More than 300 students join UN simulation conference
Zimbabwe, Darfur, human trafficking, the enlargement of NATO. These and other topics are being discussed during the EuroMUN, a four-day model United Nations conference that started today. It is attended by 332 students from over 30 countries.
UN simulations are not rarities: for example, last February more than 3000 students participated in a similar conference at Harvard in Boston, and last March about 2500 students took part in WorldMUN in The Hague. But according to the United Nations Student Association (UNSA) organisers, the Maastricht conference distinguishes itself first in terms of numbers (fewer participants, smaller work groups), and second by the fact that they will chat live with the UN headquarters in New York tomorrow. “The students will be divided into ten committees; six of these committees prepare questions for the UN experts. Via a live chat they will answer questions like, ‘Can the Human Rights Council make a difference?’”, explains UNSA member and UCM student Melanie Uhlen.
During the conference the students want to raise awareness for charity as well: “We want to ‘put a human face on world affairs’. Everybody likes to dress up in a suit, but it’s also nice if you can do something for a good cause”, says Uhlen. Therefore, the UNSA is selling postcards from Madagascar (a delegation from Madagascan embassy is present at the opening ceremony today). The money will go to a school project there; for each €10 raised a child can have school supplies for one year.