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Global Model United Nations

Welcome to the GMUN 2011 Newsroom

The GMUN Newsroom will keep you up to date with the latest news concerning the 2011 Global Model UN conference to be held in Incheon, Korea - the only Model UN organized by the United Nations through its Department of Public Information. This will include press releases, radio interviews, videos, and human interest stories as a way of widening the coverage of GMUN 2011.
 

UN Secretary-General Urges Delegates to Make a Difference

Read a UN News Centre article about the Secretary-General's speech at the 3rd annual Global Model UN Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea.


Press Releases

 

Global Model United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Held   in Republic of Korea, Closes with Adoption of Eight Resolutions
 
INCHEON, REPUBLIC OF KOREA, 15 August — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged young people from more than 60 countries attending the third annual Global Model United Nations Conference to stay united in their resolve to continue the work of the Organization.  The Conference, organized by the Department of Public Information and hosted by the Metropolitan City of Incheon and the United Nations Association of the Republic of Korea, took place in the city of Incheon from 10 to 14 August.
 
The Secretary-General said “technology offers solutions”, but “I prefer to put my faith in people […] young people in particular”.  He went on to say that “the world must take into account your voices”, and he asked the delegates assembled to “please keep working with us, pushing us and inspiring us”.
 

                 The appearance of the United Nations Secretary-General “was a thrill for the young people who attended the Conference.  He received a standing ovation and numerous rounds of applause from delegates,” said the President of the General Assembly of the Global Model United Nations Conference, Dongyeop Lee from the Republic of Korea.  Global Model UN 2011 Secretary-General, Tatiana Makarova from the Russian Federation, said: “He was like a rock star to the delegates.”  Oliver Pase, the student who took on the role of Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, said it was an unprecedented honour for the Global Model UN and an experience no delegate will forget.

 

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Kiyo Akasaka, also addressed the gathering and explained the importance of model conferences, such as the Global Model UN, in providing young individuals with the chance to meet with and befriend like-minded individuals from around the globe.  At the closing ceremony, Mr. Akasaka stressed that the world’s problems were many, including poverty, hunger, deprivation of human rights, disease and climate change.  He said that “these problems will not go away and be resolved in the next 10 or 20 years.  They will soon come to your shoulders as your own burdens to deal with.  We hope that you have been inspired and motivated by this experience to do more to make a difference for a better world.”

               During the Conference, the theme “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature” was discussed in four committees.  In the closing plenary of the four-day Conference, the Global Model General Assembly adopted eight resolutions, one by consensus and the other seven by overwhelming majorities.  The resolutions addressed nuclear security and safety for sustainable development; the impact of armed conflict on sustainable development; improving market conditions in favour of alternative energy towards a green economy; ensuring global food security through sustainable agriculture; gender and sustainable development; education for sustainable development; renewing international political commitment towards the environment; and environmental refugees.
 
In the course of the Conference, delegates were treated to a taste of Korean culture through traditional dance and drumming performances, classical music by a Korean youth orchestra and renowned pianist, as well as music by other Korean youth.
 
The text of the resolutions and the photographs of the Conference will be posted on the Conference website at www.un.org/gmun and on the Global Model United Nations Facebook page.  For more information, please contact Yvonne Acosta, Chief, Education Outreach, tel: +1 212 963 7214, e-mail: acostay@un.org; or Bill Yotive, Manager, Global Teaching and Learning Project, tel: +1 212 963 1400, e-mail:  yotive@un.org.


 

 

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: acostay@un.org; or Bill Yotive, Manager, Global Teaching and Learning Project, tel: +1 212 963 1400, e-mail:  yotive@un.org.



 

Russian Secretary-General, Korean General Assembly President to Head Global Model United Nations Conference 2011
 

Newly Appointed Officials Complete Leadership Training Workshop at World Body’s New York Headquarters

United Nations | 13 June 2011 -- The United Nations Department of Public Information has confirmed the appointment of 19 Secretariat and General Assembly officials who will take on the challenge of leading the 2011 Global Model United Nations Conference, to be hosted by the Incheon Metropolitan City and the United Nations Association of the Republic of Korea.

Having undergone a leadership training workshop organized for the group at United Nations Headquarters from 6 to 10 June, newly appointed Secretary-General Tatiana Makarova said: “I was genuinely surprised by my appointment.” The 22‑year‑old PhD student of international relations at Moscow’s prestigious National Research University in the Russian Federation added: “It is an honour to have been given the opportunity to be Secretary-General at such a prestigious event.”

