1,600 Students Attend International Model UN at United Nations Headquarters

May 15, 2015

NEW YORK (May 14, 2015) – Today, 1,600 high school students from around the world have joined together for the United Nations Association of the USA’s (UNA-USA) Global Classrooms International Model UN Conference. The opening ceremonies, with a keynote by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, are being held in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations.

“Today students from around the globe will gather to tackle some of the vexing problems of our age,” said UNA-USA Executive Director Chris Whatley. “Global Classrooms International Model UN is a reflection of one of the core tenets of UNA-USA’s mission: to engage young people to better understand and engage with the work of the United Nations in building a better world.”

Participants from 16 U.S. states and 20 countries are role-playing as ambassadors from UN member states, interest groups, and nongovernmental organizations in a simulation of the United Nations. Topics being discussed include climate change, peace and security, and the empowerment of women and girls.

At the event, UNA-USA and the Lebanese American University (LAU) announced that LAU will assume ownership of both the Global Classrooms International High School Model UN Conference and the Global Classrooms International Middle School Model UN Conference later this year.

“We are thrilled to be taking over the esteemed tradition and institution of Global Classrooms Model UN Conferences,” said Dr. Joseph Jabbra, President of LAU. “LAU will provide all the creative pedagogical tools in order to continue the excellent work of the UNA USA.  Empowering, engaging and educating youth from different parts of the world is not only our mission; it is our raison d’être.”

Model UN has been the premier vehicle for building young people’s leadership skills and understanding of international affairs, world cultures, and the workings of the United Nations for over 60 years. In 1999, UNA-USA created Global Classrooms to bridge the gap in the Model UN community between experienced programs and traditionally underserved public schools worldwide. Building largely on the success of Global Classrooms, UNA-USA has expanded its youth engagement into the GenUN program, and youth members now account for more than half of the association’s national membership.

For more information, please visit http://www.unausa.org/global-classrooms-model-un