Basic Overview of the IssueToday’s circumstances grant us an everyday world fact that peoples of this world do not share the same standards; life standards differ from nation to nation, region to region and person to person. Even though a vision of an equally divided world is quite unrealistic, one notion that needs to be acknowledged is that the gap between the high and the low should be closer. This is the point where United Nations introduced the society the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and as they have ended in 2015, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the following. The SDGs contained set-up plans for the countries to boost their economic growth and economic development.
Even though the SDGs consisted of miscellaneous contexts that need improvement, UN-Habitat focuses on specific parts of it. One of these goals, SDG 9, aims to facilitate development through the means of building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. Infrastructure holds vital importance for countries to boost their economic growth as it gives countries the opportunity to strengthen their market with investing in new job opportunities and utilizing their capacity. Many countries lack systematic reforms within their energy infrastructure plans, disregarding the population growth and the need to widen the infrastructure system, or failing to catch up with the technological developments that provide such ability to the nations. With exceedingly following the UN Agenda on Sustainable Development 2030, all nations have acknowledged their need to improve their infrastructure systems in general, including the energy supplies as being one of the most important structures of government planning for economic growth.
Despite such efforts, policies of many nations regarding the energy infrastructures holds the importance to be examined and regulated due to arising concerns during government planning. As our main concern will be Eastern Europe and Central Asia, this report will examine the importance of an international framework as one of the catalyzers of investment in energy and social welfare related infrastructure and innovation. Additionally, while delving deeply the lacking points of investment in infrastructure and innovation of European and Central Asian countries, possible ways in which these considerably more developed countries can help least developed countries in the process of before an after the implementation of an international framework will be analyzed. Delegates of UN-Habitat should bear in mind the necessity of equal access to education, knowledge, and hence information on the process of creating an international framework in the process of reading this report and drafting their resolutions. Explanation of Important TermsEconomic Growth Also referred as GDP growth rate, economic growth is the increase of goods and products in the market value of an economy, meaning the growth in capacity of production and the outputs in one nation. It is calculated by the gross domestic product (GDP) of nations held differently in a year from the last one while the increase refers to the economic growth of one country.
In other words, it is the percentage change in RGDP over a specific time period.Economies of Scale”Economies of scale is the cost advantage that arises with increased output of a product that arises because the greater the quantity of a good produced, the lower the per-unit fixed cost because these costs are spread out over a larger number of goods. Economies of scale may also reduce variable costs per unit because of operational efficiencies and synergies. Economies of scale can be classified into two main types: Internal – arising from within the company; and external – arising from extraneous factors such as industry size” (Investopedia).RecessionThe economic term that refers to the opposition of economic growth, where the country is having a negative rate in the calculations of GDPs and populations.
It is occasionally used to describe a heavy slowdown or a progress in a very slow pace in economic activities in one nation, and sometimes also used for the falling productivity and activeness.Mass Transportation”Mass transit, also called mass transportation, refers to the movement of people within urban areas using group travel technologies such as buses and trains” (Britannica). With mass transportation, people are carried in the same vehicle. The essential feature of mass transportation is that many people are carried in the same vehicle, making it possible to move people coincidentally with greater efficiency and less cost. Lower costs enable a higher number of people to use public transportation, and with greater income, a better service can be provided. Emerging MarketsAn emerging market is a growing economy in developing nations.
Standards of emerging markets are not as high as developed nations however the GDP growth rate seems to be higher in such countries.IndustrializationIndustrialization refers to the sociological and technological change of a society, developing their industries and machining their ways of living. It covers the entire process of the transition of a nation from an agrarian society into an industrially dominant one. Industrialization is generally associated with the European Industrial Revolution of the 18th century as well as the Industrial Revolution of the United States of America leading up to the Second World War. Although human labor is still used in an industrialized country, it is compartmentalized and divided into maintenance of the assembly lines, quality control of the products etc., leading into an economies of scale where prices fall as more the number of products increases (Investopedia).Detailed Background of the Issue Currently, the least developed countries experience improvements in employment and manufacturing; however, investment on transportation services, less energy-intensive industries, manufacturing industry, mobile-cellular services is lacking in these countries.