The Global Model United Nations Conference is in its third year, following highly successful events in Geneva in 2009 and Kuala Lumpur in 2010. With its focus on the theme “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature”, the Conference will bring together 600 of the best university students from Model United Nations programmes around the world. It will give each the opportunity to debate many of the most important issues facing humanity, within the context of a simulated General Assembly session.

“I look forward to working with the amazing Secretariat,” said Ms Makarova, referring to the nine other members of the Secretariat: Carlos Andres Paredes Minango of Ecuador, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs; Oliver Pase of Australia, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; and Emmanuel Mike Kweyunga of Uganda, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. Wang Hu of China was appointed Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management and Missy P. Chareka of Canada as Assistant-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management.

Appointed Secretaries of four Main Committees to be simulated were Michael Abi Semaan of Lebanon (Disarmament and International Security), Anastasiya Skripnik of the Russian Federation (Economic and Financial); Anindya Restuviani of Indonesia (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural); and Abdallah Salim Mohamed Busaidy of Kenya (Special Political and Decolonization).

Dongyeop Lee of the Republic of Korea was elected by Conference delegates to take on the role of President of the General Assembly. Elected as Chairpersons of the four Main Committees were Farzana Julie Ahmed (Kenya), Thomas Jaunich (Germany), Giovanna Fernandes Alevato (Brazil) and Alfonso Simon Abularach (Bolivia). Vicente Avalos Barrio de Mendoza (Peru), Carmen Alejandra Zavala Bandala (Mexico), Zhikica Pagovski (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Diane Jeanblanc (France) were elected Vice-Chairpersons.

“It is an honour to have been elected President of the General Assembly, and I am particularly excited to be performing this role in the Republic of Korea, both mine and Ban Ki-moon’s home country,” said Mr. Dongyeop. “I am determined to ensure all delegates have an amazing experience in Korea.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Republic of Korea to address the Conference. Ms. Makarova said: “I have no doubt this will be a highlight no delegate will soon forget.”

Each Secretariat and General Assembly official attending the workshop in New York participated in seminars led by United Nations luminaries, including Jean Gazarian, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Discussions focused on the roles and responsibilities of the positions that the students would be assuming during the Conference, with several distinguished diplomats and senior advisers providing insights which, according to Mr. Pase from the University of Sydney, taught them more than any textbook ever could. “The candour and critical reflection was refreshing, and each speaker’s passion for their work was inspiring,” he said. “Their advice will be invaluable in our preparations for the Conference.” In addition, the students met senior United Nations officials and diplomats on substantive issues to be discussed in each Committee.

Intended to serve as a model of best practices for other regional or national Model United Nations Conferences, the 2011 Global Model United Nations Conference will be governed by rules of procedure closely replicating those used within the world body. Delegates will also have access to high-ranking United Nations officials during debate.

The Conference is designed to facilitate the key United Nations strategy of engaging with youth around the world. University students between the ages of 18 and 26 are invite to participate, and the deadline for registration for the 2011 event is 30 June.

More information on the Global Model United Nations Conference and the student leaders can be found on the Conference website: www.un.org/gmun.

For additional information, please contact Yvonne Acosta, Chief, Education Outreach Cluster, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, at acostay@un.org; or Bill Yotive, Manager, Global Teaching and Learning Project, at yotive@un.org.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Press Conference on 2011 Global Model United Nations Conference

United Nations | 10 June 2011 -- Introducing the student leaders of the 2011 Global Model United Nations Conference, planned for Incheon, Republic of Korea, 10-14 August, the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information said today that such events helped mobilize students to engage in United Nations issues.

“This deliberation by students will pave the way for the Rio+20 Conference in June 2012,” Kiyo Akasaka said at a Headquarters press conference, noting that the theme of this year’s event was “Sustainable Development: Advancing human progress in harmony with nature”. “I am very happy to work with young leaders on that issue,” he said.

Introduced by Mr. Akasaka, and joining him at the podium, were Tatiana Makarova of the Russian Federation, who will be serving as the Secretary-General at the Conference, and Dongyeop Lee of the Republic of Korea, who will be the President of the General Assembly. As he also introduced Oliver Pase of Australia, who will be Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Mr. Akasaka paused for a moment of recognition. “He’s me,” he said.

