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    UNIS/VIC/192
    13 December 2013

    Negotiating change for Post 2015- students simulating a conference on sustainable development

    International Simulation Workshop taking place on 12 and 13 of December 2013 at the Vienna International Centre

     VIENNA, 13 December 2013 (UN Information Service) - Fifty international students are currently at the United Nations in Vienna to discuss climate change and how to mitigate it. The students are taking part in a Model UN organized by the United Nations Environment Programme's Vienna Office -Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (UNEP Vienna -ISCC) in cooperation with the United Nations Information Service in Vienna (UNIS) and both the University of Vienna as well as the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU). This year's aim of the workshop is to simulate the current Post-2015 process and particularly the deliberations in the framework of the Open Working Group (OWG) towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The two day capacity-building event focuses in particular on the issue of climate change adaptation and mitigation to be discussed at the upcoming OWG session in January 2014 in New York. It will benefit from the various results and best practices gained from activities of the European Union (EU) funded projects "ALPSTAR*" and "C3-Alps*" (amongst other things).

    Doing research prior to the simulation conference, the fifty participating students prepared Working Paper Drafts on several different topics related to climate change and learned about the positions of different stakeholders in the context of international environmental negotiations.

    On 12 and 13 December 2013 they gather in a conference room at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) to put their theoretical knowledge to practical use in the realistic framework of the United Nations in Vienna. The topics discussed in the conference include land degradation, climate change mitigation, adaptation, compensation; energy provision & use; climate migration; sustainable agriculture and water use. At the end of the two day workshop the negotiations should result in one commonly agreed outcome.

    This year's simulation conference has a multi-disciplinary approach: not only feature students with a background in Political Science or Environment Studies, but also with students from the Department of Translation Sciences of the University of Vienna, who will simultaneously interpret the negotiations.

     The students also benefit from the experience of various experts who are  involved in environmental negotiations including representatives of the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs (BMeiA) as well as the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and the World Wide Fund For Nature - Danube Carpathian Programme (WWF-DCP) and will support the students throughout the workshop.

     Model United Nations conferences are an opportunity for participants to learn more about the work of the United Nations and worldwide relevant issues. Through this enriching experience many participants later choose a career in international relations.

     The simulation conference is taking place in close collaboration with the Interpreters' and translators' Association Universitas, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMeiA), Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and the World Wide Fund For Nature -Danube Carpathian Programme (WWF-DCP)

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    For further information please contact:

    Mathilde Köck
    Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (ISCC) - UNEP Vienna
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4454
    Email: mathilde.koeck[at]unvienna.org

    *The Alpstar Project - Make best practice minimum standards.

    The EU funded Alpine Space project is addressing the need for well-directed and cross-cutting action to effectively manage climate change and reduction of climate-damaging emissions in the Alpine region. ALPSTAR also encourages good practice climate change reduction measures on a regional and local level. With a total budget of 2,79 million Euros, the three year project will last until June 2014.  For further information please go to: http://alpstar-project.eu/

     * The C3- Alps Project - Capitalising climate change knowledge on Adaptation in the Alpine Space.

    This project  builds on the results of previous projects on adaptation to climate change in the Alps and aims to transfer the best available knowledge. With a total budget of 3.1 million Euros, the three year project will end in December 2014.  For more information go to: http://www.c3alps.eu/index.php/en/