Accolades for Leicester at Model UN conference

Posted by vm64 at May 16, 2011 09:50 AM |
University of Leicester students successful at Model UN event
Accolades for Leicester at Model UN conference

Successful delegates giving a speech

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 May 2011

The University of Leicester United Nations Society (LUUNS) sent two delegates to represent the University at the third edition of the Mostar International Model UN Conference in Bosnia & Herzegovina. 

Leicester claimed a ‘Best Delegate Award’ in the UN Development Programme Committee and an Honourable Mention in the Security Council.

The two students sent were Mr. Simos Simou (2nd year, LLB Law) and Mr. Christopher Everett (1st year, English BA) who were selected following an advocacy competition arranged by the society. In recognition of LUUNS’ efforts the University of Leicester Students’ Union provided subsidised travel for the delegates.

The Mostar Model UN serves to promote unity, peace, and empathy on an international level by having the young people of Mostar come together to experience cultural exchange and skill development in a professional setting where students from more than 30 universities participate. Three major organs of the UN were replicated at Mostar, the Security Council, Human Rights Council and the UN Development Programme. Mr. Simou acted as Nigeria to the UNDP whilst Mr. Everett represented Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Security Council. Issues discussed were wide ranging and sensitive, including political corruption in South Eastern Europe and Energy Resource Shortages as a Threat to Peace and Security.

In recognition of their diplomacy, public speaking and debating skills Mr. Simou won the ‘Best Delegate Award’ in UNDP and Mr. Everett came second in the Security Council gaining an Honourable Mention.

"We went out there looking to win, but we came back with so much more," said Mr. Everett.  "The people are wonderful, the place beautiful and the country unique. Meeting people from so many different countries and cultures has widened both our social circles and more importantly our minds, and seeing the hard work of our international co- students in finding diplomatic solutions to these problems was very heartening, and would fill even the most ardent pessimist with hope."

The conference was also a proving ground for future journalists, not just diplomats and advocates. The conference saw its own press agency ‘Most@re’ being run by other students from across the globe, who wrote for allocated papers. Simulated international press agencies featured CNN, Euro News, People’s Daily, Al Arabiya, Le Monde Diplomatique and ITAR TASS, writing a piece on Mr. Simou’s productive diplomacy as the delegate of Nigeria always demanded ‘substance’ from the members of the UNDP.

The Secretary General expressed her surprise at the 'very good' preparation of Mr. Everett in the opening ceremony, who proceeded to respond to the money questions and issues fielded by the many native Bosnian and Herzegovinian members of the Model General Assembly. 

In addition, all the delegates, guests and organisers were impressed by the speech that Mr. Simou gave when he received his award in the closing ceremony. He specifically said: ‘During this week, we all proved that the youth can take the world into its own hands and shape it into a more humanely inhabitable place. Nothing is impossible.’

- Simos Simou and Christopher Everett

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