The United Nations Office in Geneva was the venue where the Model United Nations of Children was convened on May 20th this year. 24 students coming from different countries gathered in the UN to discuss the problems that the children of the whole world are facing today. This event was organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation, Dialog Institute, and International Festival of Language and Culture as a part of the UN’s celebration of May 21st as a World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
The fact that there were 24 students coming from 17 different countries made it possible that the issues that were discussed during the debate can be analyzed by taking into consideration various cultural perspectives.
Model United Nations of Children 2016
The students took the roles of delegates in the UN Security Council and debated on issues that are crucially important for improving the lives of the children from the whole world. Special emphasis during the debate was put on topics such as children’s right to education and health, right to participation, culture, etc. The fact that there were 24 students coming from 17 different countries made it possible that the issues that were discussed during the debate can be analysed by taking into consideration various cultural perspectives. This allowed the delegates to present their own culture’s solution to the problems, but also learn about how other countries and cultures deal with similar problems.
The general topic of the Security Council was Children, Peace and Security. Therefore, the purpose of the MUN of Children was to find alternative ways through which the improvement of children’s rights can contribute to the UN’s efforts to establish peace and security in the world. In this direction, many of the students suggested that children’s right to participation in social dialogue could be valuable in the sense that such a dialogue in conflict zones can be very significant in the process of peace building. Others discussed the need for improving the lives of children caught in armed conflicts, but also of those who escaped these armed conflicts and settled in other countries as refugees. The rights to education, culture and language were as crucial factors in the process of integration of refugee children in the host countries. The students also pointed to the fact that still not enough is done to protect children from forceful recruitment as soldiers in armed conflicts around the world.
The event was opened by musical performances of some of the participating students and introductory speeches by Lidiya Grigoreva from the UN NGO Liaison Office (reading the message of the the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva), Bobir Tukhtabayev – a senior Liaison Offices from UNESCO, Kemal Afsin from the University of Teacher Education in Lausanne, and Abdullah Aymaz – member of the founding committee of JWF. The official representatives of the UN expressed their gratefulness to the organisers for making this event possible, while Abdullah Aymaz said that it should be clear that we are on the same boat and that if someone damages it, we are all in danger. The MUN of Children was closed with official reading of the final resolution prepared by the students.