Study Guide FAO

Do you have a keen interest in environmental protection and sustainable resource management? FAO is the committee where you can put your expertise into practice.

The Food and Agriculture Organization is the principal organization for achieving food security. The main goals of the FAO are the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources. An important part of FAO’s work is the sharing of policy expertise and technical knowledge to support Member States in achieving food security in an environmentally sustainable way.

Topic A: Addressing the relationship between climate change and food security

The climate change process the Earth is undergoing has the potential to radically alter the current climate humans greatly rely on. Perhaps the greatest danger climate change posed to humanity lies in the field of agriculture. Everyone relies on food to survive, and the crops humans use currently evolved for the climate at present. An altered climate very likely would bring about massive crop failures and thus, starvation. Developed nations with the means to create new GMOs may be able to lessen the damage in their own countries, but there remains a huge number of the world’s population reliant on subsistence farming both for their own food, and as their source of employment. Clearly a more comprehensive plan will need to be developed to avert disaster on a global scale.

Topic B: Antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the global threat that you can’t see with the naked eye. An increasing number of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses have developed resistance against antimicrobial drugs like antibiotics. This means that they can continue growing and spreading, thus threatening human and animal health. Without effective antibiotics, prevention and treatment of infections in humans and animals is largely compromised. This has major implications on food production, food security and most importantly global health. The consequences are dramatic: Widespread AMR is estimated to cause an additional 10 million human fatalities per year, countless animal fatalities and a 2 to 3.5% decrease in global Gross Domestic Product by 2050. Even though AMR occurs naturally over time, there are certain factors which accelerate it. Among the main factors is the misuse or overuse of antimicrobials in food and agriculture. They are given to animals in intensive livestock farming to prevent disease or also as growth promoters. Through the global food chain AMR can easily spread from animals to people and then from person to person. Therefore microorganisms with AMR in people, animals, food and the environment are increasing every single day. The FAO plays an important role in promoting the responsible use of antimicrobials in agriculture and therefore helps to reduce AMR in agricultural systems and the global food supply. The international community is at a turning point right now and it’s crucial to act. Only with cooperation and coordination of all states it is possible to prevent the looming catastrophe of widespread AMR in humans and animals.

Country Matrix

*Experienced delegates

Argentina Australia Brazil People’s Republic of China* Democratic Republic of the Congo
France Ghana Germany India* Indonesia
Iran Japan Madagascar Mexico Morocco
Nigeria Pakistan Peru Philippines Russian Federation
South Africa Thailand Turkey United States of America*
  • European Union (Observer)*

Please note that all countries that are crossed have already been allocated.