11 August 2003

Students Introduced to World of UN Diplomacy

UNOV Hosts Vienna International Model United Nations (Vimun), 10 - 14 August 2003


VIENNA, 11 August (UN Information Service) -- For four days young people from all five continents will step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN Member States to debate current issues of international politics in the framework of the Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN) conference taking place at UNOV. About 200 students and young academics from all over the world will take part in the ninth VIMUN session that started on Sunday, 10 August.

VIMUN is organized by the Academic Forum of Foreign Affairs (AFA)/ United Nations Youth and Student Association of Austria (UNYSA), and is the Austrian counterpart of the Model United Nations that takes place in 35 countries all over the world. "The UN Model, organized by the Academic Forum of Foreign Affairs, belongs to the noteworthy activities undertaken in the field of international understanding here in Vienna. Young people become familiarized, not only with the particularities and opportunities of international politics and administration, but also with its difficult problems", said Austrian President Thomas Klestil about VIMUN.

The Model UN is a simulation of multilateral bodies, and introduces students to the world of diplomacy and negotiation: each participant is considered a delegate, representing a UN Member State in a committee of his choice, excluding his/her country of origin. During Model UN the students act like real delegates. They have to prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, navigate through the rules of procedure and follow diplomatic courtesy.

Model UN participants learn how the international community acts regarding its concerns on such topics as peace and security, human rights, the environment, drugs, economic development, and globalization. The delegates also have to look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the countries they will represent.

The following issues will be discussed in six different committees during VIMUN 2003:

For further information: http://afa.at
(The Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs (AFA) is a politically independent
non-profit organization run by young people and students.)