UNA-USA’s 14th Annual Global Classrooms International Model UN Conference Commences at UN Headquarters
May 16, 2013
Guest speakers include the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, and UN Foundation President & CEO Kathy Calvin
NEW YORK — Nearly 2,500 high school students from 23 countries around the world are taking the seats used by actual UN delegations in UN General Assembly Hall for today’s Opening Ceremonies of the United Nations Association of the USA’s (UNA-USA) Global Classrooms® International Model UN Conference. The Opening Ceremony includes addresses from the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi; Alternate Representative of the U.S. for Special Political Affairs in the UN, Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis; as well as United Nations Foundation President & CEO Kathy Calvin.
“The energy in UN General Assembly Hall today gives me great hope for the future,” said Calvin. “As these students begin their three-day Model UN experience, we’re reminded of how important the youth voice, optimism, and enthusiasm is to the UN conversation. Their support for the work of the UN is essential to building a better future.”
The conference is designed to engage and empower today’s bright young minds as they develop solutions to difficult problems. Some of the 15 committees and debate topics for this year’s conference include: cyber terrorism, rights of LGBT people, and childhood immunization.
“The International Model UN Conference is the culmination of Global Classrooms’ fourteenth year helping engage middle and high school students in the work of the UN and current world issues,” said UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden. “Each year, we’re amazed at the passion these students bring to the dialogue. They want to solve the world’s problems in three days and have great ideas on how to go about it.”
The conference, which runs through Saturday, is one of the largest Model UNs in the world. Sessions will occur over Friday and Saturday at the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central. In addition to the students, the event will involve more than 300 teachers and 120 staff volunteers from 52 colleges and universities, including several from the New York area.
Global Classrooms Model UN has amazed schools around the globe with its ability to cultivate global literacy, leadership skills, and attitudes necessary for active citizenship, showing that students deeply care about the world outside their local communities. In Model UN, students role-play as ambassadors from UN member states, interest groups, and nongovernmental organizations in a simulation of the United Nations.
Watch the Global Classrooms Model UN Documentary “Decorum” at www.unausa.org/decorum.
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About Global Classrooms
The United Nations Association of the USA’s Global Classrooms Model UN is an educational program that engages public middle school and high school students in the United States and abroad in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. Global Classrooms is the only comprehensive program of study and instruction based on Model UN, the largest Model UN network both inside and outside the United States, and the only Model UN provider focused on underserved populations. Impacting more than 25,000 students and teachers annually, Global Classrooms is implemented as a stand-alone curriculum, co-curricular, and as an after school program. For more information, visit www.unausa.org/globalclassrooms.
The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to informing, inspiring, and mobilizing the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years, UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. Learn more about UNA-USA’s programs and initiatives at www.unausa.org.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.