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Eastern Africa Regional Model United Nations

The fourth Eastern Africa Regional Model United Nations (EARMUN) took place in Uganda at Makerere University from 10th to 14th August 2009. 

The conference, which brought more young people together to discuss regional development issues in a global perspective than any other young peoples’ gathering in the region. Organizers of this annual event include: The United Nations Association of Uganda and Tanzania, the United Nations Youth Association (UNYA) of Kenya and Youth of United Nations Association (YUNA) of Tanzania. This year’s theme was: “Climate Change – Our Rights and Responsibilities towards Sustainable Development”.
EARMUN 2009 was a follow up of the past three successful EARMUNs’ which had focused on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Peace and Security, respectively; with special emphasis on involving youth.

However this year’s EARMUN focused on the issues pertaining Climate change and the key focus areas: INDUSTRY AND INDUSTRIALIZATION, POLITICAL AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY, and MARGINALIZED VOICES AND WATER AND FOOD SECURITY.

The conference received support from Oxfam GB - Uganda, GTZ - RUWASS, Rwenzori Mineral Water Company, East African Development Bank (EADB), St. Henry’s College Kitovu, United Nations Information Communication (UNIC) office in Tanzania, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and contributions from participants/Delegates from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The 2009 EARMUN was opened by the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Country Coordinator Mr. Theophane Nikyema. The guests’ panel during the opening session included: Mr. George Muwanguzi (President of the UNA Uganda) and Mr. Warugaba William (Coordinator General of the EARMUN 2009 Conference).

The conference was highlighted by a number of caucus sessions, three GA sessions, a
colourful cultural night and a closing and official opening ceremony.

United Nations Office in Baku, Azerbaijan organises Model UN

The United Nations Office successfully partnered with the Administration of Baku Oxford School and The International School of Azerbaijan to conduct a Model United Nations session that took place on 4 December 2009. 



Teams of students from Baku Oxford School and The International School of Azerbaijan as well as the Baku European Lyceum, The Turkish Anatolian High School, The Dunya IB School, and The Baku International School participated in a full day session, similar to the General Assembly of the United Nations, on the topic of "Promoting Gender Equity."
 

It was a very successful conference and students were well prepared (trained by UN DPI). The day was divided into an opening session where positions were stated, informal caucus time and a full General Assembly session. Each participant took on the role of a representative to the United Nations for a specific country and spoke as a diplomat of that country. Students surely benefited in developing various skills while practicing diplomacy, forming alliances and reaching a better understanding of leadership. At the end of the day a resolution was agreed upon. 


 

Guest speaker for the opening ceremony was Mark Hereward (Representative, UNICEF);for the closing part it was Ms. Irada Ahmedova (RC Office). 

 

Lebanese students support Stand up Campaign

 
63 people took part in the event organized by Khaled Kabara and Baria Daye in Ahwak Café – Tripoli, Lebanon and signed the petition.



 
 
 
 
 

GMUN outreach by GMUN Delegates from Trinidad and Tobago

The energy generated by six postgraduate students of the Institute of International Relations (IIR), University of the West Indies (UWI) since their return in August from the Global Model United Nations Conference (GMUN) in Geneva has not abated. The group members - Stefan Affonso, Ornal Barman, Julianna Baptiste, Crystal Bastien, Elizabeth Encinas and Kobina Wilson - have relished every opportunity offered to extol their GMUN experience. 
 


 
The first opportunity came in the form of a debriefing exercise hosted at the Library of the University's Institute of International Relations, during which the students shared their collective impressions on the GMUN experience. Members of the Institute's faculty expressed satisfaction with the representation the students offered and were very impressed by the accolades that they gained through their participation. As a result, the students were invited by the Director of the Institute, Professor Tim Shaw, to share their GMUN experiences to the Institute's new recruits during the orientation exercises at the start of the academic year. The students agreed and facilitated this via a poster exhibition highlighting their joint experiences.
 
 

  Last week, all six students were invited to make a presentation on their GMUN experience at a luncheon of the Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain. The Rotary Club organizes an annual Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) in Trinidad and Tobago with representation from Trinidad and Tobago and secondary school students from the southern Caribbean. The GMUN presentation was very well received and the students were thanked by Lara Quentrall-Thomas on behalf of the Rotary Club, for their ‘wonderful presentation’. They were immediately invited to share their experience, any hints and research tips; and to explain the nuances of the ‘new’ GMUN rules of procedure to the secondary school students who will be participating in a Rotary-organized MUNA in February 2010. The GMUN participants eagerly agreed to assist in any way that they could.

