Sustainable Development Goals, 2030
Topic: Evaluating the Sustainable Development Goals
It is the year 2030. The 193 member states of the United Nations are gathering to evaluate the past fifteen years of goal-setting and goal-reaching. Half a generation ago, then-Secretary General Ban Ki Moon plainly stated the necessity of such a comprehensive set of goals: "We don’t have plan B because there is no planet B!." This is an incredibly important meeting, as it is the first time each country’s progress will be evaluated for the world to see. Failure to have met any of the goals, but especially the ones related to the environment, will be felt far beyond the scope of this meeting. It is the mission of delegates to answer to their countries’ actions of the past fifteen years, hold other countries accountable for their inaction, and move forward in a universally beneficial way- informed by the successes and shortcomings of the 2030 SDG and the data surrounding them.
One of the most significant questions on the table will be the extent to which meeting a goal indicates success for a given country. In the case of islands nations in Oceania, they have done their part to meet the targets of SDG 13-15 about the environment. Yet the failure of high-income, industrial nations to take climate action means these islands disproportionately suffer the consequences. What forms do holding accountability and progressing forward take when the traditional powerhouses and global leaders are to blame for the plight of small nations? Another angle to the central question is introduced by nations rife with conflict for which the SDG give inaccurate pictures of the crisis-filled realities of such nations. States like Venezuela and Syria are reported to have reached the targets of some SDG, like 7, 8, or 13, but failed in reaching some of the anthropocentric goals. Should such countries be praised or punished? Should their domestic situations supersede the concerns of a global agenda for sustainable development, even going as far as to develop a separate set of short-term, conflict-resolution-based goals towards which such countries should strive? Exploring these questions will require delegates to be incredibly critical and courageous. Delegates willing to learn from the past in pursuit of a mutually beneficial future will be called upon to lead this committee towards proactive change.
I am Aaryan Morrison, also known as the Director for the Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 for HMUN 2020! I am so honoured and excited to hold this title and am looking forward to a year of learning alongside each of you. This will be my second HMUN. Last year, I served as an Assistant Director for the International Organisation for Migration. I am back, now as a director, because of the passion, integrity, and fun you all brought to my HMUN 2019 experience.
I was born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana to South African parents. My love for all things international started young, when I boarded my first flight abroad at age two. Growing up in the often uneventful Midwest only made me want to take advantage of all possible travel and international exchange opportunities. The years that my family was not able to travel, we hosted international students from all around the world. The experiences I had with these ‘siblings’ of mine are part of the reason I decided to apply to Harvard. Just as the diversity of their experiences taught me so much, the diversity of the student body at Harvard promised to magnify my understanding of the world around me and appreciation for the multiplicity of ways to be a human being.
After one year, Harvard ha been at that and more. I am planning on pursuing a joint concentration in Social Studies and African Studies with a Language Citation in Swahili. The intersection of these fields promises to equip me with a better understanding of the many ways society organises itself while keeping it all within the context of lived experiences on the African continent. Outside of class, I am a member of the International Relations Council (IRC). I am a Director for Administration for Harvard’s collegiate model UN conference. I also help the develop many of the new and auxiliary programs pursed by the IRC. Another title of mine is Director of Projects for Harvard’s Undergraduate Council (think student government).
When I am not doing such serious things, I am choreographing and dancing for the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company. I have danced since I was three. I love it more than words can express and am so humbled that I get to continue to explore the artform in college. I am also convinced Harry Potter is the best series in the world, Manchester United is the best team in the world, and my friends are the best people in the world. I spend much of my energy fighting for thee truths.
I am incredibly passionate about the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (2030 SDG). These are attainable targets for many nations, but it will take the awareness and impetus of young people like you and I to actually reach the goals. In exploring an outcome likely to happen if these goals are not reached, my hope is that the committee experiences the heightened tensions and difficult impasses which will only set the world further behind. Small nations most significantly impacted by the failures of large nations must make their voices hear so their needs can be met. Larger nations must decide how to take responsibility for their shortcomings while charting paths advantageous for all parties. I so look forward to hearing your courageous ideas and engaging compromise at conference!
Once again, welcome to HMUN 2019 and the Committee on the SDG 2030!
Director, Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals 2030