The Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC)
The question of reducing the use of palm oil in order to prevent human rights violations, the destruction of nature and potential health threats while maintaining the world’s economy.
Nutella, Milka or even Nivea – all of these products contain palm oil; a vegetable oil gained from the fruits of oil palms. It is contained in more than 50% of our foods, but also cosmetic products, cleaning agents and even biofuels include palm oil making it the world’s most essential oil resource. The qualities of palm oil are enormously beneficial to the economy turning it into an almost irreplaceable natural resource. However, the production and consumption of palm oil bring numerous economic, social, sanitary and environmental challenges to our world.
Palm oil plantations can only be created in humid-warm regions and therefore several rainforests are stubbed and burnt releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Additionally, the living space of animals such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers are being destroyed causing them to be expelled and in danger of extinction.
Besides environmental issues, the work on these plantations leads to various social challenges like human rights violations because children are exposed to hazardous child labour and international working conditions are violated. Moreover, products containing refined palm oil are supposed to cause cancer and have a genotoxic effect since the manufacturing of this oil leads to the creation of toxic substances.
Abolishing palm oil would be a gigantic humanitarian step, but it would lead to a worldwide breakdown of the economy. Consequently, it will be your task as delegates to find appropriate measures that solve the social, environmental and sanitary issues, but at the same time maintain the world’s economy.