Through its three divisions, DPI manages an extensive network that includes its UN Information Centres, NGOs, and academic institutions, which are essential partners in reaching out to a youth audience. In addition, DPI is increasingly using social Media to deliver information to youth about UN events and the work of the UN. Finally, it offers multiple opportunities throughout the year for youth to participate in live interactions with senior UN officials, including the Secretary-General, Messengers of Peace and other youth who are active in searching for solutions to global problems.
Key activities include:
- global videoconferences for youth on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March); the International Day of Peace (21 September); and Human Rights Day (10 December);
- the UN4MUN (http://outreach.un.org/mun/) programme which includes two annual workshops for student organizers of MUN conferences and other support for Model UN simulations around the world;
- the UN Academic Impact (UNAI) which brings institutions of higher learning into association with the UN and offers a mechanism for them to commit themselves to ten universally accepted principles that underlie the United Nations mandate and ASPIRE, the student-driven initiative that promotes UNAI.
Support for Model UN simulations
While no one knows for sure when the first Model UN simulation took place, MUN conferences are most likely an outgrowth of simulations of the League of Nations that date back to the 1920‘s. Today, the popularity of Model UN continues to grow. It is estimated that more than 400,000 students worldwide participate every year at all educational levels from primary school to university. Many of today’s leaders in law, government, business and the arts participated in Model UN conferences when they were younger – including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Building on the success of three Global Model United Nations conferences from 2009-2011, DPI has shifted its focus to training students who organize MUN conferences. The training offered through MUN Workshops aims to provide student leaders who are actively involved in organizing Model UN programmes at the university level with a deeper understanding of how the General Assembly and the Security Council operate.
Information on the most recent workshops held in Vienna and New York in July and August 2013 as well as the UN Guide for MUN can be found on the UN4MUN website.