ITU-hosted Model UN youth event addresses climate change

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550+ students from countries worldwide at ITU to debate innovative approaches aimed at breaking global stalemate

Geneva, 10 January 2014 – ITU opened its doors to youth representing 80 nationalities from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa for the FerMUN14 Model UN conference organized by the Ferney-Voltaire Lycée International.

Tackling the theme of climate change, the students from 27 schools around the world worked over three days to develop Resolutions that offer concrete, innovative strategies to drive progress in line with the UN spirit of multilateralism and international cooperation.

The conference was presided over by Juliana Rademaker, a final-year economics and social sciences student from the Ferney-Voltaire Lycée, who served as this year’s Secretary-General. She was assisted by Deputy Secretary-General Pauline Gordon, and President of the General Assembly, Maxime Uzimaki.

In addition to the principal climate change stream, the conference featured a special committee on Child Online Protection. ITU staff worked closely with students to provide relevant content and help them frame their discussions. The FerMUN Model UN programme is one of the world’s only fully bilingual Model UN conferences, with material and debates conducted in both English and French.

The quality of the debates and outcome texts was so impressive that ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, speaking to 650 assembled delegates and teachers at the closing ceremony this afternoon, pledged to transmit the outcome texts of FerMUN14 to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the forthcoming UN Climate Summit taking place in New York on 23 September 2014.

Addressing FerMUN students on Wednesday 8 January at the opening ceremony in the prestigious Human Rights Room at the UN Palais des Nations, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Chief of ITU’s Strategic Planning and Membership Department, emphasized ITU’s commitment to engaging with youth to address pressing global issues.

“Share with us the ways you think climate change should be tackled. Tell us how you believe we can leverage information and communication technologies to do that…we need to leverage your energy, your creativity and your passion,” she said.

In a special message to FerMUN14 delegates delivered at the closing ceremony, UN youth ambassador Ahmad Alhendawi said: “The Ferney Lycée International Model United Nations conference is an invaluable exercise. It is an opportunity to take an in-depth look at the most pressing challenges of our time, to explore ways to build collective responses to collective challenges in a continuously interconnected world… we need you, the youngest generation the world has ever known, to partner with us in our work; use your power as voters and as consumers, to lead positive change and build a sustainable and equitable future for all.”

This is the second time ITU has hosted a FerMUN Model UN conference. In 2013, around 350 students debated the theme of

ICTs as the way forward in development, peace, and prosperity.

The structure of the FerMUN14 conference, along with photos, videos, speeches and the magazine produced onsite by students during the conference can all be found at: www.itu.int/en/fermun/2014/Pages/default.aspx.

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