UNDP: UN Development Programme

Topic A: Combating Gender-Based Violence Globally

Women and girls have unequal status in many societies and disproportionately fall victim to murder, terrorism, torture, involuntary disappearance, sexual slavery, rape, and sexual abuse. The UNDP emphasizes that these acts of violence demand the attention of the international community. Women often do not have the same legal and social protections as men and are inhibited by unequal access to resources. According to various bodies of the United Nations, in order to protect women from acts of gender-based violence, they must be allowed to participate more fully and equally in their local communities. With systemic inequalities in the economic, social, and political spheres, women and girls become the primary victims of violence and in turn have very limited resources to ensure their protection and safety.

Topic B: Sustainable Land Management and Restoration

The United Nations defines sustainable land management (SLM) as “the use of land resources, including soils, water, animals and plants, for the production of goods to meet changing human needs, while simultaneously ensuring the long-term productive potential of these resources and the maintenance of their environmental functions.” SLM is becoming a necessity to meet the growing needs of the world’s population. However, deforestation, desertification, and land degradation bring about the negative effects of destabilized communities as a result of inadequate sustainable food production, soil health, and biodiversity. Human activity, climate change, and use of land resources determine the sustainability of land systems internationally. Furthermore, land degradation can arise from poor agricultural techniques, resulting in migration, health issues, and increased poverty. The UNDP considers SLM to be a “Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Accelerator” that achieves these goals in a cost-effective and environmentally sound approach. Land degradation is a growing issue impacting communities worldwide and can be combated through collaborative actions that promote SLM globally and aid the progress of the SDGs.

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