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Global Model United Nations

Welcome Message from the UN President of the General Assembly


I am delighted to convey my best wishes to all delegates attending the second edition of the Global Model United Nations Conference “Towards an Alliance of Civilizations: Bridging Cultures to Achieve Peace and Development”. Your participation in this event brings an invaluable contribution to advancing the United Nations agenda and the dialogue and cooperation among cultures and peoples.

You are all extraordinary young leaders and advocates for peace. You have great initiative and high ideals. More importantly, you have the strength and energy to transform those ideas into reality. This is the sprit and conviction required to change the world for the better.

Today, in every community from East to West, North to South – the future of the world is being written at the grassroots level. Political, social and economic progress is being defined not only by governments, but a host of different actors - businesses, faith groups, workers, students and young people, journalists, academics and intellectuals, civil society and all its wonderful richness and diversity- has a tremendous capacity to impact our societies, as it has never been before.

This does not diminish the role that political leaders and diplomats have to play. What it means is that leaders who choose to engage at grassroots level will have updated and broader perspectives, more effective and sound policy options, and new ways and means for achieving security, human rights and the rule of law, sustainable development and economic growth. Traditionally, when we think of the United Nations, we think of peacekeepers in blue helmets, high-level conferences and negotiations, field and relief operations. But the most potent force for change is still that which inspired 44 countries to gather sixty-four years ago in San Francisco and declare: “We The People.”

Through honest dialogue between leaders at all levels – from the General Assembly to town halls all over the world – we can reach out, across existing divides, and build strong bridges for international and intercultural cooperation. This is what we mean today when we talk about Alliance of Civilizations, and intercultural and interfaith dialogue.

As you embark on this Model UN experience, you would appreciate the value and power of dialogue.

Dialogue is not appeasement, nor is it a waste of time. It is the precursor and accompaniment to action, shepherding real and concrete projects and policies, which can transform our lives and our world. It is up to you, the young people and future leaders of our world, to lead the way in promoting tolerance, understanding and respect for the values and beliefs of one and all, so that greater harmony and peace and prosperity can be achieved throughout the nations and cultures of the world.

I wish you the best in your work.