November 18, 2023
Honored Delegates, Dedicated Advisors, and Guests,
Technology throughout history has greatly influenced the human condition by fundamentally changing how humanity interacts with the world and with each other. Entire decades and
centuries have been defined by key technological developments. Agriculture helped form the beginnings of human civilization, the invention of the steam engine propelled us into the
Industrial Revolution, and nuclear technology may be the key to a sustainable earth.
However, technology has not always been a positive influence on humanity. Each of these historical periods was fraught with challenges and difficulties that were the result of these key technological developments occurring–many of which we continue to face today. Agriculture requiring scarce resources induced groups to fight with one another, the steam engine increased economic output to such an extent that it resulted in inhumane labor standards to keep pace, and nuclear technology forever changed warfare and international relations.
In the present day, contemporary society finds itself again confronted by the limitless potential that new technology presents, both the good and the bad. Artificial intelligence, drones, and automation are but a few upcoming technologies that can change entire sectors and consequently the global landscape. It is in humanity’s best interest to carefully scrutinize the implications and outcomes that modern, emerging technology brings to the world.
Therefore, the Model United Nations of Alaska Fall Conference–on November 18th–presents an opportunity for all of us to reflect and consider how advancements in technology will affect the world around us. The committees for this Fall Conference will include the Security Council (SC), Arctic Council (AC), Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and two International Telecommunications Union (ITU) committees–one will focus on Affordability, Accessibility, and Development, while the other will focus on Cybersecurity and AI. These committees, through their respective lenses and unique resolutions, will have their members address the idea of the conference’s topic: “Emerging Technology”.
Determining the value and harm that new technologies create is no easy task. It will take meaningful conversations, heated discussions, and intentional research, but anything
worthwhile will always be difficult. So I encourage each and every one of you to strive to do good, effective work–but most importantly have fun!
Secretary-General Caleb Yabes
Model United Nations of Alaska 2023-2024