Most esteemed participants,
It is with utmost pleasure to serve you as Deputy Secretary General in the third annual Kartal Anadolu Imam Hatip High School International Model United Nations conference.
It is an established belief, strengthened by human experience, that trust and faith are based on truth. People choose to believe that the message they receive is either true or false and establish their beliefs on how such perceptions. A continuous stream of messages usually leads to trust. It is said that a single lie could shatter a mountain of trust built upon many messages believed to be true. That is one reason that no one would want to be caught as having uttered a lie. However, the exact nature of truth is as evasive as proving bribery. It has malleable characteristics, allowing it to be misused in politics, diplomacy, traditional and social media, business, and even in academia. With the slowly collapsing pillars of the moral sense being hammered on by such misuse, the international cooperation, which is based on reliability instead of self-interest, seems like a long lost ideal. It is therefore very important to reinstate the moral power of truth.
However, the world is neither ready nor willing to say goodbye to truth, even in politics where it sometimes seems as it has already taken its leave is the fact that there is still hope for -the severed but not yet snapped- international relations.
This is where the term post-truth enters the stage and causes a new form of mishandling of the perception of truth (and also lie) and erodes a more delicate of our moral sense. In post-truth, truth is either reshaped or ignored, but is able to stay within the borders of truth. So whilst, there is no lie, there is sometimes no truth as well. This “trick” has proven itself to be quite useful and is very functional on most situations. Even if the statements were true at the beginning, they mostly go astray, since in this case, the relayed facts were neither the intent, nor the aim, but were used to effect emotional and personal influence. Since manipulating the crowds is a shortcut to winning them, it has been rapidly used by some leaders with radical promises and an encouragement towards the morale of the public’s psychology. However, all these promises cause a proportion of the society to question the reliability of public figures, institutions and the messages. This gap results in a need of the availability of the truth and a level of consciousness such as “news literacy”.
As such, the direct bond between the justice and truth remains more important than ever. The misuse of the truth and false promises often result in political or even military engagements and conflicts. There also is almost no means to revert to the user of post-truth: post-truth has the ability to elude responsibility and usually no official crime or direct offence can be attributed to it.
Having expressed the basics, George Orwell’s quote pretty much sums it: “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Eyüp Berk Utku
Deputy Secretary General of KAIHLMUN’18