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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; or Bill Yotive, Manager, Global Teaching and Learning Project, at email@example.com.
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
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.
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.
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.