First ever Africa Model UN Conference kicks off

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Addis Ababa, 7 March 2014 (WIC) - The first and the largest Model UN Conference (AfrO/MUN) aimed at preparing African youth for tomorrow leadership with the theme: “Balancing the role of Africa in the UN with the role of UN in Africa,” was opened at the new AU Headquarters here yesterday.
The conference also serves as a platform for African students to voice, deliberate and find solutions for African problems imitating the Rules of Procedure of the UN.
In her keynote address, First Lady Roman Tesfaye said the most vibrant, inspired articulate and dynamic segment of African population are students. Students are torch bearers and the building blocks of Africa, she said, adding it is with this sense of strong responsibility which brought you together different corners of the world to discuss some of the challenges Africa is faced today.
“When students dream, they not only dream good for themselves but for the entire society.”
Roman told the delegates to fight climate change that future generation is left with problems but gains. “You also have to work tirelessly so that your respective governments deliver their promises and are accountable.”
AU Youth Division Head Raymond Agossou on her part said it is important for Africa to sit together and find solutions. “We are not there yet. Africa's biggest challenge is lack of implementation. We don't implement what we say.”
She also urged the delegates that whatever solution they reach at the end of their deliberation to have a road-map and a strategy to translate it to action.
AfrO/MUN under-Secretary Yonaness Gizaw said: “It is common knowledge that Africa isn't given much influence in sessions the UN like the Security Council. If such things have to be righted, Africa needs to assert itself. One way do do that is by creating awareness about the workings of the UN.”
Adama University Vice, President Dr. Lemi Guta also said the conference would enable African youth to discuss African social problems to find joint solutions. “They are expected to deliberate on the most pressing African issues of development, green economy and migration issues, under three committees.”
The Model Conference is an academic simulation of the UN. It is a realistic portrayal of the UN and its associated bodies, he added. The initiative began in Adama by five students from Adama and Addis Ababa universities, Dr. Lemi said.
Some 150 African high school and university students are attending the four-day conference hosted by the Adama University. (EH)

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