China National Model United Nations 2011

Greeting Message by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I send my warm greetings to the China National Model United Nations 2011. I wish to extend my warm congratulations on your commitment to fostering understanding about the work of the United Nations.

As you gather here today, the international community faces a number of significant global challenges. The world is tackling multiple crises. The world economy is still on a fragile and uneven path of recovery from the financial crisis. Hunger is on the rise in many parts of the world and the plague of famine is hitting the Horn of Africa. And millions of mothers and children are still dying from treatable diseases due to lack of health care.

Progress on the Millennium Development Goals, while encouraging, has been uneven.  Looking into the future, sustainable development challenges loom large. What kind of future do we want? These are the major issues of your generation. And addressing them requires concerted effort and global partnership.

The United Nations has a unique role to play in this respect. It offers a legitimate platform for mobilizing the international community to work together for a better world. While upholding the principles of the UN Charter, we endeavor to make valuable contributions in maintaining peace and security, protecting the environment, fighting hunger, poverty, diseases, and promoting universal human rights.

One of the issues you will be discussing is the promotion and protection of women’s rights. It is a very timely topic. The past century has brought great progress in the status of women.  Yet, in many countries and societies, there is still inequality, discrimination, and even violence in women’s daily lives. We must strive to create an enabling social and economic environment, one that empowers women and ensures their equality. We need to engage women fully in all domains of life: agriculture, science and technology, politics, business, and education.

Additionally, this year marks the 25th anniversary of adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development. It is therefore fitting that you have chosen it as one of the main themes of this year’s CNMUN.

The Declaration states: “Everyone is entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.”

MDGs are a visible expression of the right to development. They demonstrate a commitment to translate the Declaration into concrete achievements.

Next year, the United Nations will convene a global conference on sustainable development, known as Rio+20. Preparations are now underway.

It is a very good occasion to look back so as to look ahead.

I encourage you to follow the Conference. Combine what you learn at CNMUN with the information you gather by following the preparations for Rio+20. See what you can do for a better future, a sustainable future, a future you want.

My friends,

The future lies in the hands of the young, who also bear the burden of shaping the future. Young people are the drivers of transformative change. Your ideals, energy and visions are essential. Young people in all countries are a major human resource for development, positive social change and technological innovation.

It is our sincere hope you seize the opportunity CNMUN offers you. Participate fully in this experience. Learn what the UN is and how the UN works and share your insights on what the UN should do.

Your futures may take many different paths. But regardless of which path you take, remember that the challenges of the UN belong to the entire world. They are your challenges, too.

Social responsibility is global responsibility.

Don’t hesitate to play a part, take a stand or act boldly.

The world needs you.

In closing, I would like to wish the China National Model United Nations 2011 a resounding success.

Thank you.