United Nations Development Programme

Dear Delegate:


Welcome to Baylor’s 2008 Model United Nations high school conference. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a development network sponsored by the United Nations (UN) that advocates availability of knowledge, experience, and resources to countries in an effort to help them build a better life for people in their nation.


The topics for this year’s UNDP committee are:

1. Expanding public education in developing nations           

2. Evaluation and implementation of the Millennium Campaign to end poverty

3. The impact and role of women empowerment on country development


The responsibility of a UNDP delegate is to know their committee’s role in the UN and the global development effort. This requires a general knowledge of country status development in various nations and several efforts in achieving development. In committee, you will evaluate three areas of development.


Thus, in preparation for the conference, delegates shall acquire excellent knowledge of these topics, the role of the UNDP committee, and their country’s position on policy with regard to the topics.


We look forward to meeting you this fall,


The UNDP Chairs

History and Introduction to the UNDP

"The fact is that globalization, the global market economy delivers to the upper half; it doesn't really deliver to the poor people. In some cities in the developing world, you have 50 percent of young people unemployed. So the challenge is huge and we have to focus on it.

"At the United Nations Development Programme, that's what we try to do. We try to find the right solutions, try to compare what worked in some places to what didn't work in other places, and build and bring capacity development to these countries...It is through democratic institutions, through participation, through people getting organized in democratic ways [that is] at the heart of the challenge. You have to have these institutions to accompany market development, to accompany what's happening in the technological and financial sphere, so that we indeed have a much more equitable and balanced human society."

- Kemal Derviº, UNDP Administrator

A programme administered by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was established in 1965. The purpose of the UNDP’s establishment was to combine the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance and the United Nations Special Fund. This merger was completed in 1971. The original purpose, as it continues today, was to assist countries in solving both national and global development challenges. Today, the UNDP holds offices in 166 countries, where these challenges are studied every day.

These challenges include: democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, environment and energy, and HIV/AIDS. Other functions of the UNDP are human rights and women equality promotion. The UNDP is also responsible for commissioning the annual Human Development Report, which serves to focus “the global debate on key development issues, providing new measurement tools, innovative analysis and often controversial policy proposals.” 1

Kemal Derviº, the current UNDP administrator, was confirmed unanimously by the 191 countries voting in the UN General assembly in May 2005. Dutch national, Ad Melkert, was appointed Associate Administer the following March.


1 http://www.undp.org/about/


Topic I: Addressing Family Planning and Over Population Epidemic


Due the increase of over population the under developing states are suffering an upsurge of infants and young women deaths. Many states are seeking for a solution that benefit a family planning program which goals are to prevent unplanned pregnancies, methods of prevention to avoid overpopulation and increase the likelihood of a surviving economic state. It is crucial to understand the factors that under developed states face when undergoing an unplanned family it is an issue that effects the individual as well as the surviving economic statues of the entire state(2). Healthier children can reduce the economic burden on the family and increases more emphasis on education, heath, childcare and breaking the cycle of poverty (3). Every minute at least one woman dies in the process of childbirth in poor states; it is estimated that 585,000 a year suffer preventable complications of pregnancy, childbirth and unsafe abortions (4).

USAID- Family Planning Ethiopia

The United Nations Foundation (UNF) in 1999 provided grants to the UN totaling approximately $30 million a year to support projects in the area of population and women. The program's framework aims at promoting the developing with information of HIV/ AIDS and family planning (United Nations Foundation). The crises facing Ethiopia today is family planning and death caused by childbirth. Traditionally, in Ethiopian culture it is acceptable to engage in marriage at an early age and the average size of a family is 6 children per household. The government health development is seeking for improvements in health services for its citizens. Alarmingly the ratio of women dying from causes relating pregnancy and childbirth is 871 deaths for every 100,000 live births (7). This ratio is a product of the lack of sexual method prevention and health aid. Many nations like Ethiopia look for alternatives to find the best way to reduce the over population and increase health benefits. In the past the nation of China has been very successful in the issue of “Family Planning Program” which consists of abortion, infanticide, and forced sterilization. In the case of China, the program required monitoring and control over agricultural land with the desire to sustain the current population (5). The case in Ethiopia is the lack of prevention of 75% of the population suffering from a preventable disease like HIV/AIDS and malnutrition (6).

UN Solution Approach

The state of Ethiopia is in need of a solution in which the average family size is reduced from 7 to 4 children and the use of contraceptives increased to  44% by 2015 (6). The over population in this state has made it difficult to control the deaths caused by childbirth and health issues that regularly face young women. The UNFPA and UNHCR join forces to efficiently respond to the sexual and reproductive health based on collection of accurate population- based data, effecting relief and identify more efficient resolutions(7).

In 2005, UNFPA and UNHCR provided over 2.7 million contraceptives in countries such as the Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Ethiopia (1). It is imperative to find a solution to the overpopulation crises that would efficiently and rapidly aid a state in order to stop the death rate from escalating an alarming number due to childbirth among young women.


There must be a solution that tackles all the issues that produce overpopulation such as the lack of health programs, sexual education, and economic issues that may contribute to the insufficient aid. It is unjustified for any nation to ignore the crises of overpopulation in deprived nations. It is the duty of the UN to aid the most unfortunate states by promoting as well as providing a solution to this matter. It is extremely important to urgently provide a solution that seeks to stop the death of young innocent lives.



