RUTGERS MODEL UNITED NATIONS 2006 Delegation: Angola Committee: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Topic: Biotechnology

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RUTGERS MODEL UNITED NATIONS 2006

Delegation
: Angola

Committee:

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Topic
: Biotechnology

Delegates:

Victoria Guen and Allison Ryan

EAST BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL














In the world today 1.5

billion people live on less than a dollar a day, eight hundred million
people are malnourished and 200 million children are under weight. Most of these people are found
in third world nations
, and are undernourished. Biotechnology will benefit these less
fortunate places

in many helpful and needed ways. Biotechnology is any technological application that uses biology
to make or modify products or process for a specific purpose
, usually to create a product that is more
effective
. Biotechnology will also be
able to increase the amount of available farming space, by
using seeds more able to live in the harsh soil
s

and climate
s
. Also, stopping the spread
of
diseases
that othe
rwise could be life threatening,
biotechnology
will improve the current agricultural
si
tuation
,
the
economy
, and come up with new medical innovations
.

Used to develop medicines and better crops, biotechnology is a relatively new method of
aiding of living organisms through scientific processes, and therefore there has not been much
discussio
n concerning the topic. Each Country in the United Nations has at least voiced their own
opinion
-

the industrial countries feel Biotechnology is sure
-
fire and a very reliable science, while the
poorer

countries aren’t sure how to react, and can’t afford t
he massive funding Biotechnology
requires.

An exemplary application of biotechnology
was in the creation of
the Fl
avr
-
Savr Tomato
,

the first crop ever engineered by biotechnology to go on sale to the genera
l p
ublic. Through
extensive research, this tomat
o uses recombinant DNA to create a
tomato
that
ripens on
the vine


resulting in fuller flavor. Us
ually

a

tomato
is picked green,
and then is sprayed with ethylene

after shipping to induce ripening.



The new tomato

is modified so that it remains firm afte
r harvesting
. Just
one of the
successes of

biotechnology, this t
omato foreshado
ws hope for
an improvement on
other
crops
using
biotechnology. In addition to creating more stable foods, biotechnology can be used to
develop more nutritious crops. Micronut
rient deficiencies due to unhealthy diets are a major source
of increased susceptibility to disease and mortality worldwide. Affecting
mainly
children,

these
deficiencies impair their immune systems and normal development, causing disease and ultimately
de
ath.

The best way to avoid micronutrient deficiencies is

by way of a varied diet, rich in
vegetables, fruits and animal products
” (Welch 1)
. The second best approach, especially for those
who cannot aff
ord this necessary

varied diet, is by way of nutrien
t
-
dense staple crops. According to
the World Health Organization, dietary vitamin A
deficiency

causes some 250,000 to 500,000
children to go blind each year. Blindness and corneal afflictions are but indicators of more severe
underlying health problems: m
ore than half the children who lose their sight die within a year of
becoming blind.

The answer to these problems is
Golden Rice
,


a type of rice in which
two genes
have been inserted into the rice genome by genetic engineering of beta
-
carotene in the gra
ins.

Golden Rice

grains are easily
recognizable

by their yellow
color
,
which exhibits the fact that this
Type of rice contains beta
-
carotene. For

the poverty stricken countries, the staggering

statistics of the
hungry are overwhelming. A 75 percent growt
h in agricultural production will be needed in the span
on just one generation to feed the growing population.
Biotechnology is the answer to this call for
food.

Angola
‘s three principle natural regions are the costal lowland, hills and mountains, and the
vast areas of plateaus. Many of

the lands used for agriculture are
lacking
, as
farmers
have destroyed
soil and poor yields. The land, which was only average to begin with was broken down by
unrelenting planting of the same crops. This
technique

strips l
and of it’s
nutrients

and causes the
rich tops
oil to crumble and lose value
, making crops wither and die more each year. Plants can’t
take root, since the rich topsoil vanished long ago
.
An issue concerning

biotechnology is that that
the genetically reco
mbined seeds are more expensive than plain ones. The richer farmers are more
likely to invest

their time in these seed,
but the poorer farmers
already
have to struggle on
deteriorated land.
Fortunately, t
he yield in crops is equivalent to four time
s the
original cost of the
seed, making reengineered seeds, but

it’s hard for those in poverty to get the money to buy the seeds
in the first place.




