"Half our world is female. Half our world is under 25 years of age. We cannot meet the Sustainable Development Goals without drawing on the power of women and the enormous energy of young people."Secretary-General António Guterres, addressing the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2017.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are the transformative goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to achieve peace, equality, and prosperity. Improving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that guided many organizations’ work from 2000-2015, the SDGs place a new emphasis on not just development, but sustainable development. This places the need for action not only on developing states, but rather on all states, as injustices towards people, the planet, and joint prosperity exist all across the globe. These goals are ambitious, but with the full force of the UN system behind them and the support of passionate civilian advocates everywhere, we can achieve these goals and put the world on the path towards peace and justice for all.
As one of the leading platforms for youth to engage with the UN’s agenda, NHSMUN, IMUNA's flagship conference in New York City, is passionate about connecting our delegates and students all over the world with the SDGs. All of our committees debate topics are directly related to one or more of the SDGs, and delegates will find discussions of the SDGs integrated throughout our research materials. Our staff, themselves advocates of the SDGs, are also trained in various ways to incorporate the SDGs into debate and conference activities, and will ensure that the resolutions adopted by each committee reflect the values of the SDGs.
The SDGs, however, are far more important than just authentic MUN simulations. The SDGs have the potential to reshape our world for the better, but that change will only take place if we all contribute as global citizens. This is why we encourage all Model UN delegates to advance the SDGs in their regular MUN meetings and in their daily lives. To promote this, we regularly host awareness campaigns and contests related to one or more of the SDGs to allow students to showcase their work. At IMUNA, we believe in and have experienced (as Secretary-General Guterres says) “the enormous energy of young people,” and we are humbled to be just one of many avenues for youth to unlock that energy. To learn more about the SDGs, click here.