“STEPPING TOWARDS TRANSFORMATION”
The theme for the Tenth Session of Ghana International Model United Nations Conference is “Stepping towards Transformation”. The motive of choosing this theme is to engage young people to know how transformational agenda can be set to enhance the lives of people of the world. Many urgent challenges require transformation rather than incremental change. Participants will discuss the strategies, the loop holes, the measures and the radical actions that will be used in different ways to better the people’s wellbeing.
There are several meanings of the word transformation. According to a carefully gathered literature, transformation can be simply defined as a marked change in appearance or character, especially one for the better, thereby being able to work towards enhancing goals to maximize the quality of the lives of people in world. This is reflected in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations to be achieved in 2030. There are several indicators and actions already taken. Transformation is a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in new directions and drives it to an entirely different level of effectiveness. Doing more of the same will not get to the goals. Unlike turnaround which implies incremental progress on the same plane, transformation implies a basic change of character and little or no resemblance with the past configuration or structure. This was the main cause of change and adjustment from the MDGs to the SDGs. These goals require fundamentally innovative actions towards its achievement. There are several difficulties in taking transformative actions. Therefore, to attain transformation there must be the knowledge (education) and tools (competence) amongst diverse disciplines, issues, organizations and people.
Embarking on the path of sustainable development will require a profound transformation of how we think and act. To create a more sustainable world and to engage with sustainability-related issues as described in the SDGs, individuals must become sustainability change-makers. They require the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development and to obtain a positive indicator of the SDGs. A well-established approach of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) that empowers learners to take informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society for present and future generations is what is required. Some success has been achieved in the past years but there must be a radical change in achieving these goals.
Agenda 2030 which enables us to plan from the future to the present will only be realized through transformational actions. This calls for the need to advocate for action plans that will bring about change in achieving the world’s agenda. Transformational strategies calls for proper planning, examining and implementing actionable measure to help the United Nations to achieve a positive result in its agenda.
Planning simply refers to the process of setting goals, developing strategies and outlining tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals. It is very important to do a lot of planning before you undertake a transformational agenda. The role of a planner is thus to identify a desirable future and to prepare a course of action to achieve these goals (Mitchell 2002, 6). At the core of the 2030 Agenda are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The universal, transformational and inclusive SDGs describes major development challenges for humanity regarding the future. The plan of the SDGs is to secure a sustainable, peaceful, prosperous and equitable life on earth for everyone now and in the future. The goals cover global challenges that are crucial for the survival of humanity. They set environmental limits and set critical thresholds for the use of natural resources. The goals recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic development. They address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection and job opportunities while tackling climate change and environmental protection. The SDGs address a plan of a key systemic barriers to sustainable development and take step towards transformation to address inequality, unsustainable consumption patterns, weak institutional capacity and environmental degradation. Developing this universal strategies by the UN will require proper examination in achieving the goals.
Examination in general means nondestructive inspection, investigation, or testing of materials, products or services to determine their conformation to specification. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs a radical change to do their part:governments, the private sector, civil society and every human being across the world through self-examination. Moreover, transformational action that can be taken as a key feature of examining the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is universality and indivisibility. This action plan addresses all countries from the Global South and the Global North as target countries. From investigations, all countries subscribing to the 2030 Agenda are to align their own development efforts with the aim of promoting prosperity while protecting the planet in order to achieve sustainable development. Thus, with respect to the SDGs, all countries can be considered as developing and all countries need to take urgent action for change. Governments are expected to take ownership and establish national frameworks, policies and measures for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Implementation is the process of putting into effect and execution with adequate competence. Implementing these positive action plans needs a greater level of competency. In this context, competency may be defined as a set of behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the behaviors of the people in the world. Competences which will aid in the implementation of the goals must be employed. These includes; Systems thinking competency: the abilities to recognize and understand relationships; to analyses complex systems; to think of how systems are embedded within different domains and different scales; and to deal with uncertainty in the world.Anticipatory competency: the abilities to understand and evaluate multiple futures – possible, probable and desirable; to create one’s own visions for the future; to apply the precautionary principle; to assess the consequences of actions; and to deal with risks and positive changes affecting the lives of people of the world.Normative competency: the abilities to understand and reflect on the norms and values that underlie SDG’s actions;and to negotiate sustainability values, principles, goals, and targets, in a context of conflicts of interests and trade-offs,uncertain knowledge and contradictions.Strategic competency: the abilities to collectively develop and implement innovative actions that further sustainability at the local level and further afield of Agenda 2030.Collaboration competency: the abilities to learn from others; to understand and respect the needs, perspectives and actions of others (empathy); to understand, relate to and be sensitive to others (empathic leadership); to deal with conflicts in a group; and to facilitate collaborative and participatory problem solving through committee sessions. Critical thinking competency: the ability to question norms, practices and opinions; to reflect on other countries values, perceptions and actions; and to take a position in the sustainability discourse. Self-awareness competency: the ability to reflect on a countries’ own role in the local community and (global) society; to continually evaluate and further motivate their actions; and to deal with the feelings and desires. And,Integrated problem-solving competency: the overarching ability to apply different problem-solving frameworks to complex sustainability problems and develop viable, inclusive and equitable solution options that promote sustainable development, integrating the above mentioned competences in achieving Agenda 2030.
Through the carefully tailored Committees topics, participants of GIMUN 2019 will discuss various agenda in relation to how we will end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.