Biotechnology will solve many problems found in Angola. Firstly,
through biotechnology,
the Japanese found s
eeds that are more responsive to arable soil. Arable soil is when the soil is iron
enriched
, which causes plants to wither and die.

Using this seed
will increase
the
amount of
crop
yielded, and will thus allow

Angola
n

farmers to produce more crops.
Anothe
r possible idea is for
farmers to test their land with the actual crops produced by biotechnology. This would be an
amazing solution to several problems, because the struggling farmers would learn how to cultivate
the new products, the scientists would hav
e real soil to experiment on, and the starving laborers
would get paid for their work. Farmers would submit their land, by mail, to a Non
-
Governmental
Organization. They would soon receive the newly engineered seeds, and would cultivate their crops.
By
placing the seeds in the actual degraded soil, scientists could determine what else was needed to
be done to yield the maximum amount of crops. The job of the United Nations would be to
encourage this, and promote the effects of biotechnology. It would a
lso be beneficial for
Agricultural colleges to be set up. Although a basic topic, the rotation of crops hasn’t been properly
communicated, and the state of the soil is deteriorated. By holding free classes, farmers can learn
that they are making mistakes
, and how to improve upon their techniques.
The Agricultural colleges
will
try to unify the different farms to create a more efficient system for farming.
NGOs should
support this idea, because as soon as the ideas take hold, the people will be well fed,

without having
to deliver food themselves. As
Woldeyesus Sinebo points out,


African countries should build
domestic capacity through formation of linkages with advanced research institutes and international
organizations to make use of biotechnology” (
Si
nebo 1)
.
Although many constraints exist, such a
s the
domestic capacity across organizational barriers,
this should be overcome fairly easily with
persistent effort.

Once steady support is given to farmers, and they being to effectively cultivate
crops,
An
golan companies will no longer have to pay their workers in food, which
is a desperate act.
With the increase of economy

that the agricultural business with give them,
Angola will be able to
start making changes that will no longer make them a third world
nation. With the help of richer and
more scientifically advanced countries such as Japan and the United States, Angola will be able to
use biotechnology to the fullest of its abilities.

Also, with
a centralized banking system

Angolans in
need could take l
ow interest loans, and use t
he money to start their career.
Another way would be
having villages near each make a joint account to pay for the seeds, so not every village or farmer
needs to pay for the seeds by themselves. It will probably be cheaper beca
use most companies give
discounts when the consumer buys in bulk.
Moreover
, the seeds will
eventually
pay for themselves.
Angola should monitor the amount of people getting the seeds at a time or the
increase in crops,
which will become an example of the p
ositive

effects on f
a
r
ms since bioengineered

crops were
planted there.

This

awareness
will bring about a wave if appreciating towards biotechnology, and
will make those who have reservations change their minds.

A new area of employment could arise
out of

this, by creating jobs for people to keep track of the land. People are needed to check up on
how well the crops are doing in the arable soi
l, and this will be an opportunity for many. This
system allows

the Angolan government a better idea of who needs

the seeds the most
, how well they
are working, and
where they
can
be put to the best use.

Angola’s policy should be revised to include
more information on biotechnology. It has been a generally ignored topic, but Angola needs to
embrace this new technolog
y despite
various
religious or p
ersonal

o
bjections. In the immediate
future, the first ting Angola should do is start taking loans and collecting money to fund this massive
agricultural revolution. Once they have that, they can campaign for support for ei
ther NGOs or other
countries willing to fund the development of Angola.
With support and loans, biotechnology could
greatly help Angola’s weak industry, and further improve the Angolan way of life. Since
Biotechnology is also used to engineer cures for m
ajor diseases, the biotechnological vaccines will
cut back on the amount of deaths in Angola giving both children and adults a better chance of life.
The Angolans will benefit through all different forms of biotechnology whether it be medical or
agricultur
al.

The advantages to reverting to biogenetically produced crops are

monumental.
The United
Nations should
publicly support biotechnology
,
and
encourage NGOs to
lend loans to poorer
farmers so that they can use the newly engineered seeds.
For example, c
r
eating a more centralized
system for distributing seeds and creating a banking system for Angola as a whole would boost
trade and lend a helping hand to the lack of food in the world. Therefore,
the United Nations
should
persuade NGOs to support
biotechno
logy
and
employ it to better serve its people.



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