts to resume a sense of “normalcy.” As student leaders, Model UN delegates must carefully consider what additional tools and opportunities are needed to activate student voices and recognize student needs. How can we inspire new voices to join the global youth movement, and how can we provide young entrepreneurs with the foundation they need to build novel solutions to our problems? If MUN teaches us anything, it is how interdisciplinary and interconnected our world is. We remain ever optimistic that our leaders will rise to conquer the challenges that lie before them—and all of us—and create long-term, sustainable solutions that the world so deeply needs.