By George Egeh,
The Ghana International model United Nations Team in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre, Accra, the United Nations University and the University of Ghana Students’ Representative Council will hold the Ninth Session of Ghana International Model United Nations Conference in Accra, Ghana from January 3 to 6, 2018 with the theme: “Transformation through Empowerment”.
Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nation that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda.
GIMUN 2018 residential conference will bring together global-thinking tertiary and high school level students to simulate the General Assembly and other Specialized Bodies of the United Nations. The last conference focused on how the adopted Global Goals (the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals) would improve the livelihood of the people of the world.
The annual students’ conference aims to prepare young people for global assignments by equipping them with leadership and diplomatic skills on research, public speaking, lobbying, negotiations and documentation at the United Nations level.
It also raises the awareness on the role the United Nations plays in world affairs and to encourage the next generation of leaders to get involved in global issues. Several measures have been taken to ensure that the simulation accurately reflects the way the UN works.
The conference will be directed by very experienced young people. An intensive training session will be conducted for officials by the UN Information Centre, Accra before the main conference.
The Ghana International Model United Nations Conference is Ghana’s first ever tertiary level Model United Nations conference. It was first organized from the 19th – 20th of March, 2010. GIMUN over the years has had the primary mandate of developing the capacities of young people for global assignments. Through educational conferences and seminars it has enhanced the interest of many young people in global issues and created the platform for them to deliberate and find solutions to world issues.
Each year at every conference, Delegates prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure-all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect almost every country on the globe.
Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the country they will “represent”. Model UNers learn how the international community acts on its concerns about peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development, globalization and more.
Amongst core objectives of the conference is to offer helping hand to the vulnerable and less privileged in the society, increase people’s awareness and boost their interest and confidence in the UN system, develop the capacity of people especially the youth to work for the UN and its agencies, advocate for the enhancement of human rights and safe environmental practices and promote peace among people by fostering friendship.
Alongside the GIMUN 2018 Conference, a Diplomatic Convocation will be held in two Summits, the Diplomatic Convocation will take care of two main things: a competition among Senior High School students to present ideas on how the SDGs could be achieved; and a discussion among student leaders, educational institutions managers and parents on how a peaceful environment could be created in the various educational institutions across the country and beyond.
Past participants of GIMUN conferences include Gifty Afia Oware-Aboagye (Deputy Executive Director of Ghana National Service Scheme), Mr. Patrick Stephenson (IMANI Ghana) Lieutenant Shem Ayidana Adolinama(a Troop Commander at the 48 Engineer Regiment), Dr. Mrs. Confidence Obianuju Okorie(Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, UK).
Diplomats include the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Director of United Nations University’s Institute of Natural Resources in Africa, the Chinese and Danish Ambassadors, the Indian High Commissioner, the Deputy Head of Missions of Royal Netherlands Embassy and staffs of United Nations Information Center, Accra have all been guests at our past conferences. Dignitaries who attended the GIMUN 2017 Opening Plenary Session include H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong (Ambassador of China to Ghana), H.E. Birender Singh Yadav (Indian High Commissioner to Ghana), H.E. Caecilia Wijgers (Deputy Head of Missions of Royal Netherlands Embassy).
GIMUN would work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Ministry of Education; United Nations Agencies and Groups; Student Unions/Groups, other Model UN Associations and many youth groups to ensure a successful conference. GIMUN 2018 will be much inclusive to ensure it is gender balanced and provides an equal chance for students from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds to participate.