Improving on this area is imperative for the least developed countries to double their industry’s share of GDP by 2030. Bearing in mind that the half of the world population lives in cities, public (mass) transportation and the implementation of renewable energy resources become ever important to the status quo, as are the growth of communication technologies and new industries. Investing in the preceding industries will foster economic growth, but the least developed countries lack not only the funds necessary start investing but also the awareness of their need of technological progress, and sustainable industries. An international framework is needed to start promoting and planning to upgrade the energy infrastructure and technological processes. Only with such a framework can least developed countries can start investing in innovation and scientific research, which will become the foundation to innovation and entrepreneurship. Economic growth is related with the statistic terms of gross national income, gross national product, gross domestic income and gross domestic product. Gross national income, in the simplest version of its definition, can be defined as the total sum of incomes that a nation receives from its resident economies; fields include income from overseas, subsidies -financial aid or promotion that the aforementioned economy gains by a relevant organization or institution in order to increase the supply-demand diagram with a decrease of prices and development in quantity-, taxes imposed over a product, incomes from overseas or abroad related to property conditions and employee compensation, and gross domestic product.
GNI is extremely dependent on gross national product, and in fact, it is easily can be interpreted in an observation that all of these terms and its factors that affect the economic growth both in positive and negative consequences, are dependent on each other by any subsequent means. Gross domestic income (GDI) is the total income gained from all resident sectors of an economy, the income that determines the gross domestic product and the financial sum of productivity of one economy or nation. Sectors are versatile and hard to achieve collaboration, which is the reason why this term is deeply collaborative under these circumstances, a sum that considers and covers incomes and revenues made out by goods and products in different fields. The term is quite dependent on gross domestic product, subtracting the subsidies. Gross domestic product, on the other hand, is defined by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organization that holds its headquarters in France, containing 35 members in its structure with most of the countries with a high GDP and income, also high standards of living according to the ranks of Human Development Index (HDI). Following the infamous Industrial Revolution dated back to the 18th century that initially took place in Britain, countries have based their policies on adequately adapting to the trend in which industrial sector became the predominant activity.
While countries, which are observed as the developed countries for many, have managed to progress in industrialization operations, most of other countries that are counted as emerging and frontier markets are yet still struggling to successfully outcome such transition. The lacking infrastructure, political and educational condition of countries were all indicators of determining which nation will successfully pass the industrialization exam. To focus on economic growth and how it is divided from economic development is essential to achieve building a sustainably developing energy system in countries. Many countries have rapidly increasing economies however the rapid increase does not lead to the argument that such nations have successfully managed their system in energy infrastructure. The balance that sustainable development provides is to create a system that is neither fragile, nor collapsing in particular crises.
Importance of Industrial Development Ties of industrial development with economic growth are much closer than one usually considers. The first step that industrialization provides to nations is the modernization of agriculture. With such modernization and the utilization of vehicles that are provided with technological development, the collection and distribution of raw materials are fastened, the process between the cultivation of raw materials and the preparation of finished products is completed. Industrialization allows countries to manage these operations within their sector without a dependency to a third party such as but not limited to private national or international companies. This is how the economy demonstrates a rather self-sufficient path within their system, including the trade relations. Developed countries that are highly advanced in industrialization mostly gain from exporting the industrial products to the underdeveloped nations. Underdeveloped nations subsequently export most of their raw materials and primary products while importing the industrial products that they depend on possessing for life to continue within the nation, but they do not possess the ability to product such goods by themselves.
Industrialization, along with arms race and competition between states, is a key factor to increase scientific research and improve technological development within a nation. Relevantly with containing a competition itself, it may be correct to say for many that industrialization was the key of how nations had taken much of their national expenditures for scientific research, which allowed them to lead the way for technological development along with discovering ways to fasten the industrialization process and the modernization in nearly every sector. Industrialization in Energy SectorEnergy sector was primary for human survival with easily accessible timber satisfied heating, cooking and other basic humanitarian needs. With technological advancements, two transformations were perceived in energy development; from wood to coal, then from coal to oil & gas. Although many of the world bases their infrastructure for energy to fossil energy sources, the remarkably increasing ecological demand for the world has left many wondering for a third transformation.
