|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Annual Global Model United Nations Conference, Addressed by Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon, Opens in Incheon, Republic of Korea
INCHEON, REPUBLIC OF KOREA, 11 August — Delegates from around the world have converged on Incheon, Republic of Korea, to participate in the third annual Global Model United Nations (GMUN) Conference. Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information, it follows successful conferences at Geneva in 2009 and Kuala Lumpur in 2010.
The Conference highlight will be an address by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 11 August. Of Mr. Ban’s visit, the Conference’s Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Oliver Pase of Australia, said that “this is an unprecedented honour for GMUN. It is an experience no delegate will soon forget.”
This year’s Conference is hosted by the Metropolitan City of Incheon and the United Nations Association of the Republic of Korea, and takes place from 10 to 14 August. University students of the highest calibre have gathered to simulate the General Assembly plenary and deliberate on economic, social and political issues under the theme “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature”. They will address how armed conflicts impact sustainable development, how global food security can be maintained, how education is the key tool to achieve sustainable development, as well as the contentious matter of climate change and environmental refugees.
The Conference will be conducted strictly in line with rules of procedure which closely resemble those of the General Assembly in New York. An intensive pre-Conference workshop, organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information, was held at Incheon from 6 to 9 August, in order to enlighten Conference secretariat and General Assembly officials about General Assembly procedures.
Addressing the workshop were Ambassador Sun Joun-yung, Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of the Republic of Korea’s United Nations Association, Ambassador Ha Taeyun, Adviser for International Relations to Incheon Metropolitan City, and Peter Van Laere, Director, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia.
The Secretary-General of the Conference in 2011, Tatiana Makarova, said “the workshop is an integral part of our preparation — and now I am so excited that GMUN 2011 is finally here.” The 23-year-old doctorate student of international relations at Moscow’s prestigious National Research University in the Russian Federation added: “It is a privilege to have been given the opportunity to be Secretary-General at such a prestigious event.”
The Conference President of the General Assembly, Dongyeop Lee of the Republic of Korea, spoke of his pride in leading a Conference in his home country and added: “I hope delegates leave Korea with new friends, but also great memories of our beautiful country.”
With the help of donations from the Office of the Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Incheon, the United Nations Federal Credit Union and the Department of Public Information, more than 30 students from developing and least developed countries were supported, enabling them to travel to Incheon and participate in the event.
The Global Model United Nations Conference is a key element of the United Nations Education Outreach strategy of engaging with youth around the world. The United Nations will develop an Alumni Network of motivated individuals, who will actively engage with the Organization’s campaigns in the future.
For more information on the Global Model United Nations, please contact Yvonne Acosta, Chief, Education Outreach, Outreach Division, tel: +1 212 963 7214, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Bill Yotive, Manager, Global Teaching and Learning Project, tel: +1 212 963 1400, e-mail: email@example.com.
* *** *For information media • not an official record