UN HABITAT: United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Topic A: Implications of Mass Tourism Sporting Events in Latin America and the Caribbean

Tourism accounts for over 6% of employment in Latin America, and over 12% throughout the Caribbean. It also accounts for nearly 7% of the region’s GDP and represents over 40% of the exports of goods and services in the Caribbean. In addition to a gradual increase in tourism throughout the years, the region has experienced a massive influx of visitors after hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. In a region that is primarily developing, it has become hard for many countries to keep up with the infrastructural demands that are required to house, transport, and manage so many foreign visitors in such a short period of time. Tourism, ecotourism, and mass tourism, however, do not come without problems. The facilities that are planned and constructed for these events often become entrenched in controversy, as well as the often problematic allocation of resources for locals competing with the demand of these large urban developments. Sustainability also comes into question: a multitude of facilities utilized in past international events are now underutilized but continue to use government funding for upkeep and refurbishment. Ultimately, all of these issues come together into a very dynamic topic, where delegates will examine history to ensure that previous mistakes don’t become current realities. Tourism has so much economic, political and social potential for Latin America and the Caribbean, but how do we achieve it?

Topic B: Human Settlement in Response to Global Climate Change in Coastal Cities

This topic, while addressing climate change, emphasizes the resilience and adaptation strategies against the consequences of climate-change as opposed to policies that aim to halt its effects. This means that it will target specific issue areas that have come about as a result of climate change such as the effects of rising sea levels on coastal cities, water scarcity, droughts, etc. In looking at these issues, delegates will aspire to create institutionalized policies at the international and national scale, which seek to help governments strengthen the resilience of their urban infrastructure to properly prepare for natural disasters, especially if they are more prone to occur in certain countries than others. Furthermore, the topic aims to address governments’ responses to water scarcity and agricultural insecurities while promoting pro-poor policies in keeping with UN-Habitat’s mandate of alleviating poverty.

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