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Kicking off the conference

Tipping point. This term suggests the feeling of standing on a cliff with your back to the abyss, where irreversible catastrophe awaits. The multiple crises give the impression that it is the world itself standing before this abyss, with no real prospect of salvation from an inevitable fate. It is easy to ignore the fact that a cliff not only offers a fatal fall backwards, but also the chance to cling to the surrounding grass in order to regain a sense of security. Nora Grumpe opened elbModel United Nations 2024 in this deliberately ambivalent light. At this year's conference, the international community is to address precisely these crises, all of which are linked to climate change: UNEA will deal with the worsening water shortage and UNHCR with the refugees fleeing precisely such consequences. The UN's ECOSOC, on the other hand, will be discussing controversial deep-sea mining, which proponents hope will provide raw materials to combat climate change, among other things. However, as Nora emphasized, sustainability in all dimensions must be the common red thread guiding the participants. "Present" echoed through the room more than sixty times as the participating countries confirmed their presence.

The guests of honor also echoed the call for urgent action in their speeches. Nils Geißler, member of the DGVN Executive Committee, recalled the worrying findings of the latest IPCC report. "The window to secure a sustainable future for all is closing," said Geißler.

Saxony's Minister of Justice, Katja Meier, also agreed, underscoring the importance of democratic mechanisms for solving global problems in her video message. elbMUN lives precisely these principles and therefore welcomes this project very much. Peter Rosenbaum, Head of the International Office at TU Dresden, highlighted that the conference with its many international participants was part of the university's international orientation. He stated that it is particularly important at international level to deal with contrary opinions. Juliane Dzumlia and Florian Wendler from UNU Flores, based in Dresden, explained what this means in concrete terms for UN-related research in Dresden. In doing so, they echoed the opinion of UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He argued that the SDGs would not be achieved in New York, but through political cooperation on the ground based on scientific findings. 

In conclusion, Mia Wäldchen and Lavinia Zank reiterated their thanks to the city of Dresden, the Zion Church and the Saxon State Parliament, without whose organizational support the conference could not take place. The participants' anticipation of the coming days can be seen on their faces and heard in their conversations: "I am thrilled to see what the upcoming days will bring, let's go", as the Ghanaian representative Tim Gestring put it. elbMUN 2024 is officially opened!

Jan Ecker


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