Dear UN Youth members,
It's all go-go-go in UN Youth! Our regions are busy with regional Model UN events. I hear that Auckland Model UN reached capacity at a whopping 230 delegates. The National Executive met recently in Wellington for one of our rare face-to-face meetings (we're based all around New Zealand). We had a great weekend, reflecting on the past half-year and planning for the next couple of months ahead. We're looking forward to going to Dunedin at the end of March for our National Council conference. Then we're off to Auckland for the Youth Declaration. Come May we will be celebrating our birthday in Auckland and hosting our third National Officeholder Development Conference. Good luck to all of those applying to be part of the first Pacific Project delegation, which will be doing some volunteering work in Vanuatu before heading to Melbourne for the UN Youth Conference. We're also hosting a national speech competition for the first time, so make sure you enter the competition in your closest regional city.
I hope you're all excited about getting involved in UN Youth — remember to bring your friends along! I hope to meet you at one of our upcoming events.
Life in the Auckland region is has never been better. We have a record number of people interested in our organisation and events, with 250 high school students applying for Auckland Model United Nations! Unfortunately we only have venue capacity for 230 but it is still an incredible achievement; well done to the organising committee.
Photo: Auckland Model UN delegates assembled at University of Auckland 17 – 18 March
There has been a recent flurry of activity with popular sign-ups at university orientation week, as well as applications opening for University Model UN and Crisis Model UN organising committees. If you’re keen to get involved make sure you keep an eye on the website and are receiving our regional newsletter to hear about future opportunities.
With the Speech Competition, AGM and Annual Dinner all coming up in the next month, it’s a busy and exciting time to be living in Auckland!
Auckland Regional President
We have quite a few exciting events coming up in the Wellington region this year.
WELLINGTON MODEL UN: The city’s premier Model UN event was a huge success this year, with over a 100 delegates turning up at Hutt International Boys School in Trentham to debate resolutions on the theme Asia-Pacific: The New Superpower. Topics included water scarcity, special economic zones, climate refugees, ethnic self-demarcation, and worldwide nuclear weapons development.
All delegates reported a good event, with a high level of debate and fun in the committees. This year the event was really defined by the flow of debate from delegates, and so a big thank-you is deserved here.
Photo: Welligton Model UN delegates hold up their notes for note-passing during Plenary Session
CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND MODEL UN: Central North Island Model UN was held in Palmerston North at Massey University’s Palmerston North campus this month. Attendees included 76 students from various schools as well as 6 teachers.
The theme was Human Intervention, and the conference definitely got students thinking about all the big moral and practical questions. Ministry of Youth Development conducted some team building activities to help delegates get to know each other. Delegates also heard from Mark Richards and Mark Mitchell from Caritas; they spoke about their experiences with humanitarian aid in Africa, and readily answered delegates’ questions,
The day was a success with robust debates and the pizza lunch becoming an instant hit!
Photo: Delegates of Central North Island Model UN at Massey University campus in Palmerston North
REGIONAL EVENTS: We have other events coming up this year including Porirua Youth Declaration, Hutt Valley Model UN, Model Security Councils for both universities and high schools.
Wellington Regional President
The Canterbury Region has had a busy start to the year with planning underway for four exciting events within the region. The Canterbury Model UN conference was held on the 20th and 21st of March with 150 delegates registered to attend. The Nelson & Marlborough Model UN conference will be held on the 2nd of April and the West Coast Model UN conference will be held in term 2 (date to be confirmed). BUSY TIMES AHEAD!
Photo: Delegates, including those representing Czechoslovakia, at the Canterbury Historical Model UN held in 2011
Religious conflict is an issue which can divide nations and communities, which is why we have decided to base the theme of these three conferences around it. We were very excited to have Michael Grimshaw, a sociology lecturer from the University of Canterbury as a keynote speaker for the Canterbury Model UN conference. Mike is an expert in the field of religious studies and we are very excited to hear his take upon religious conflict issues in the world today.
