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NUS and Harvard students co-organise first World Model United Nations conference in Southeast Asia

16 March 2011

WELCOME ADDRESS: Mr George Yeo emphasised the importance of a concerted effort by nations all over the world in tackling global challenges

AMONG 2400 STUDENT DELEGATES FROM 60 COUNTRIES: Students of the University of Passau, Germany at the opening ceremony
Climate change, public health, world trade, international security and a nuclear-free Middle East are just some among many important global issues being discussed by student delegates at the World Model United Nations (WorldMUN) Singapore 2011 from 14 to 17 March. Held for the first time in Southeast Asia, the event is co-hosted by NUS and Harvard University. It is run by students from the two partnering universities and attracted more than 2,400 participants hailing from 60 countries.

Delivering the welcome address, Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr George Yeo said: "I believe all of you participate in this conference do so because you believe in the UN, and are inspired by its lofty goals. Unless the nations of the world act in concert, how can we confront common challenges like climate change, nuclear proliferation and international terrorism?"

Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur, Prof Ibrahim Gambari shared about the important role which the UN plays. "I am convinced that the engagement of the UN is crucial to conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution as well as peace building, humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and institutional capacity," he told the delegates.

Incepted in 1991, WorldMUN simulates meetings conducted by the UN, international organisations and governmental bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the ASEAN Regional Forum. The student delegates are assigned to represent various countries, organisations or leaders in debates over pressing international issues. Over a series of committee sessions, they will collaborate to introduce working papers and draft resolutions which will eventually be subject to voting by the committee.