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Students learn from model UN
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-20 01:56

More than 200 students from 31 colleges in 22 Asia-Pacific countries and regions gathered in Beijing Thursday for the 2004 Asia-Pacific Regional Model United Nations Conference.

The "Model United Nations" originated in the United States, where young students are organized to imitate the operating style and procedures of certain agencies of the UN and hold discussions on topical issues.

The three-day conference is simulated on the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

On the theme of "Global Challenge-2015," the delegations will discuss how to cope with the difficulties and challenges of realizing the Millennium Development Goal fixed in 2000.

"It will be an exceptional opportunity for the youth to test their knowledge of the UN, their leadership and communication skills," said Lady Rhyl Jansen, president of World Federation of United Nations Association, the organizer of the event.

Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said conducting the Model UN helps to mobilize public support, from young people in particular, to the UN and also draws the attention of the general public to the grave challenges faced by the UN.

Executive Secretary of the UNESCAP Kim Hak-Su urged young participants to come up with creative ideas and to find solutions from the youth's point of view to "move the goals from IDEAL to REAL."

Melanie Poole, an International and Law student at the Australian National University, said it was significant that young people could get involved in such events.

"The young generation has to be aware of how the UN works and what its goals," she said. "What's more, the meeting helps us to break down cultural barriers and make friends."

The Model UN came to China in the mid-1990s. In 2002 and 2003, the United Nations Association of China and the China Foreign Affairs University organized two Model UN events on "the reform of the Security Council" and "counter-terrorism."

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