Students speak out at Model United Nations simulation conference

In today's world, it is more important than ever for young people to understand how politics and diplomacy function. Using their voices, approximately 140 students from 20 different schools in Vienna gained insights into the internal processes of the United Nations.

VIENNA, 16 February 2024 - The students gathered in a conference room at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) for a Model UN conference, organized by the Austrian Association for the Simulation of International Politics, and simulated the work of delegates.

In his welcome remarks, Martin Nesirky, Director of the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna  said:  “It is great to see so many young ambitious students from multiple schools across Vienna learning and acquiring skills that are vital to help us achieve peace, fight climate change and reduce inequalities.” Austria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna, Ambassador Gabriela Sellner encouraged the students to keep in mind “the Vienna Spirit” meaning the will to find collective solutions, even on the most challenging issues.

Diverse political topics of global importance that require a unified, approach across the globe, such as the fight against disinformation, torture, and terrorism, were discussed by the student delegates. In a manner mirroring authentic UN proceedings, the conference comprised the presentation of resolutions, delivery of opening remarks, speeches, critical questioning, and subsequent voting.


The students were delighted to have been part of such an enriching experience. Maximilian Janko, Secretary-General of the Model UN Vienna and part of the organizing team, highlighted the unique spirit of this event and observed “the students' motivation and joy in their contributions towards effecting positive change”. He encouraged them to stick with it and is convinced that “the outcome of the Model UN Vienna for the students is simultaneously the essence of diplomacy: We can only arrive at a solution when we also understand what our counterpart wants.”

In a video message to Model UN participants, UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the importance of young people to help the UN create peace, justice, and inclusion and encouraged the students to use their voices and contribute to a better future.

The Model UN is a unique experience for students as it provides young people with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the functioning of the UN, and by doing so, gives them the possibility to take a diplomatic approach, also in their daily lives.