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Students Bring United Nations Conference to NZ

Students Bring United Nations Conference to New Zealand

A model United Nations conference for tertiary students from the Asia-Pacific will next year be hosted at The University of Auckland, thanks to the efforts of a group of University students.

The 2007 Asia-Pacific Model United Conference (AMUNC) is regarded as the premiere model UN for university students. It is hosted by a different university each year. The venue for next July’s event was announced last week. It will be the first AMUNC to be held outside Australia.

The conference will take place primarily at the University and is expected to attract 500 tertiary students from across the Asia-Pacific region.

“The conference will offer great opportunities to tertiary students throughout New Zealand and showcase Auckland City to the wider Asia-Pacific region,” says Mike Asplet, who chaired the student committee responsible for winning the hosting rights.

Model UN conferences simulate United Nations committees like the Security Council and the General Assembly. Students are assigned to a country, which they represent in through debate and resolution-building on topics of contemporary global significance.

Mike describes the experience: “The conference provides an understanding of how the UN works, promoting its values of cooperation and compromise. The practical simulation builds students’ communication and diplomacy skills and they leave with networks and friends, a number of whom will be tomorrow’s world leaders.”

Previously the conference has only been attended by Australians and New Zealanders but the Auckland event will raise the bar. “The 2007 conference will, for the first time see a real ethnic diversity in participants, as we bring together students from a broader base of countries throughout the Asia Pacific. We already have students from as far as Venezuela interested in attending.”

Students are already organising next year’s event. “Our team has years of experience in attending and running similar conferences on an international scale, including model UN conferences for school students” says committee deputy chair Paul Ryan.

The conference week is provisionally scheduled for 9-13 July in next year. It will include cultural performances and festivities, with high-profile guests invited to attend.


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