Model United Nations at UCLA

Since 1950

Model United Nations at UCLA provides a forum for discussion of international relations and events through dynamic and academically stimulating simulation of the United Nations. We host two major Model UN conferences annually, and provide opportunities for members to travel nationally and internationally to compete in collegiate MUN conferences. MUN at UCLA holds weekly general meetings and frequent social events featuring guest speakers, conference and travel training, discussion of international events, and more.

Participation in Model UN activities promotes desirable and marketable traits such as public and impromptu speaking, networking, international engagement, and creative problem solving.

BruinMUN, our fall quarter high school conference, brings approximately 1000 high school students to UCLA for a weekend of debate, healthy competition, and fun. The conference, entering its 21st year, exposes high school students to UCLA and provides leadership experience for our staffers.

LAMUN, our spring quarter college conference, has an eight year history. Several hundred participants from dozens of domestic and international colleges and universities converge in Los Angeles annually to simulate UN style debate in a variety of unique, “crisis based” committees.

Our travel team is open to all and sends delegations to several conferences annually. Unlike many other MUN programs, members can try out for each conference.

Our primary goal is to continue growing and improving our conferences, travel team, and events. We strive to provide a consistently high quality experience at no cost to our members.

ECOSOC: GMOs or GM-Nos?

Written by Ashley Ng and Dev Bhakta

The world population is predicted to grow to 9 billion people in 2050 and every 1 in 9 people is malnourished.

To increase food production, many governments have turned to genetically modified (GM) crops. Last year alone, over 179.7 million hectares of genetically modified crops were produced worldwide, nearly 10 times the amount produced in 2003. The success of GM crops is attributed to environmental and economic factors. For example, GM crops can be engineered to conserve water in agricultural production and to grow despite dire environmental conditions, which enables farmers to produce more efficiently and consistently and, thus, steadily increases the world food supply.

However, GM crops can also incur significant costs on society and our environment. GM crops can be modified to resist herbicides, which are sprayed to kill weeds. However, weeds can become resistant to herbicides, leading to the increased use of herbicides. If technology cannot keep up with the weeds’ adaptations, weeds would overrun agricultural land and, consequently, reduce food production.

Recently, research about Roundup, a herbicide that reduces weed growth, has focussed on potential links between Roundup and cancer. Roundup is a pesticide that is sold with a certain variety of genetically modified corn developed by Monsanto. The main ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which when absorbed, travels to weed roots and blocks the enzyme that is necessary for plant growth. This results in the “dying out” of weeds, leaving farmers with just their crops. However, with no control of where this Roundup travels, there are concerns over how it could affect foods that are consumed by humans and animals.

To view these concerns an experiment done in 2012 with mice with ingesting maize sprayed with Roundup showed higher chance of having a tumor for these mice. However, there is still no proof, since there is no causation linking Roundup to this increased chance of cancer, as ingestion level of genetically modified corn had no correspondence with level of sickness. Although genetically modified corn is created to avoid having pesticides and herbicides, there is still a link to health issues as the mice demonstrated. Further research on GMOs is necessary in order to discover the true relationship of herbicides, such as Roundup, with the sickness caused by eating these crops as well the genetically modified crops.   

With the looming possibility that GM crops will have environmental and economic consequences globally, members of the ECOSOC should evaluate whether or not the benefits of GMOs outweigh the risks.

 

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-cancer-iarc-exclusive-idUSKCN12P2FW

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gillam/epa-bows-to-chemical-indu_b_12563438.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-32677411

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19654825

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/business/gmo-promise-falls-short.html?_r=0  

https://www.statista.com/statistics/263292/acreage-of-genetically-modified-crops-worldwide/

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