 
The students have been invited by the United Nations Development Programmme in Trinidad and Tobago to make a presentation to the MDG Expanded Theme Group at their next encounter. 

UN Office Armenia holds Press Conference on Global Model UN 2009

Yerevan , 16 September – A nine-member Armenian delegation participated in the first annual Global Model United Nations conference “The Millennium Developments Goals - Lifting the Bottom Billion out of Poverty”which was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 2 to 7 August.  
 
The students from different Yerevan universities were among the 350 participants from Model UN programmes representing 60 countries.   The event was organized by the UN Department of Public Information in cooperation with the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA) and others.
 
Model UN conferences are simulations of United Nations forums, such as the General Assembly and its Main Committees and the Security Council.   During the conferences, the students take on the roles of diplomats, debating international issues, and drafting and adopting resolutions.  Model UN conferences are well established around the world.  An estimated half million students from primary school to university in more than 70 countries participate in Model UN conferences every year.
 
“It is very important to encourage young people from Armenia to be active participants of the Global Model UN where they can learn more how the UN functions and to improve their communication and negotiation skills. These events inspire the next generation of leaders to become more active on national and global issues,” said UN Resident Coordinator of UN Armenia Office Ms. Consuelo Vidal.
 
“We have learned more about how the UN functions and got a unique opportunity to talk to many UN officials.  The UN DPI also provided training materials and online tools that allowed us to collaborate using new communication technologies,” said Aram Voskanyan, head of the Armenian delegation in the Global Model UN, vice-president of the Armenian UN Association.  

 
The Armenian delegation was also supported by the President of Armenia, Civil Aviation Department of the Government of Armenia, the UN DPI Yerevan office and by the Armenian UN Association. 

Read the GMUN Newsletters

 

GMUN Newsletter 6 August 2009

GMUN Newsletter 7 August 2009 

UNIC Beirut Briefs Students Heading to Geneva's Model UN

As part of its outreach activities, the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut organized a briefing for a delegation of Lebanese students who will participate in the first annual Global Model UN Conference to be held in Geneva 5-7 August 2009. Members of the delegation, composed of nine students from the Lebanese American University (LAU), are also trainers for the 4th Global Classrooms – an LAU Model United Nations program for high school students in Lebanon.
 
On 14 July at the UN House in Beirut, UNIC Director Bahaa Elkoussy has briefed the Lebanese students, focusing first on the work of the world organization to meet the various challenges of the 21st century. After watching the “United Nations: It’s Your World” DVD, the students expressed support for the work and principles of the UN and its efforts to make a real difference in the lives of people around the world.
 
The students also watched the “Make it Happen” DVD, which focuses on the work of the UN to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The UNIC Director reviewed the commitments made by world leaders in 2000 to achieve eight main goals by 2015 with the aim of improving the life of people, particularly the most vulnerable. More than halfway to the deadline, Elkoussy explained that despite some successes progress has been slowed or in some cases reversed as a result of the ongoing global economic and food crises. He also gave details about how some of the gains made in the eradication of poverty and hunger were undone in 2008 due to the situation and higher food prices. Global warming and climate change are also adding pressures to the already stressed food market, affecting not only agriculture but also land and water management, he added. Asked to name some of the successes made in the implementation of MDGs, students cited progress in achieving universal primary education, reducing maternal and children mortality and lowering the number of new HIV infections.
 
Elkoussy also briefed the students on the last summit meeting held at the UN Headquarters in June to address ways of mitigating impacts of the global economic crisis on development and the poor and to initiate a dialogue on reforming the international financial architecture. The students also discussed with him the problem of small arms and light weapons and its effects on realizing MDGs. It was emphasized that safety and security were crucial for development and investments.
 

The students were provided with a press kit prepared by UNIC Beirut, which included the following material: and the Secretary General’s Vision: Building a Stronger UN for a Better World, a short list of MDGs, a press release on the 2009 MDGs report, fact sheets on World Climate Conference-3, an overview report entitled “The Global Economic and Financial Crisis: Regional Impacts, Responses and Solutions," the UN Charter and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

University of the West Indies students featured in Article in Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday

UWI students head to UN model assembly

By MELISSA DASSRATH Sunday, August 2 2009
Six post-graduate students of the Institute of International Relations from the University of the West Indies left for Geneva, Switzerland yesterday to participate in the first annual Global Model United Nations Conference between August 5 to 7.
Faculty Advisor and Librarian for the Institute of International Relations, Tamara Braithwaite, explained that she had been conducting a number of mock UN debates at the secondary school level and also facilitated a joint simulated UN sitting for post-graduate and masters students of UWI.

