ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Model UN conferences around the world have played an important role in educating young people about how the UN works and the many social and political issues on the organization's agenda. Forty years ago, my participation in a Model UN conference in Kyoto, Japan, inspired me to work on global affairs and try to make a difference in the world. It is our hope that the Global Model UN conference will build on past accomplishments to increase support of the UN’s efforts to make the world a better place in which to live.
Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information
The United Nations Department of Public Information is organizing the first annual Global Model United Nations Conference which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 5 - 7 August 2009. The conference will be a simulation of General Assembly plenary sessions and the Assembly’s Main Committees. The theme of the 2009 conference will be “The Millennium Development Goals: Lifting the Bottom Billion out of Poverty.”
More than 1,000 university-level students, ages 18 to 24 at the time of the conference, will be invited from Member States where Model United Nations programmes are currently organized. The students will be selected through a fair and competitive selection process.
Youth represent a top priority for the United Nations and a new generation of support. An estimated one million students, from primary school to university, participate worldwide in Model United Nations simulations each year. Many of today's leaders in law, government, business and the arts participated in Model UN programmes during their youth.
At the Global Model United Nations Conference, students from approximately 70 countries will role play as foreign diplomats and participate in simulated sessions of the United Nations General Assembly and other multilateral bodies in the UN system. While preparing for Model United Nations conference, students develop leadership skills and research, writing, public speaking and problem solving skills that they will use throughout their lives. In addition, participation also encourages consensus building, conflict resolution and cooperation and the enhancement of leadership skills.
Several hundred Model UN conferences are organized each year at all educational levels from primary school to university in many different configurations. The Global Model United Nations will be initially target university level students. The annual conference will rotate annually to major UN duty stations, particularly in developing countries.