United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific


Topic Summary

The region of Asia-Pacific comprises of 4 billion people all facing a collective threat of climate change. But regional cooperation in economic and social development can significantly aid in confronting these challenges. Our specific focus will be on the complexities of building infrastructure to safeguard against more fierce and more frequent tropical cyclones, the politics of water scarcity and how to transition away from the zero-sum thinking that surrounds it, the models of government interference in markets to provide a pathway for renewable energy to become affordable and accessible, the awareness and willingness to invest in cutting-edge technology that consumes energy more efficiently, and finally discussing how all these previous issues can interact together in designing smart, green cities of the future.

These four sub-fields may seem unrelated, broad in their own right, and perhaps even overwhelming, but addressing all these challenges together are necessary to draft an effective response. This becomes further captivating when realizing that the coalitions that are necessary for a particular solution to receive simple majority might look remarkably different from sub-field to sub-field, putting the onus on delegates to balance conversations of compromise with conversations of urgency.

Director’s Letter

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific! My name is Gaurang, and I am very excited for HMUN 2020.


I am a sophomore at Harvard College studying Applied Math with a focus field in Government. I grew up in New Delhi, India till I moved to Hong Kong at the age of eight, where I have lived ever since. I dedicated a lot of time in Model United Nations and Debate during high school, one of the highlights being HMUN’s sister conference in India. College has been no different: I am part of Harvard’s competitive travelling team and staffing both our high school and college conferences.  As a first-year student, I was Assistant Director of Administration at HMUN 2019 and Assistant Director of United Nations Security Council at Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN), HMUN’s sister conference for college students.

In my opinion, there is no right approach to MUN. Some derive immense pleasure from discussing major global challenges, some from researching highly technical policy solutions to those challenges, some from the leadership experience, some from all the new friends you get to make, and some from improving their communication skills. If one or multiple of these approaches appeal to you, make sure you do not compromise on that part of your MUN experience, and also look to be open to some of these other parts of the MUN experience to also impact your time at HMUN positively. Apart from MUN, I take my compulsion to engage in endless conversations in the dining hall where you can catch me discussing soccer, Formula 1, cricket, domestic and international politics, and my tea (oolong and darjeeling, in particular).

I cannot wait to get this session started! I will be running committee with a strong focus and expectation for extensive research to guide debate and policy. I hope that your passion for regional economic development and all the threats posed to it by the challenges of climate change blossom through this committee. I highly encourage you all to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns!

Gaurang Goel

Director, UNESCAP