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    UNIS/VIC/181
    28 July 2011

    Young Aspiring Diplomats to Discuss World Issues at 17th Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN)

    VIENNA, 28 July (UN Information Service) - Over 200 students from around the world are expected to participate in this year's Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN). The conference, organized by the United Nations Youth and Student Association of Austria - Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs (UNYSA-AUSTRIA-AFA) and hosted by the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), will be held from 31 July to 4 August 2011 at the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

    During the four-day conference, the students and young graduates aged between 18-35 years will practice and challenge their diplomatic skills as delegates when discussing issues such as "Human Rights of Asylum Seeking Persons" (Human Rights Council), "Solar Energy for Less Developed Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa" (UNIDO), "Current Nuclear Safety Issues" ( IAEA), "Genetic Engineering for Nutrition to Reduce the Hunger in the World" (FAO), "Decision on an Urgent Political Crisis" (Security Council - Committee 1) and "Crisis Committee" (Security Council - Committee 2).

    In six different committees the students and young graduates act as delegates of a foreign country (or a non-governmental organization (NGO)) and negotiate and protect the national interests of their chosen country. The rules of procedure are similar to those used in real UN conferences.

    While simulating the roles of delegates the students develop leadership skills as well as research, writing, public speaking and problem solving skills. Arguing from a different angle enables them to gain a better understanding of different perspectives on world politics, problems and crises. In addition, the participants gain experience in consensus building, conflict resolution and cooperation. The best speakers will be given an award at the closing ceremony of the conference.

    In addition to the Model UN conferences around the world, a Global Model United Nations Conference (GMUN) will take place from 10 - 14 August 2011 in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The conference, which took place for the first time in 2009 in Geneva (and 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), is organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information and will be held under theme "Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature." For further information visit the GMUN website http://www.un.org/gmun/.

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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/.

    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[at]unvienna.org

    or

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