|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Department of Public Information, Alliance of Civilizations to Hold 2010
Global Model UN Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 14-18 August
Intercultural Dialogue for Peace, Development
To Be Theme of Discussions among Student Delegates from around World
Following the success of the 2009 inaugural Global Model United Nations Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations Department of Public Information will be organizing the second annual event in Kuala Lumpur on 14‑18 August, in partnership with the Government of Malaysia, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Under the theme “Towards an Alliance of Civilizations ‑‑ Bridging Cultures to Achieve Peace and Development”, the Conference will bring together the best university-level students participating in Model United Nations programmes around the world to simulate the General Assembly. It will focus on how to incorporate intercultural dialogue into Government policies and strategies as a means to address issues of global peace and development.
Making the announcement today, Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information and a strong supporter of Model United Nations student conferences as a forum for educating young people about the Organization’s work, said: “Over the years, many ambassadors to the United Nations and UN officials have told me that they too took part in Model UNs in their cities and towns. It is our hope that participation in the Global Model UN Conference will inspire young people to become ambassadors, to work for the United Nations or become the experts and leaders that we in the United Nations look to as our partners in the global effort to support peace, development and human rights in countries around the world.”
In response to the continuous and growing number of incidents and conflicts reflecting the clash of cultures around the world, the Global Model UN Summit aims to deliver a road map developed by youth that will move the world closer to a peaceful Alliance of Civilizations. Jorge Sampaio, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and former President of Portugal, noted: “In times of intercultural tensions, it is important to engage in education for diversity and cultural literacy, and to massively invest in developing intercultural competences and skills among youth and as a lifelong learning process on how to live together.”
The annual global Conference aims to serve as an exemplar of best practices for other Model UN meetings, to raise awareness of the Organization’s role in world affairs and to inspire involvement in global issues by the next generation of leaders. Several steps have been implemented to ensure that the simulation accurately reflects the workings of the United Nations. The Conference has introduced new rules of procedure that more closely resemble those used in the General Assembly than those typically used in other Model United Nations meetings. In addition, intensive training workshops are conducted at New York Headquarters to give student leaders an inside view of how the Organization functions. Finally, delegates are given the opportunity to interact directly with experts, officials and diplomats through a series of live video chats in order to help them better understand the issues to be discussed during the Conference.
The Global Conference will significantly expand and deepen the Department’s outreach to youth, a group that is a top priority for the United Nations. The Department will also be working closely with the World Federation of United Nations Associations, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations International Fund for Partnerships, as well as the Commonwealth Secretariat, in coordinating the Conference.
Global Model United Nations guidelines call for a transparent, inclusive and gender-balanced selection process that provides an equal chance for students from a range of socio-economic backgrounds to participate. A quota system has been established for each region (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Western Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America) to ensure wide geographic representation. More information can be found on the conference website: www.un.org/gmun.
About Model United Nations Conferences
Model United Nations student conferences are well established around the world, with an estimated half million or more students from primary school to university in more than 70 countries participating every year. The Department of Public Information has developed a database of Model UNs around the world, which is available on the Conference website. At present, the database includes more than 400 university-level Model United Nations programmes.
The student conferences are simulations of United Nations forums such as the General Assembly and its Main Committees, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. They also simulate United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, in addition to the Organization’s regional economic commissions. The students take on the roles of diplomats, debating international crises, negotiating difficult global issues and drafting and adopting resolutions.
In addition to its partners, the Department also collaborates closely with United Nations associations and information centres worldwide that have a track record of organizing or supporting Model United Nations programmes.
United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was established in 2005 on the initiative of Spain and Turkey, and seeks to build trust and understanding across cultures and communities around the world. Working with its global network of Government partners, the Alliance promotes policies and initiatives aimed at improving relations among diverse cultural groups through national plans and regional strategies. It also works at the grass-roots level, promoting innovative projects in the areas of education, youth, media and migration in order to build trust, reconciliation and mutual respect among diverse communities.
Contact Information: For additional information, please contact Yvonne Acosta, Chief, Education Outreach Cluster, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, at e-mail: email@example.com; or Bill Yotive, Manager, Global Teaching and Learning Project, at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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