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UN Conference Seeks World Leaders of Tomorrow

Global Model UN Conference Seeks to Tap World Leaders of Tomorrow

The United Nations today launched a mobilization campaign for the first annual Global Model UN conference in Geneva next year to enhance its cooperation with the young people who will become the world’s future leaders.

The three-day meeting will bring together 1,000 university students aged between 18 and 24 to discuss the “The Millennium Developments Goals – Lifting the bottom billion out of poverty.” The Goals, set at the UN Millennium summit of 2000, seek to slash global poverty and hunger, reduce maternal and infant mortality and vastly increase access to health care and education by 2015.

“There are currently about 400,000 to half a million young people who are engaged in model United Nations… across the world,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka told a news conference in New York.

“I was very much impressed by the eagerness of the young people to learn about the United Nations. They are the future leaders of their countries and, knowing that we have about a half of the world population under 25, we have to got to enhance our partnership and cooperation with those billions of young people.”

The UN Department of Public Information (DPI) will work closely with the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and other supporters, including the United Nations Foundation, to organize the conference, to be held in a different country each year, to serve as a model of best practices for Model UN conferences.

The sessions will introduce rules of procedure that closely represent how the UN functions and give students access to UN officials prior to and during conference deliberations. DPI will require all national model programmes to ensure that the selection of delegates is transparent and inclusive, including gender balance and representation of various socio-economic backgrounds.

A quota system will be established for each region (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Western Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America) to ensure wide geographic representation at the conference, although not every country will necessarily be represented.

“It’s not just play-acting,” the Secretary-General of World Federation of UN Associations, Pera Wells, told the news conference. “But there is a point to it that is important because the UN is paying more and more attention to the views of young people. I think this is going to be one of the most exciting things about the proposed global UN model conference.”


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