We live in a world where a measly number of eight men possess as much wealth as the poorest half of the world's population. I’ll let you take some time to interpret this, allow it to sink in- just eight individuals own as much money as 3.6 billion people. This solemn reality exposes but a fraction of the negligence in the world we’re living in. These gaps transcend income inequality and their repercussions proceed to degenerate global peace and justice. Closing Gaps is about acclaiming equality, and together, like seasoned veterans of the PANAMUN field, finding solutions to combat and conquer these gaps, and prosper in the changes we seek to achieve.
Despite our attempts to deny it, it’s clear that the gaps in our world are increasing at a phenomenal rate. 1% of our population own more wealth than the 99% remaining. Ironically, US tax policy reforms are increasing income inequality – top marginal income rates have been significantly reduced since the 1980’s, dissuading wage growth and giving rise to the corporate tax cap. These daunting figures shed light on the shear privilege we latch onto – the duty lies in us to bring fresh, new views to world topics, to bring youthful perspectives on issues which feed global injustice.
But matters of inequality do not only extend to unequal income distribution, it reaches out to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, education and healthcare. Over 20 nations continue to discriminate against females by banning education. In Pakistan, Taliban shot a 15 year old girl Malala Yousafzai in the head for ensuing her right to education. The World Economic Forum Gender Parity Report has declared that over half of Pakistani girls are uneducated; this alarming violation of human rights not only obliterates the advancement of women but derogates their self-worth. The truth is that these gaps are omnipresent, they even lingering in economies with ostensible ‘equal opportunities’ – from the ceaseless presence of wage gaps, the silencing and blatant disregard of women at times when they are at their most vulnerable to the tawdry sexism displayed by numerous males every day. In fact, all women have suffered from the robust barriers erected by circumstance of gender.
Although it’s understandable to be blinded by the inexhaustible need of global justice, we must not ignore the progress which has already been made over the the last decades. Progress in global healthcare has been achieved as rates of chronic hunger and child mortality are half of what they were 20 years ago. However, data from the World Health Organisation states that progress has been deficient in issues such as maternal mortality, access to improved sanitation and Malaria. As members of this year’s Model United Nations Conference, we must engage in finding ways in which such problems can be stifled and their effects diminished.
So how could PANAMUN’s 25th session possibly help broaden our world’s gaps? Nobody can answer this, because, the truth is, it’s up to the individual to seize this conference as an opportunity to defend the social, political and economic rights of the victims. For we aren’t different, we are soldiers on the same team spread across the battlefield, and we will not surrender until we have achieved what we came for, Justice.