UNIC Harare holds High Schools MODEL UN 2011

Progress on MDGs
Harare – On 26 June, UNIC and 23 Harare-based schools held a United Nations Model UN. The topic of the debate was “Progress on MDGs”.

To kick off the Model UN process, UNIC Harare held an orientation workshop to educate the students and their teachers on what a Model UN is. Students were also made aware of the resources available in the UNIC library for use during the Model UN. These include books and other forms of publications. There is also the UNIC internet café through which the students were able to access the UN website and search for background and current information as it pertains to MDGs.

The students then visited the embassies they were representing in order to get information on that country’s progress on MDGs.  It is this country’s position that they argued during the Model UN. These visits were facilitated by UNIC. The following countries were represented during the Model UN:

Over 500 pupils, teachers, their headmasters, and representatives of the Ministries of Education, Sports, Art and Culture and of Foreign Affairs attended the High Schools Model UN. Representatives of diplomatic missions also attended the event, which was held at Kuwadzwana 1 High School in Harare.

Speaking at the occasion, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Marcellin Herpie, who is the UNHCR Country representative said ‘the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000 by all 189 member states of the UN General Assembly was a defining moment for global cooperation in the 21st century.

He explained that the MDGs are “the world’s time-bound, quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions—income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion—while promoting gender equality, universal access to primary education, and environmental sustainability. Since their endorsement by the UN General Assembly in 2001, the MDGs have risen to the top of the development agenda, and are the common focus of priorities for the development community,” he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Director Multilateral Affairs Department Mr Mutodza, said the Model UN “is a rare opportunity for our school children to participate in governance issues and learn to make important decisions that affect Nations as they strive to achieve socio-economic development.”

He expressed the hope that by the end of the event, ‘many of the children will have been enlightened on the operations of the UN general Assembly as well as the significance of the (debate) topic chosen by the students.

The High Schools Model UN was organized by UNIC in partnership with the Zimbabwe United Nations Association (ZUNA).