Special Summit on the Millennial Development Goals


Topic Summary

Topic: Early Education in Developing Countries

It is widely known that education suffers in developing nations. Sometimes, this is the result of pure lack of access and opportunity. Other times, even when programs such as UNESCO’s Education for All increase enrollment, the quality of education still falls short. Thus, few students continue on to secondary school, as the opportunity cost of remaining in school tends to outweigh any small improvement in job placement they may receive from continuing in their studies. Reforming education in developing nations may come in many forms, ranging from increased funding to, as some may argue, an entirely new educational model.

In the UN Special Summit on Millennium Development Goals at HMUN 2020, you will be responsible for designing new strategies and legislation that tackle the inequalities and inefficiencies that plague education systems in developing nations. Your solutions should take differences in political and economic structures among countries into account, as well as what you deem to be most valuable for young learners as technology progresses. Delegates in this committee will gain an understanding of the challenges that both the developed and developing worlds face in striving toward universal access to education while ensuring that such access leads to measurable and enduring improvements for our youth. How can we use the successes and failures of education systems in developed nations to improve such systems in less fortunate areas? Should developed nations be used as a model, or does education serve a different purpose in developing nations? How can we enable our youth to stay in school without requiring them to sacrifice their families’ livelihood? Asking these questions and more, delegates should dive into what education has represented historically, how systems have fared over time, and how we can debate and compromise to change these systems for the better.

Responsible leadership means setting clear goals and expectations, remaining open-minded to possible solutions, and analyzing solutions based on criteria that maximizes the well-being of our youth, regardless of personal bias. A good leader commands respect, recognizes the value of other opinions, and takes action. I look forward to witnessing leadership in action in this committee!

Director’s Letter

Dear Delegates,

Hello! My name is Ariana Chiu, and I am so excited to be your Director of the UN Special Summit on Millennium Development Goals for HMUN 2020! This will be my second HMUN after serving as an Assistant Director for the Special Session on Terrorism at HMUN 2019. I dabbled with MUN in high-school, but the conferences I attended were nothing near the size and intensity of HMUN. HMUN blew me away last year, and I cannot wait to experience the conference as a director!

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania… not exactly everyone’s number one tourist destination but an amazing city and my favorite place on earth. At Harvard, I live in Leverett House and I am planning on concentrating in Economics. I’m interested in Economics because it applies to literally everything we experience and it combines quantitative and qualitative approaches to global issues. Outside of class and HMUN, I play the piano in a chamber music ensemble, write for the blog of The Crimson, and volunteer at Y2Y Harvard Square, a student-run overnight shelter. I also work as an usher at Sanders Theatre in Memorial Hall, which hosts many lectures, concerts, and ceremonies at Harvard.

I love classical music and attend all kinds of concerts and performances in my free time. Sounds lame, but I promise that it’s worth exploring! I’m also a huge fan of food (who isn’t?), the Pittsburgh Penguins (again, who isn’t?), and taking road trips with my family. Some past trips include driving through the national parks, to provinces in Canada, and once from South Carolina all the way to Maine! This summer, I had the opportunity to explore Boston as I taught recently immigrated youth in Dorchester, Massachusetts. On campus, if I’m not in class or busy with extracurriculars, I enjoy running along the Charles River, listening to music with friends, and discovering the best snacks at Trader Joe’s.

The vast majority of people agree that education is important, but inequalities and inefficiencies continue to plague education systems today. Poor early education sacrifices future outcomes, whether they be related to poverty, health, or the greater economy. In committee, we will discuss various ways in which countries have approached early education in the past, and I hope that we can progress in the search for effective and sustainable education reform. I cannot wait to see how your different experiences and amazing ideas come together at conference!

Again, welcome to HMUN 2020 and the UN Special Summit on Millennium Development Goals!


Ariana Chiu

Director, UN Special Summit on Millennium Development Goals