The region will be launching a new event in August, a Model European Union conference, for which we are proudly partnering with the National Centre for Research on Europe, who are based at the University of Canterbury. We are looking forward to the debut of this event as a new and exciting challenge for high school a student which aims to academically challenge and extend students.
We look forward to seeing many of you at these upcoming events!!
Canterbury Regional President
From the 1st of January the Otago Region saw a change of Presidents. Since then it has been all go for the Otago Region working towards Clubs Day (during Orientation Week), National Council (March), Otago University Model Security Council (April 21st) and Otago High School Model UN (April 28th/29th). In the coming weeks we are looking forward to our iconic events and an AGM that should see a few more changes within the Region. Keep an eye out for our monthly newsletter. If you are not on our list or are interested in hearing more or getting involved, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com
Otago Regional President
The committee has been working hard to bring you Youth Declaration bigger and better this year! We are in the midst of finalising the formal dinner venue. And our new outreach programme is on track with different organisations willing to host us. Those involved can look forward to getting first-hand exposure to how these organisations interact with wider society. Experienced experts and motivating speakers are confirmed; each with their own stimulating stories to share with us. To top it all off, we have secured a wide range of guests to make sure that your voice is being heard by significant decision makers in New Zealand.
Youth Declaration 2012 Coordinator
Photo: A delegate speaking at NZ Model UN in 2011, Wellington
The New Zealand Model United Nations Conference (NZ Model UN) is the premier Model UN event for high school students in New Zealand. It is a four day conference where students simulate a real UN assembly and debate issues of actual global relevance. Each year, it attracts some of the country's most motivated and committed young global citizens. NZ Model UN is an event filled with leading keynote speakers and politicians, workshops, engaging debate, as well as an incredible social atmosphere including a formal ball.
The theme of this year’s conference, “Inequality: Closing the Gaps?” will prompt students to question the various inequalities that are pervasive in the world today, from material, gender and educational inequalities at a national level, to wealth, resource and security inequalities at an international level. The conference asks all attending delegates to think of the inequalities that affect them, and surround them in their daily lives, and contrast this with those inequalities present at a global level as they learn about and engage with these issues in the committees.
Registrations are now open on the UN Youth website, so register now!
NZ Model UN 2012 Coordinator
Photo: Delegates at Plenary Session of NZ Model Security Council 2011 in Dunedin, Otago Region
Ladies and Gentlemen, brace yourselves; NZ Model Security Council is back in Auckland! Kicking off on the 29th of August, with an opening ceremony at the Old Government House, it goes on for three more full, action packed days finishing with a bang at the yearly NZ Model Security Council Ball! This is New Zealand’s premier university event bringing together like minded people to discuss issues that the international community faces. The conference is a simulation of the UN Security Council where delegates represent countries and argue for the interests of those member states.
The committee, Gayathiri Ganeshan, Maanya Tandon, Andrew Chen, Mathew Rex, Sylvie Admore and I, are working away to make this year bigger and better! The conference will take you to some of Auckland’s most iconic places – get to know Auckland like the back of your hand as you discover nooks and crannies of the city such as the Auckland Observatory and The Bluestone Room.
Now, stop jumping round in your seat and mark the dates in your diaries!
NZ Model Security Council 2012 Coordinator
Photo: The Hague International Model UN 2012 Delegates
The UN Youth delegation to The Hague International Model United Nations for 2012 left New Zealand on the 9th of January, and spent three weeks travelling around Hong Kong, Geneva, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam and finally The Hague. We had a whirlwind tour of each city; getting to visit some New Zealand embassies, the real United Nations in Geneva, and learn more about how the UN and other international organisations work in practice, before representing Malta at the world's largest Model UN conference. Check out the photos of our delegation’s adventures on the UN Youth NZ Facebook page.
