The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations and was established in 1948, with its headquarters in Santiago de Chile.
The sessions of the Commission are held twice a year, where Member States review the progress of their activities and formulate guiding policies. Aside from the countries situated in Latin America and the Caribbean, several Asian, European and North American nations with historical, economic or cultural ties to the region are also Members of ECLAC.
At KULMUN 2019, participants will seek ways to contribute to the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean by coordinating relevant actions and reinforcing economic ties within the region.
Topic A: Venezuela’s Economy and its consequences on South America
Beginning as far back as the presidency of Hugo Chavez, the issue of Venezuela’s economy and the domination of oil at the expense of the country’s other commodities, has led to the creation of a very unbalanced economic system left at the mercy of global oil prices. This was highlighted in 2014 which saw prices for the fossil fuel collapse, to the detriment of the country’s revenue.
As a result, the country’s ability to earn US dollars suffered, leading to the inability of importers to bring in materials, which resulted in shortages of even the most basic necessities like toilet paper. This further resulted in social and political unrest as the government’s attempts to rein in the situation continue to frustrate the people of Venezuela.
Delegates will be challenged to find ways to stabilise the situation in Venezuela and how they can bring balance to the country once again. It is a complicated problem with many approaches and things to consider, but they will have to do so as the situation can no longer be ignored by Venezuela’s neighbours as the crises continue to worsen year by year.
Topic B: Resurrecting South American Integration
A dream that began as far back as the 19th Century, as the continent sought independence from Imperial Spain, the idea of an integrated South America has been kept alive through to the present day. After extended negotiations, it was possible to establish several regional agencies.
As of the moment the regional cooperation takes the form of 3 interconnected organisations: The Andean Community, Mercosur/Mercosul, and UNASUR (Union of South American Nations). While the organisations were able to bring extended dialogue, better integration and stability to the region, recently the concept of a unified continent has suffered major setbacks. This came with Mercosur/Mercosul suspending the membership of Venezuela in 2016 for its handling of its ongoing problems, and 6 other countries suspending their membership at UNASUR. To make matters worse, Colombia later announced its plan to leave the organisation entirely.
The committee, therefore, should consider how it can salvage pre-existing continental ties between the countries through the above organisations, and how it can improve them, either through the above entities, or by proposing new ones altogether.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Brazil *
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*
- United States of America*
*this country is advised for experienced delegates