1 http://www.unfpa.org/news/news.cfm?ID=1125

2 http://www.globalissues.org/EnvIssues/Population/Gender.asp

3 http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADH039.pdf



Food_and_Population. html

6 http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/pop/countries/ethiopia.html

7 http://www.unfpa.org/news/news.cfm?ID=1121




Topic II: The evaluation and implementation of the UNDP’s Millennium Project.

The United Nations Developmental Fund is a part of the United Nations global development network focused on helping the progression of countries around the world. By focusing on issues like democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, HIV and AIDS and energy and environment, it has developed ground programs in 166 countries around the world. However, it wasn’t until 2005 that the United Nations Developmental Fund launched the Millennium Project.

     This is a multifaceted project that demands the funds and cooperation of everyone around the world. The ambitious goal of this project is to cut the poverty rate into half by the year 2015. Poverty is an issue that affects health, the economy and personal pursuit of happiness. There are billions of people around the world that live off a salary that is less than two dollars a day. It is a fact that only forty percent of the world’s population only accounts for five percent of the world’s income. According to UNICEF 26, 500-30,000 children suffer and die every day due to issues related to poverty. Though the concept that most people have to solve poverty issues it focused on the economy, the reality is that poverty is a multifaceted issue. This is where the Millennium project really has its opportunity to shine. It implements solutions that address issues such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child morality, improve maternal health, combat malaria, HIV/ AIDS and other diseases, ensure environmental stability, and global partnership for development. By acting in these areas in developing countries around the world the United Nations Developmental Fund plans to achieve its goal.

            Currently, there has been many advancements, however, at the same time there have also been many set backs due to the nature of the differences between states such as history, political views, culture, religion and several other varying factors.  Regarding the issue of poverty and hunger the UNDP has seen a slow growth in the economy yet progression being lead by Asia. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa there appears to be a steady decline in both food distribution and poverty rates. This is partially due to the high concentration that the agricultural market has had on producing crops for exportation and profit (cash crops), opposed to producing for families. The issue of universal primary education is improving. Five of the developing nations have almost reach total enrollment while the South Asia, Oceania, and Sub-Saharan region are lacking behind. This issue of equality and empowerment of women is slowly improving, simply because the issue of equality is closely linked to that of education. Women hold a mere sixteen percent of the seats in parliament worldwide.  Child morality rates are still severe with about 11 million children a year, thirty-thousand a day still dying from preventable causes; it has been reduced but little. Maternal deaths have subsided in developing countries but not in places where birth is the most dangerous. HIV and AIDS is the number one killer in Sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth main killer in the world. Malaria and Tuberculosis have also been added to the problem and all these factors deeply hurt the working class in the world. Since there is no cure to AIDS, prevention is the only means of reduction which has shown improvement, but has had to fight through a lot of cultural resistance.  When it involves the environment there have been many improvements to the ozone layer, yet there has been little done to improve the conditions of infrastructures such as toilets and other basic sanitary needs.  The most important of all these issues is the growth of global partnership for development. The developing countries who have chosen to take part in this venture have agreed to the 2000 United Nations Millennium Declaration. This declaration states that every country will participate in the development of their own country and will provide necessary aide and encourage trade.

     The Millennium Project is clearly a difficult endeavor and requires immediate attention to be achieved by 2015. However, with Sub-Saharan Africa slipping backwards instead of forward what can be done to reach those areas? There have been great difficulties working with countries who view this as a project that instills a western pattern of thought. How can the UNDP implement its project without stepping on toes and infringing on national sovereignty?

1 http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Facts.asp

2 United Nations Development Programme; www.UNDP.org


Topic III: the Impact and Role of Women Empowerment on Country’s Development

"As we move forward with the implementation of the MDGs, it is important that we are fully committed to investing in policies and programmes that empower women and promote gender equality." – Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator, 6 Sept. 2005


Administer Dervis’s plea is compelling as we consider the historical tendency to overlook women in society. Not only are women historically overlooked in society, but also within the political and economic realms. These attitudes exist today in varying severity and result in male dominance. Ignorance of female capabilities restricts women to accepted roles. The UNDP advocates the expansion and conversion of these female roles with predominately male roles in order to decrease inequality among genders.


Goal three of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) is titled, “Promote gender Equality and Women Empowerment.” Preceded only by two goals pertaining to education and hunger, goal number three indicates significant importance. The goal is to “Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015,” these levels referred to are the ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary, and tertiary education, the ratio of literate women to men from 15-24 years old, the share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector, and the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments.


UNDP Promoting Equality


            The UNDP promotes equality between men and women through gender mainstreaming. This strategy rests on three points of interest: (1) Developing capacities – both in-country and in-house – to integrate gender concerns in all practice areas; (2) Providing policy advisory services that promote gender equality and women's empowerment; and (3) Supporting specific interventions that benefit women and innovative models such as those developed and tested by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).2


Equality and Development


The UNDP uses the dimension gender equality in its four focus areas of poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention/ recovery, and environment and sustainable development to strive towards MDGs. This encompasses a plethora of areas, which range from topics already mentioned including social, economic, and political equality. As these three areas are breeding grounds for sub-areas for opportunity in development, the UNDP must delegate appropriate resources to promote gender equality.


Delegates should consider policies and programs that disperse resources most efficiently. These could potentially include focusing on gender equality in the non-agricultural sector, education (primary and/or secondary), in-home gender equality, HIV/AIDS gender disparity, etc. 



1 http://www.undp.org/mdg/goal3.shtml

2 http://www.undp.org/women/mainstream/undp.shtml