This was the third annual such Conference organized by the Department of Public Information in coordination with United Nations associations around the world and host countries, Mr. Akasaka said, with the previous ones having being held in Geneva and Kuala Lumpur. (See also Press Release PI/1987 of 8 June 2011)

He said that this year, new rules of procedure would more closely reflect those of the United Nations and the student leaders would have more access to the world Organization. “We hope that it will be a good model of the model United Nations of the world, which mobilize half a million university students,” he said.

Taking the microphone next, Ms. Makarova, noting that soon all the delegates would begin their journeys from around the world to unite in Incheon, pledged to work hard to make the Conference a memorable experience for them, and to make them “fall in love with the United Nations”. She hoped that the Conference would also “make sure that this young generation will make our economy green”.

Mr. Lee expressed his pride in the Conference as a Korean, and noted that, as individual students, it was hard to change the state of the world, but coming together in Incheon, he hoped they would have influence. He hoped the Conference would help enlighten youth around the world, so they could then influence and prompt the right changes in the minds of global leaders.

Listing the names of the student leaders who would chair the various General Assembly committees, he said that the topics to be discussed in each committee would relate to the committee’s area of expertise, combined with the sustainable development theme. For example, the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) would discuss green energy, among other topics.

Mr. Pase said that the Model United Nations brought to the fore the realities of the United Nations, and made young people feel like they have the ability to make a difference. Only in its third year, the Global Model United Nations already had the reputation of being the pinnacle of the Model United Nations experience, and was preparing students to become involved in a complex set of issues.

Asked how she had been selected to be Secretary-General and if there had been more than one candidate, Ms. Makarova said that 10 people had been nominated from around the world in a long and difficult process. Debates and interviews had followed. “It was hard to get here, but I am humbled and honoured,” she said.

In response to other questions, the students explained that delegates were assigned to represent specific countries, often not their own. The objective was to represent them in good faith to the best of their abilities. The countries they represented were selected by the Department of Public Information.

On financing, Mr. Akasaka said that the Conferences did not have a regular budget, but that the Department had a partnership with the World Federation of United Nations Associations, as well as with the United Nations Foundation. Many national United Nations associations organized their own Model United Nations and provided financial support to the Global event. Beside various other extrabudgetary contributions, some students used their own financial resources, or raised money themselves.

Secretary-General to Deliver Opening Address at Third Annual Global Model United Nations Conference, to be held in Republic of Korea, 10-14 August

 
Some 600 Student Delegates Expected to Discuss Issues of Sustainability
 
United Nations | 8 June 2011-- The United Nations Department of Public Information will organize the third annual Global Model UN Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 10 to 14 August under the theme “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature”.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will deliver the opening address.

               At this annual event, to be hosted by the Metropolitan City of Incheon and the United Nations Association of the Republic of Korea, the best university-level students who participate in Model UN programmes around the world will gather to simulate the General Assembly plenary and deliberate on issues of economic and socio-political sustainability, including the conflict between optimum use of the world’s resources for development and environmental preservation.

Secretary-General Ban writes in his message to the 2011 Global Model UN Conference: “The ecosystems and resources you will inherit have been subjected to unprecedented stress and exploitation.  Different countries and societies have made very different contributions to this state of affairs, but all should be able to agree that it is unsustainable — and we need to find a more balanced and sustainable approach.”
 
Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information and himself a Model UN alumnus, is an ardent advocate of the student conferences as a medium by which young people can not only be enlightened about the critical role played by the United Nations in world affairs, but also encouraged to aspire to careers in diplomacy and international civil service in their respective countries.  “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.”

               Guiding the Global Model UN Conference will be rules of procedure closely resembling those of the actual General Assembly.  Two intensive pre-conference training workshops will be conducted, both at United Nations Headquarters and in Incheon, to provide those selected as Secretariat and General Assembly officials with an insider’s perspective on the world body’s operations.  In addition, delegates will be afforded the opportunity to interact directly with United Nations experts, officials and diplomats through a series of live video chats in order better to acquaint themselves with the substantive issues of sustainable development to be addressed during the Conference.
 
The Department of Public Information employs a transparent, inclusive and gender-balanced selection process which ensures that students from all socio-economic backgrounds and geographic regions are represented.  The 2011 Global Model UN is expected to attract approximately 600 university-level students between the ages of 18 and 26 from 53 Member States.  The deadline for applications has been extended to 30 June 2011.
 