As an example, PR China has the highest amounts in coal consumption. With such coal-consuming, many predict that even the rapidly increasing sectors of China will see an inevitable confrontation of the transformations of energy. Experts predict that the new energy development era will focus on natural gas industry, excluding the coal consumption and the fossil energy resources.
With this way, they proclaim that the utilization of the energy sources will be much more sustainable under every aspect. Energy Infrastructure Energy infrastructure covers the entire systems that are under managing energy production and consumption, which means the essential duty of the infrastructure systems are the distribution of energy with preparing the necessary links in managing the interconnection between production and consumption. Energy infrastructure is responsible for every sector in which energy is produced as well as providing the management of such energies. As an example, the energy infrastructure consists of such as but not limited to coal transport trains, natural gas pipelines, electric transmission lines etc. With such responsibility, it is automatically observed that energy infrastructure requires high level of technological advancement and with increasing demands from the society, many nations lack to provide a safe environment concerning the distribution of the energies. Eastern Europe and Central Asia After the dissolution of the Soviet Union into fifteen sovereign states with their declarations of independence, achieving the economic dependency of these countries were challenging.
The post-Soviet period began with heavily interlinked industries and infrastructures, and fully integrated regional systems, preventing the newly independent states’ functioning autonomously from one another. Augmented by the fact that their economies had been centrally governed during the Soviet era, none of these countries had the ability to master the full administrative spectrum of their internal or external affairs and were thus left with sovereign authorities that had no leverage over the neighbouring economies with which they were so strongly linked. The infrastructure systems of those countries were highly connected with each other that even in some cases the distribution required crossing the boundaries.
Conflict maintains its existence within some countries that politically have an instability. Conflicts and political turmoil also affect the infrastructure systems to be renewed and enhanced. Major Parties InvolvedIndiaIndia is one of the major parties that has fully adopted the ninth Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. India was on track of fostering innovation and investment in infrastructure even before the the establishment of SDG 9. In September 2014, “The Make in India” initiative was launched by the Indian Prime Minister. This initiative is a part of a wider set of nation-building initiatives, and it aimed to create a global manufacturing hub, and an efficient energy infrastructure in India. Bosnia and HerzegovinaAs a country with more than 3000 war returnee families, Bosnia Herzegovina is a country where UNDP issued a global challenge to seek renewable energy solutions. At Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNDP works in collaboration with a local innovation focused NGO named Nesta.
Their flexible, reliable, easy to install proposal to cover the energy needs of war-returnee families can be used as a role model framework. International Energy Agency Within the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Energy Agency was established in 1974 after the oil crisis of 1973. Main responsibility of International Energy Agency is to provide policy recommendations for governments’ work in energy sector and operations regarding the distribution of the produced energy, which is another way of defining the energy infrastructure. It has 29 member states with cooperating other non-member states such as but not limited to Russian Federation and PR China, as well as India. Ukraine Ukraine entered two crucial and devastating economic recession in 2009 and 2012, with the economic growth they have achieved from 2001 to 2007 collapsing. International Monetary Fund has also offered and signed an agreement with providing financial aid to the government of Ukraine in their expenditures. In March 2015, IMF and Ukraine concluded a new Extended Arrangement over USD 17.
5 billion, cancelling the previous Stand-By Arrangement. The parties agreed on policies for strengthening public finances, advancing structural reforms and securing financial stability. Ukraine is a major coal producer ranked as 10th in 2012, however their main production was held in the Donbass region and after the conflicts they faced with Russian Federation, most of their operations were disrupted. MoldovaWith experiencing moderate growth over the past two decades, Moldova lacks energy sources and is highly dependent on imports with their coal provision to the country. Domestic sources can supply only 3% of their energy demands. Romania and Moldova, in 2014, has signed an agreement in terms of strengthening their Ungheni-lasi gas pipelines and established the reconstruction in 2015.