In this model UN conference, delegates from 60 countries will be exposed to the workings of the United Nations, have the opportunity to meet ambassadors from the countries they will be representing and will role-play as foreign diplomats in sessions that simulate the UN General Assembly.

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Millennium Development Goals: Lifting the Bottom Billion out of Poverty”.

“On the Global Model UN website, I read about the opportunity for tertiary level students to participate in Geneva,” Braithwaite indicated. “At the same time the lecturers here were offering a UN simulation for our post-graduate and masters students. So I knew that we would have some brilliant students who could benefit from attending the Global Model United Nations Conference. The International Relations students were selected from the top of their class. In addition, this group is the only one representing the entire English-speaking Caribbean.”

Braithwaite indicated that funding was an obstacle. She explained that it was a challenge to raise the $120,000 needed to finance the trip. “Caribbean Airlines, First Citizens, alumni and the University Committee including the Dean of Social Sciences, the Director of the Institute of International Relations and the Principal of UWI have stepped forward to assist us. So that’s mainly where our resources came from.”

Each student was assigned to represent a delegate from another UN member state and they were also grouped into different committees to vote on or veto different global issues. Julianna Baptise will represent the Czech Republic while Ornal Barman will represent the Republic of Iceland and Kobina Wilson Guinea Bissau on the second committee which will discuss the Global Financial Crisis and Climate Change.

Stefan Affonso will represent Mozambique while Elizabeth Encinas will represent the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the third committee which will debate Human Rights issues and Children of Conflict. Crystal Bastien will represent the Netherlands on the first committee which will focus of the Illicit Trade of Guns and Ammunition and Observance of Environmental Laws.

These International Relations students have been excelling in academics and have exhibited outstanding qualities. They are all articulate, charismatic, intelligent and possess impressive leadership and negotiation skills. Braithwaite said: “We were looking at whether the students understood what was required of a UN model delegate, such as skills in public speaking, debating, presence, diplomacy, synthesis of ideas and speech and resolution writing, as well as how convincingly they represented their country and conveyed their arguments.”

They balanced thesis writing, off-campus exercises to Cuba and Panama and obligations to their jobs with the rigorous research necessary to prepare for the Global Model UN.

Affonso said that: “We researched, researched, researched. We reviewed Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNECSO), The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies and arms of the UN. We studied in detail UN documents, resolutions and official summit reports. We also visited the UN office. We also researched our countries to get an understanding of the position the foreign delegate has on these issues. We have to internalise the ideologies of the country we will be representing. Because outside of the meetings, there is ‘corridor diplomacy’ in which we will still be lobbying for our country’s position.”

Encinas explained that the UN sent them reports which outlines the topics that each committee will focus on. “In order to prepare, we spent our time reading the history of our country and the cultural and social issues that are relevant to them. We only got this report last week which outlines the topics. So for instance, the report suggests that within my committee I should review illegal trade of light ammunition, the trafficking of children, gender differences and sexual exploitation of children in conflict, effects of poverty, education and literacy.”

Barman said: “For the first few days, we will be visiting different missions where we will have the chance to meet the ambassadors to our country, our real-life role-models. The agenda over the week includes a full day of sessions from 8 am to 9 pm. So we will be engaging with other delegates in meetings to advance the position of our countries and accurately represent our country.”

The students mentioned that good interpersonal skills is the key to networking and navigating their way through the Global UN Model, but they admitted to feeling a little intimidated by the team members from more developed countries.

STUDENT VIDEO CONTEST

Student video contest on
“The Millennium Development Goals”  

http://webcast.un.org/asxgen/ondemand/specialevents/UN_Video_Contest.wmv 


Student video contest on  

ENTER: the Student Video Contest to win an EXCITING prize.  
 
Show your creativity and share your ideas. Your video will be posted on the UN Channel on Youtube.
 
DEADLINE : 2 July 2009
 
DETAILS:  All GMUN 2009 participants will receive an e-mail notification with information and instructions on how to enter into the “Student Video Contest” .