FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization

Welcome to the FAO Committee at SCMUN 2019!

Background Guides will be available on February 1.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the UN that works to defeat hunger worldwide. The organization works in both developed and developing countries; providing short term solutions and well as long-term pathways to sustainability. By being prepared for emergencies FAO responds to natural disasters, war-time chaos, refugees, and many more situations. In order to promote a sustainable and lasting solution FAO works to improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The committee has 197 member states and remains one of the UN’s most effective tools in international sustainability.

Topic A: Antibiotic Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in agriculture has become both increasingly prominent and increasingly problematic over the past decades. Antimicrobials are commonly used for treatment and prevention of illness in livestock, and in low doses in feed to increase animal growth. However, as the global economy expands, the world’s demand for food increases, and lower-end antimicrobials become more easily accessible over-the-counter, the instances of antimicrobial resistance have become more and more frequent. This has caused a myriad of problems, including a decreased ability to treat sick livestock as well as  these resistant pathogens spreading to infect people. Estimates place human fatalities from AMR at around 10 million people annually, and it is also responsible for significant losses in GDP, making it a problem that cannot be ignored by the FAO. Beyond the current initiatives in place, delegates in this committee will be challenged to develop new, innovative, short-term and long-term plans to combat the impacts of a rapidly expanding economy, increasing population to feed, and presence of AMR over the course of the conference.

Topic B: Access to Water

Around the world, over 1.1 billion people do not have consistent access to safe drinking water. Without this, fundamental parts of civilization cannot be built and that has been apparent in many areas but particularly two: Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This has been due to many factors including but not limited to poor domestic management of resources and increasing variability in climate patterns that have even caused national disaster. Water contamination is a large part of this issue that has not been kept under control, and the problem is getting worse with a lot of these weather patterns. This is a compounding issue as this prevents many children from going to school, and breaking the poverty trap. Africa is having a much more difficult time with economic scarcity of water, while South Asia is having more of a problem with physical water scarcity. Many rural areas have no hope of being reached soon, and a system to implement efficient pumps or wells of water have become even more difficult to find.