The pipeline is expected to supply a third of Moldova’s gas needs. Azerbaijan Since the countries independence, majority of the economy in Azerbaijan was privatized. Despite this fact, many of the energy sector is government-owned and holds ambitious amounts and percentages in government planning regarding renewable energy infrastructure. The government of Azerbaijan, prioritizing the renewables, has commenced the target of 20% electricity generation coming from renewable sources. Chronology of Important EventsDateDescription of Event1966 Establishment of UNDPAs a merger of the Expanded Programme and the UN Special Fund, Secretary General Thant confirmed the establishment of UNDP. 1967Partnership between UNDP and Singapore Started: UNDP began its partnership with with the newly independent Republic of Singapore. This partnership extended to areas including but not limited to technical expertise in education, job creation, urban planning, and industrialization.
1750-1900The Industrial Revolution, establishment of first banks and factories, i.e. the start of industrialization18 November, 1974 Establishment of the International Energy Agency17 December, 1998UNGA resolution for the establishment of the MDGs6 September, 2000The Millennium Summit and the establishment of MDGs17 January, 2001OPEC members decide to cut oil production quotas by 1.5 million barrels per day16 February, 2006U.S. signs a system arrangement agreement with France and Japan as to support the creation of a framework for international collaboration regarding nuclear reactors 20 June, 2012UN Conference for Sustainable Development: establishment of SDGs were discussed for the first time23 September, 2013Gathering of the High Level Political Forum to further discuss the outcomes of the MDGs and possible actions that can be taken following the goalsJune 2014Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia signed the EU Association Agreement 2015Deadline set for the MDGs is outdated Relevant International DocumentsResolution adopted by the General Assembly at its 70th meeting, 25 September 2015, Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, (A/RES/70/1)Resolution adopted by the General Assembly at its 35th meeting on Industrial Development co-operation, 5 December 1980, (A/RES/35/66)Resolution Adopted by General Assembly- This resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 3rd February, 2015 was an initiative to start the UN Decade for Sustainable Energy for All which emphasized on the sustainability of the renewable energy sources.
(69/225)Resolution Adopted by UN Security Council on 13th February, 2017–initiated to protect Ukrainian infrastructure systems from terrorist attacks. (2341)IEA Clean Energy Transitions Programme – This programme was launched on 17th November, 2017 to facilitate the sustainable and renewable energy systems, and to provide collaboration at an international level.Past Attempts to Resolve the IssueThe target 9.4 of Goal 9 of the SDGs is actually one of the main article sand concerning points of the entire UN, UN-related and non-UN proposals and programmes, following as, “By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities. ” The aforementioned GA resolution 69/225 is also another basis of bringing such an upgrade, one that is energy related, until 2030. With International Energy Agency regularly commissioning their situation of creating a safe and resilient environment for energy infrastructure, the main reasons of failure might be detected as their comprehensiveness. The UN-related commissions, as well as the Non-Governmental Organizations, establish too much of missions simultaneously that it is impossible to provide such expenditure and logistics to all the existing commissions under UN.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the initiatives of the UN commissions and their resolutions upon energy infrastructure are failing. Collecting data from such comprehensive target is undoubtedly challenging so it is not specifically known whether UN is successful or not. For the MDGs, UN was successful in creating the necessary atmosphere for development and has accomplished quite a lot however will always have to seek for more advancement in order to reach the SDGs on energy infrastructure.
Solution AlternativesDelegates of UN Habitat are strongly encouraged to work on frameworks that enable private companies, projects, or initiatives to function sustainably. As in the example of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the NGO Nesta, UN Habitat should collaborate with NGOs and the public sector to help promote sustainable development of innovative energy and economy related infrastructure plans. Additionally, the ultimate solution for energy related infrastructure problems is to work, work and to work harder. The systematic failures within the governments will maintain their existence despite the encouragements for a change.
Even though not all countries within Eastern Europe and Central Asia are expected to achieve sustainable industrialization and catch up with the technological advancements by all of its forms, remarkable improvement can be made without focusing on the lacking points within the government bureaucracies.