I welcome all our wonderful delegates and visitors to our NISSMUN 2021 platform. Welcome to an atmosphere of activism and promise.

October, 2021 is a beautiful month in history as we gather for yet another stimulating time of political awareness, global education, and intervention for the world’s biggest headaches. This is the NISSMUN and we have our work cut out for us; to contribute in value and relevance in Rebuilding Young People’s Trust in Leaders and Institutions.

It is a struggle not to be sad, sometimes. The world gives the youth plenty reasons to suspend our smiles and lay aside our laughter while we sit and stare at the events as they unfold every day before our eyes. All we hear are the words we have always heard till those words begin to sound like a playlist set to loop continuously. Words like – “we are looking into the matter; the perpetuators will be brought to book; let us work together to protect our nascent democracy.” Our ears are beginning to produce a hum that drowns out the promises of peace and stability echoed by our leaders, as well as the pledges of ethics avowed by our institutions. We are no longer listening, it seems.

In a world with the largest youth population ever, it is disheartening to see how so many things have gone wrong. There are incessant riots and unrest in almost every continent of the world championed by young people who have grown tired of being fed lies and emptiness by the governments of their day. There are mass killings, kidnappings and disappearances of young people with no retribution or justice yet at hand. Our leaders and institutions have left so much undone despite the promises, despite the policies, despite the public spending.

Our institutions and leaders expect compliance. They expect civility. And yes, it is a good thing to expect. However, in a world where young people feel like they are being taken for a ride; in a world where many young people are broke, battered, and beaten to the lowest rung of the socioeconomic status, to expect compliance is to make a costly request.

Young people cannot be treated like robots neither can they be manipulated like children – they are young adults. Over the years, the expectation of compliance in the midst of corruption, nepotism, a lack of integrity and patriotism as displayed in the hands of leadership has damaged the trust between young people, leaders and institutions. To expect compliance is to deny abuse of power and breach of trust.

Trust is breached when the system that should prepare young people for governance relegate them to the sidelines. Trust is breached when the market economies are scaled too high for young people to compete fairly. Trust is breached when race, ethnicity, colour, gender and others remain the underlying reasons for acceptance rather than the content of a person’s character.

Can anything be done about rebuilding trust? Who is responsible for rebuilding the trust? What steps are required to build the trust? How long would it take for most countries to gain back the trust? Is rebuilding the trust between young people, leaders, and institution ever going to happen?

It is for this reason that we will be at NISSMUN 2021. To collectively take up the responsibility of young people all over the world in negotiating a way back to trust – no matter how fragile it may be, rebuilding trust is necessary but hard, possible but rewarding. Although a lot of action is required from our leaders and institutions; a lot depends on us as individuals, also.

Rebuilding trust is not going to happen in a vacuum. There is a lot to be done to get young people trusting the system, their leaders, and institutions. It takes a sincere collective and sustained effort in righting the wrongs, and creating systems that work for the good of everyone – young, old, rich, and poor.

It is my hope that we can find a common ground – a foundation – on which a new unfeigned pillar of trust can be steadily rebuilt. Welcome!