THIMUN 2012 and 2013 Director
In July 2012 the inaugural UN Youth Pacific Project delegation will depart New Zealand for a two week life-changing and eye-opening experience. The Pacific Project is the most comprehensive UN Youth experience currently on offer. Encompassing international travel to Vanuatu and Australia, outreach, youth declaration, Model UN, residential living and awesome social events, the Pacific Project is an opportunity for high school students that are not to be missed! Applications are now open, and close on 7 April, but get in fast, as interest has been overwhelming. To download an application form, please head to our website. Any questions can be directed to the Pacific Project Head Facilitator, Hannah Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Project Head Facilitator
2012 will again see UN Youth New Zealand represented at the Asia Pacific Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC). This year, the conference will be held at La Trobe University in Melbourne and will run from the 8th to the 13th of July. Preparation is coming along nicely and it is already looking like this year could be the biggest delegation that has ever represented New Zealand at AMUNC. There are places still available however so if you are interested in being part of this year's delegation, register your interest by sending an email to email@example.com
AMUNC Head Facilitator
This UN+Reported issue we talk to a UN Youth member, Annie Huang, who is channelling her passions to doing tangible things towards changing the world. You may have met her as the Honourable Delegate from Brazil at Auckland Model UN this month.
Annie Huang, a Year 12 student currently studying at King’s College in Auckland, came across an opportunity to join in the Social Enterprise Competition run by P3 Foundation. Getting together with some of her classmates from Epsom Girls Grammar School, another three UN Youth members, the group went on to the semi-finals of SEC. Under the guidance of a mentor, and following the principles of Drucker School of Management, the group developed a project that works towards furthering the aims of UN Millennium Development Goal 7; ensuring environmental sustainability. Annie and her team came through the SEC 2011 finals with the People’s Choice Award, but without a win. However, this did not stop them – they have since gone on to widen their group to include two more keen UN Youth members as well as gain sponsorship from a group of University students, Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
What is your favourite Model UN moment?
It was at NZMUN 2011, I was really inspired by the speaker, Michael Powles, who encouraged UN Youth members to get involved in our community, and emphasised how useful and realistically run Model UNs are.
Annie and her team are of the view that that reducing landfills is the way to go in order to reduce methane emissions, “half of domestic rubbish by weight is recyclable organic waste – that’s 400kg of waste going into landfill right now, that could be turned into valuable fertilizer, per person, per year!” she exclaims. The project was developed after conducting a survey about organic recycling from public in the streets of Auckland CBD. They then used this information for ‘Project Lumbricus’ which allows Aucklanders to recycle organic waste without too much trouble – by installing worm farms in communities.
Focusing on installing these farms in primary schools, Team Lumbricus has also inserted an educational module in their project so that primary school aged kids grow up better aware of organic recycling. Not only working with SIFE AUT – that reckon selling fertilizer from these farms can be a profitable business - the team is also working alongside Katie Buller from the Auckland City Council under the Waste Minimisation Plan, and have sponsorship from Ben Bell, owner of bin suppliers Hungry Bins.
What are your interests outside of taking part in UN Youth events and Project ‘Lumbricus’?
While at Epsom Girls Grammar last year, I set up a Current Events Club with friends where we could discuss and debate current affairs topics like the Arab Spring. A member of the premier debating team, I am also a Music Scholar at King’s College.
For Team Lumbricus to have come this far from simply participating in SEC is by no means a small feat. For a group of Year 12 – 13s, this group operates almost like a small business, with efficiency and now have defined roles as well. UN Youth members show amazing passion at Model UNs, but it is certainly awesome to find UN Youth members like Annie, and her team; channelling this passion towards something great. Annie reckons all UN Youth members should join in with SEC this year at P3 Foundation, and look into other opportunities as well.
The original Team Lumbricus; (from left) Tejaswi Pagadala – Operations Manager, Tessa Hiam, Sarah Abdeen – Communications Officer, Annie Huang – Team Leader, (missing from photo); Walter Lim – Marketing Officer, Jamie Beaton – Financial Officer
Project Lumbricus is looking for more volunteers for their team, so if you would like to get in touch, are passionate about sustainability and get along with primary school kids, write to Communications Officer, Saarah at firstname.lastname@example.org