5 August 2009

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Addressing model un conference, Secretary-General says students must play their


part in applying comprehensive solutions to interconnected global challenges


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the First Global Model United Nations Conference in Geneva, 5-7 August 2009 (videotaping on 30 July):

Hello to all of you at this first-ever Global Model United Nations!  I am delighted that more than 500 students from nearly 60 countries are attending.

I participated in a UN-style debate when I was a teenager.  So you never know where this Conference might lead.  You could end up as Secretary-General of the United Nations, or maybe your country’s ambassador to the United Nations.  Whatever path you choose, you will be called on to lead.

The world faces serious challenges, and every citizen must do his or her part to address them.  I hope that over the next three days, you will see the close connections between poverty, hunger, climate change and conflict.

More and more, the world is coming to understand that these challenges will only be overcome through comprehensive solutions.  Now we need to move from awareness to action.  Action to “seal a deal” on climate change in December.  Action to protect the poorest and most vulnerable from the impact of the global economic crisis.  Action to help one billion people -– one of every six people on earth –- who go to bed hungry.

This is a time for action.  A time for renewed multilateralism.  Some see this as a burden.  I call it an opportunity.  For change.  For transformation.  This Global Model United Nations can help point the way forward -- for you and for all of us.  I am counting on your activism and solidarity, now and in the future, to help build a better world for generations to come.

Thank you for your commitment and support.  I wish you all the best for a rewarding experience and a successful conference.

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For information media • not an official record