19.12.2014 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Young representatives of 22 countries take on global issues at Model UNESCO


200 students met last month to share ideas and organize debates on topics of global concern, as part of the Cividale del Friuli United Nations Model UNESCO (CFMUNESCO). The conference was conceived and organized by highly motivated students from the Convitto Nazionale “Paolo Diacono”, keen to engage with important issues and learn more about the United Nations and its agencies.

Philippe Pypaert, Programme Specialist at the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), delivered a keynote speech highlighting how the Organisation acts ‘to Protect and Preserve the Planet Earth’, the main theme of the event.

Model United Nations conferences foster global citizenship and address current world issues related to regional conflicts, peacekeeping, human rights, women and children, economic and social development, and the environment. In the words of the executive team, headed by Gabriele Qualla, Secretary General of the conference, participating students had “the outstanding opportunity to experience the world of diplomacy and to be part of an international and multicultural setting in one of the most picturesque Italian Cities, internationally recognized for its historical, cultural and artistic relevance”.

Cividale del Friuli was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 as part of the ‘Longobards in Italy, Places of Power, 568-774 A.D’ site, comprising seven important groups of buildings throughout Italy. In recognition of the city’s recent inscription, UNESCO was chosen as the special committee for the conference, whose main theme reflects the Organisation’s commitment to raise awareness on sustainability as an expression concern for the planet.

Alongside UNESCO, participants simulated the activity of 4 committees: the Security Council, the Disarmament and International Security Committee, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the Environment Commission. Individual debate topics included, among others: the illicit trafficking of artistic heritage, animal experimentation, the use of satellites for military purposes, preservation of wild seafood fisheries, the management of refugee camps, excessive use of force by police, and  regional conflicts. Delegates were expected to present a draft resolution on their specific area of discussion, reflecting decisions and future goals of topics within a Committee.

This first edition of the conference was a great success, attracting young people from a broad range of countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chad, China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Panama, Russian Federation, Spain, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. All parties involved expressed the desire to repeat and build on the experience next year, an excellent opportunity to focus on EXPO 2015 in Milan and the 70th anniversary of UNESCO.  

Website: http://www.cfmunesco.it/


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