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    UNIS/VIC/172
    29 July 2010

    Students to Tackle Global Issues at
    Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN) Conference

    VIENNA, 29 July (UN Information Service) - Over 200 students from around the world will practice and challenge their diplomatic skills at the 16th Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN) Conference from 2 to 5 August 2010 at the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

    During the four-day conference, which is organized by the United Nations Youth and Student Association of Austria - Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs (UNYSA-AUSTRIA-AFA), the delegates, students and young graduates between the ages of 18 to 35 will take on the roles of diplomats and debate the following issues in six different committees:

    • Security Council: "Decision on an Urgent Political Crisis"
    • Human Rights Council: "Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons"
    • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO): "Supporting Biogas Production as Supplementary Income for Small Farmers"
    • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): "Atoms for Food: Against the Growing Food Insecurity in Light of Climate Change"
    • External Discussion Forum 1: "NATO's New Strategic Concept: NATO as a Forum for Consultation on Worldwide Security Issues"
    • External Discussion Forum 2: "International Conference on the Establishment of a 'UN Emergency Peace Service' (UNEPS)"

    Experiences gained at VIMUN range from enhancing diplomatic skills to getting more insight into imminent global issues. Participants act as delegates of a foreign country, not their own, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) and have to negotiate and protect the national interests of their chosen country. The challenge is to argue from a different angle to gain a better understanding of different perspectives on world politics, problems and crises.

    The committee sessions are conducted by chairs and co-chairs and all delegates have to follow rules of procedure similar to those used in real UN conferences. Awards will be given for the best speakers at the closing ceremony of the conference.

    Once planned as a one-time event in 1995, the Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN) expanded and prospered, having hosted more than 4000 students so far.

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    About Model United Nations Conferences

    Model United Nations student conferences are well established around the world, with an estimated half million or more students from primary school to university in more than 70 countries participating every year. A database of Model UNs around the world, developed by the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI) is available at http://www.un.org/gmun/. At present, the database includes more than 400 university-level Model United Nations programmes.

    The student conferences are simulations of United Nations forums such as the General Assembly and its Main Committees, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. They also simulate United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, in addition to the Organization's regional economic commissions.

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    For further information, please contact:

    Maria Naderhirn
    NGO/CSO Liaison, UNIS Vienna
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-3324
    Email: maria.naderhirn@unvienna.org

    or

    Marc E. Melich
    Secretary-General, Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN)
    Mobile: (+43-699) 17 77 32 76
    Email: vimun@afa.at
    Website: http://www.vimun.org or http://afa.at

    Journalists are welcome to attend the reception at the Vienna City Hall on Monday, 2 August 2010, 8-10 pm, and the reception at the Diplomatic Academy on Tuesday, 3 August 2010, 7-10 pm