Dear delegates, staff members, guests and chaperones,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 12th edition of OPOMUN in our amazing city of Porto. My executive team and I are most thrilled to host this conference.
The OPOMUN slogan has for years been ‘Dare to make the difference’ something we strive for in each edition. We adopt this philosophy in everything we plan - from new concepts we introduce each year to the difference we make when several hundreds of young adults gather to discuss issues of utmost importance. We strive to build a future generation that is empowered, that makes a change in the world. Who knows if the leaders of tomorrow won’t be marked by this conference?
On another note, I would like to make a specific mention to the issues we chose for this year. Exactly taking into account the need to be impactful in our world, we believe that there are crucial problems in our society that are not given the necessary attention, but that are fundamental to peace and to the wellbeing of all. For example, the way we deal with the questions of prisoners and drug users has a great impact in our society. However, we tend to close our eyes to these questions that affect the social balance and justice, the workforce and economy of countries. Inclusively, these issues affect the achievement of several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals such as education, good health and wellbeing, decent work and economic growth, as well as peace, justice and strong institutions.
Still under the umbrella of these goals, we also aim to tackle a very prominent problem that is youth unemployment, yet through the eyes of technology and innovation which is to become one of the most important, if not the most important sector of our economies and social organisation. Indeed, the tech world can grant us tools to keep young people like us with a job assured. In our view, this issue is paramount if we really want to make a difference. If we are proactive now, in the future we can profit from the actions we took in the past. We aim at changing the daunting prospects presented to todays’ youth regarding future opportunities and sustainability - a concept that links us to the other three issues which are the blue economy, our protection in the tech world and rural-urban migration. These are matters that are equally impactful in this everchanging world.
I am confident that delegates will work hard at figuring out solutions to these problems, which have a real impact in their lives now and will certainly have in the future. I ask you to keep in mind at all times that it is very important that we shape our future, that we make it sustainable, with the right conditions for us to strive and succeed in.
Looking forward to seeing you all and working together to make a difference.
Matilde Guimarães Lopes