Conference Theme

„The change of trade and development in the 21st century –
are we getting ready for the future?“

Starting with long-distance metal trade evolving to the exchange of knowledge and finally services and goods with modern-day currency, trade has been an important part of much of humanity’s history, and is tightly linked to our development. Let these means of trade be metal, food, knowledge, services or even people, and the development be a positive or negative one for humanity or individual groups – there are many current issues we can discuss about in order to get a better understanding of today’s everyday life.

But trade is not the same as hundreds of years ago. Trade keeps changing. The change of trade regards stock markets and the internet, as new currencies and methods appear and are used, but the situation is not the same everywhere.

Our development as a global society is tightly linked to the exchange of goods, knowledge and services. Working on projects like the space capability of a whole continent or establishing peace in areas shaped by war would not be possible weren’t it for the collaboration of various nations.
However, trade is not limited to economic goods only. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, human trafficking still exists, and whole species are being erased off our earth’s surface to please few people. Modern technologies have enabled companies to trade, buy and sell private information on people like you and me without us knowing about it. The development of humanitarian assistance passageways is blocked by various governments around the world, and people have to suffer.

So, trade and development are linked as both influence each other are interdependent and inter-related. They both ensure the future – or endanger it? Nowadays, as the world is connecting and trade is changing, we can analyse a huge gap of development, probably bigger than ever before. The world keeps changing, the world is getting ready for the future – but is it the whole world?

No, there are areas in this world where the population has no access to food and water supply, where the population can’t receive education and where the population can’t work, as there are no jobs which could be done. Those areas mainly are located in Africa, Asia and South America, whereas the developed, or even highly developed areas and nations can be found on the northern hemisphere, not forgetting about parts of Asia where the same standards are reached as in Europe or North America.

So trade is going on and changing, but how does it really benefit? That’s why we have to debate and find solutions.

The changes of the last 150 years should offer perspectives and chances to all inhabitants of this earth, but they don’t. Trade is better than ever before and development is on its highest level ever – but we don’t use it to ensure a just and fair world.

This is not about envy or the dream of poor men and women to become rich. It is about realising the potential of our time to become reality. Every single inhabitant of this world could ask him- or herself: What could happen if we don’t react, if we don’t care, if we don’t use the possibilities we have? Will this world be ready for the future?

Can you imagine a world with a gap between the stone age and the 22nd century? Facing the question of food for the next day on one continent and the search for the best Wi-Fi on another…that’s just nowadays gap – try to imagine tomorrow’s …

Therefore, the Secretaries-General of MUNOL 2019 have decided upon the conference theme:

Trade and development in the 21st century – are we getting ready for the future?

This is to debate on today’s development and progressive trade and to analyse and find measures to ensure a world with equal standards and opportunities for everyone. Finally, it is about questioning if we can get ready for the future and the next technological steps if we proceed as we do now.


Johannes Willert                                                                 Amelie Dresel

Secretary General                                                                Deputy Secretary General