Supporting the Department in coordinating the Conference are the World Federation of United Nations Associations, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations International Fund for Partnerships.
 
For additional information, please contact Yvonne Acosta, Chief, Education Outreach Cluster, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, at acostay@un.org; or Bill Yotive, Manager, Global Teaching and Learning Project, at yotive@un.org.  Visit the Conference website at www.un.org/gmun.


 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Key Note Speech at the 3rd Annual Global Model UN Conference

Incheon (Republic of Korea)-- 11 August 2011

It is a great pleasure and honour for me to address this Global Model United Nations. The United Nations is an indispensable organization. That is why it was founded. That is why it is still remaining relevant for more than 60 years. And that is why I am so encouraged by your clear desire to get involved in our work.

Every day, UN staff are in the field, feeding people, saving lives and keeping the peace. Every day, diplomats are working to resolve crises and develop the international laws that govern our ever more complex world. Your experience in this conference will give you a full taste of the complexity of international relations, the intricacies of negotiations among diverse peoples and perspectives, the challenges of achieving consensus and the patience required to win progress. This has been my life for the past five years.

Last month I was honoured to be elected to a second term as Secretary-General. It is a great honour. I can confirm my commitment to work together with you for world peace, development, security and human rights. My pledge to Member States is to make the United Nations even more effective and relevant. To deliver results for those who need us most. At the moment we face a growing humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa. The famine in Somalia is spreading. Tens of thousands of lives are at stake. The United Nations is there - saving lives.

We have appealed for roughly $2 billion in urgent assistance. So far, we have received only a little more than half that amount. But we will keep up the pressure and do what we can – and we must – to assist those in need. In the same way, we will continue to keep up the political pressure round the world wherever and whenever we see human rights being trampled, democracy being subverted and justice being denied.

This is the United Nations. It is your United Nations. So, I am delighted to see you here today. If there is one theme that sums up my first term as Secretary-General, and which will run through my second term for the coming five years, that is “new multilateralism”. I am sure you have all heard the saying, “united we stand, divided we fall”. That adage captures this moment in international affairs. No single country or group of countries, no matter how powerful they may be, can take on the major issues of the day alone.

In an era when challenges spill over borders and have global reach, our future depends on how well we work together. We must work in unison to defeat extreme poverty and build a more just and prosperous world. We must stand up for human beings in crisis: people caught up in war or disasters, or those whose fundamental rights are being infringed. We must unite to overcome climate change, and create a greener, more sustainable world for all. And we must create a safer world, free of nuclear weapons.

You are an important part of the solution. The world needs your active engagement. Twenty years from now, my generation will largely have left the scene. You, here today, will stand in our place, very soon. How the world looks in 2031 will depend largely on the decisions we make now, in 2011. Whatever decision you make now, whatever decision we make together, will determine the future in 20 years. Yes, technology offers solutions. But I prefer to put my faith in people, young people in particular. That is why the United Nations needs your engagement on the challenges that will shape the world you leave to your children.

I urge you to use the knowledge and skills you gain from this Model UN exercise and other pursuits to advance the objectives of the United Nations. After all, you will soon be the government officials who will negotiate peace, the community leaders who will help feed and shelter the vulnerable, the entrepreneurs and innovators who will get carbon emissions under control, the lawyers and human rights defenders who will fight injustice, impunity and intolerance. Many of you are already making a difference. I am sure that one among you will become secretary-general, or president of the General Assembly, or a president, prime minister, foreign minister or ambassador. That will depend upon how you do today. That is why I am telling you the future of our world depends on your active engagement today.

Recent events around the world have shown the power of young people to take the initiative and positively change the course of history. Increasingly, young people are saying to their elders, to their governments: “This is not the world we want.” We have all witnessed the tremendous changes and turmoil that have swept across the Middle East and North Africa. We have all witnessed the peaceful protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere. But all of us have also seen terrible violence there and in Libya and Syria. Your generation is showing a growing resolve to change our world – and a capacity to make things happen, through peaceful means. I welcome this.

The world must take account of your voices. It must take account of the legitimate aspirations of young people everywhere for opportunity and dignity. Please keep working with us, pushing us and inspiring us. Help shape our world for the better help us meet the collective tests of our times and help the United Nations deliver what the world needs at this crucial moment. Never underestimate the power of the individual to make a difference to change the world. Please accept my best wishes for a rewarding Model UN. Thank you.