„Global Goals and Solving Challenges“ – ‘Modell UNO Wien’  Alternative Programme 2021 

This year, the annual simulation conference ‘Modell UNO Wien’, which usually invites students to take on the role of delegates and simulate a UN conference at the Vienna International Centre (VIC), could not take place in its traditional format due to the pandemic.

But instead of cancelling the event, the organizers together with the teachers’ training institute Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule (KPH) Wien/Krems  and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) came up with an alternative programme for teachers and high school students.

The first day of the three-day virtual workshop “Global Goals and Solving Challenges – Learning with Model UN” from 24 to 26 February 2021 was hosted by Modell UNO and KPH to give an introduction to teachers on how to use Model UN conferences in the classroom.

The following days, held in cooperation with UNIS Vienna, aimed to introduce the variety of work of the UN in and from Vienna, the role of Austria in the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Students and teachers heard from and discussed with Johann Spitzer, Deputy Head of the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in Vienna, and staff from several UN entities based at the VIC, including Martin Nesirky, Director of UNIS Vienna, Bianca Kopp from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) / Education for Justice Initiative, Ruth Schöffl from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Austria, and Markus Woltran from the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). 

Some 115 students and teachers from Austria and Germany actively engaged with the speakers on questions such as: Why is education crucial for peace and justice? What are the characteristics of a good diplomat? How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected negotiating sensitive topics multilaterally? They were offered exclusive insights into behind-the-scenes interactions among diplomats as well as their personal background and careers. 

To kick off the event, UNIS Vienna’s Visitors Service gave a virtual guided tour to the Vienna International Centre, introducing  the fundamentals of the United Nations and their operations in Vienna and around the world. If you are also interested in a virtual guided tour you can sign up individually or as a group by following this link