Model of the United Nations Economic and Social Council

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The discussion of United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Committee comprises the topics ‘The Development of Smart Cities’ as well as ‘Addressing the Global Opioid Epidemic’. ECOSOC, established in 1946, is a constituent of the six central bodies of the United Nations and is the focal member regarding the coordination and reviewal of policies and their sustainable development to tackle social, economic and environmental issues. The Russian Federation was elected for ECOSOC for a term consisting of three overlapping years, 2017 to 2019 and has affiliated its efforts with improving the development of its smart cities as well as acknowledging a more effective method to combat drug addictions.

The Development of Smart Cities

A smart city is a concept that materialized in the early 2000’s and is classified as a city that integrates information and communication technologies (ICT) into its framework to amplify the performance and coordination of services including basic utilities, transport and energy with the essential aim of reduction in wastage and consumption costs overall. The Russian Federation has taken a significant step towards this development by establishing the Moscow Smart City Lab in August of 2016 which was involved in several projects including three hundred smart building projects and Moscow city transport management projects. Moreover, Qualcomm Technologies, a technology company based in the United States of America, has collaborated with the Department for Information Technologies of Moscow to launch a fifth generation (5G) mmWave, a network first of its kind in Europe to improve the future of cellular networks in the city.

Some of the more prominent schemes initiated to strengthen the presence of technology in Russian cities include the work being done by companies such as ‘Rostec’ or ‘Kaspersky’ to establish programs like ‘City-as-a-service’ to frequent the provision of electronic services to the citizens with the aim of improving their quality of life and creating safer environments for them which are free of risks. According to TechRadar, eleven million people use the service as it allows them to access several resources including the United Medical Information and Analytical System of Moscow (EMIAS), funded by the Russian government, which helps with booking appointments in public clinics quickly and efficiently. This service has quickened the rate at which patients are able to meet their doctors and decreased the total waiting time of patients to five minutes and allowed for ninety five percent of prescriptions to be issues electronically. Other amenities include Moscow’s E-school, which aims to create a high-tech environment to improve the quality of education by providing the appropriate technology to enhance the learning process and its efficiency; In addition to the E-Polling service ‘Active Citizen’, with the slogan: “The city entrusts you to decide”, which allows for Moscovites to impart their voice and opinions on non-political matters and those regarding urban development, where two million citizens participated in decision making on the platform and around four thousand decisions were made. However, some individuals claimed the lack of variety and diversity of the issues proposed by Active Citizen which prompted the launch of ‘Crowd.Mos’ in response to allow the citizens the opportunity to suggest their own ideas. The website ‘’ clarifies the services available to the citizens and the ways in which they could be utilized to suit their benefit. It was found that around one hundred and seventy billion visits to electronic government services were made and about one and a half billion dollars processed.

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Moreover, additional yet equally important aspects of a reputable smart city would have to be security and healthcare, and environmental management. Moscow possesses one of the largest CCTV networks which has helped with resolving of about seventy percent of the city crimes and are connected to facial recognition programs that observe suspicious behavior and later alert the responsible officials to investigate them. A case where this system has proven its legitimacy would be during the 2018 World Cup that was held in Moscow, where said cameras identified ninety-eight individuals that have been banned from attending ‘fan-zones’. Healthcare has also been taken into consideration during the development of smart cities where polyclinics have been set up with artificial intelligence that eases the appointment booking process and has attracted around fifty one thousand individuals in that regard, and additionally allows for a smoother development of telemedicine which is only advised and referred to when the cases are not dire, and a doctor’s visit is not necessary because the citizen’s health is a priority. Finally, with the development of smarter cities, comes cleaner circumstances as they produce less emissions and are energy efficient. The government should strive to improve the sustainability and longevity of those cities by providing the proper funding and planning as they lead to a brighter future for the citizens and the economy.

Addressing the Global Opioid Epidemic

The consensus regarding the classification of opioids is that they’re a category of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. The drugs, once ingested in certain doses, are involved in chemical reactions in the brain that induce states of joy, relaxation and have other side effects that include slowed or restricted breathing, nausea, confusion and drowsiness. Opioids can be prescriptions such as painkiller or what is referred to as ‘street-drugs’, like heroin. Frequency in the ingestion of such drugs for such a long period of time, causes addiction. A statistic that summarized the percentage of individuals globally accounting for the peak of opioid abuse would be fifty five percent, according to a report posted by ECOSOC, which also claimed that the escalation in opioid abuse had stemmed from emerging trends and stigmas surround abuse of the drug and fifty seven states imparted their agreement with eighteen percent of states asserted an increase in drug use while twelve percent of the states, specifically members of the European Union, said their values were stable, if not a little declined.

The methods of the Russian Federation in handling cases of opioid addictions have always been a topic of criticism and controversy, as they rendered therapy that uses a substitute, like Methadone, for opioids to treat addiction, illegal, regardless of it’s widespread use in other countries, as they consider methadone to be an illicit drug and stated as such in three United Nations conventions on drug control. Doctors in the Ministry of Health regard the illicit substitute to be a more addictive drug that causes a greater pain during recovery, despite other countries refute. The only drug not prohibited and used in relapse prevention and pharmacotherapy, is Naltrexone and due to the unavailability of other substitutes, the patients are more inclined to use it, especially since its efficiency was proved after a decade long study conducted in St. Petersburg.

Russian officials concerning themselves with the recovery of addicts have acknowledged the fact that their methods may wield a lower rate of success compared to the fifty percent yielded in The United States, but they strongly believe that patients put on Methadone have not truly recovered and they define the full recovery of their patients by the complete and absolute lack of drugs in their system. They work restlessly to achieve this as they equip their centers with the appropriate schemes that establish their patient’s recovery. A rough outline of this scheme starts with an inevitable period of twenty-one days of withdrawal where the patient is in a ‘cold turkey’ state. The patient is closely and attentively supervised and they are administered nothing but aspirin to aid with the curbing of the circumstance. What seems like a brutal period is followed by three years of continuous and regular visitation to the doctors for examinations with the final month being a precautionary stay in the rehabilitation wing of treatment centers. An approximation of seventy-two thousand individuals experience those programs. The recovery of the patient is a top priority to the doctors wherein recent years have illustrated Russia’s steadfast initiatives in providing the appropriate resources curated to meet the needs of drug prevention centers in addition to caring for the users as a prominent aspect of the government’s concern regards the addressing of drug abuse, especially amongst the younger citizens. The government has funded centers with the equipment they need to achieve their goal of recovery where units for detox and supporting psychiatric services are also provided.

With that said, Russia’s controversial ways could be improved by integrating small amounts of substitution drugs to enhance the treatment and number of patients undergoing the treatment or even researching alternative methods all together. In addition, research on a broader scope, with the collaboration of other countries should be conducted to take into consideration all possible methods of treatment along with their rates of success or failure. Improvements could also be made by acquiring more thorough records on the family history of the patient to observe the frequency of addiction in the family would also prove to be helpful in assigning the appropriate treatment for each patient.

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