Young Mongolians recreate UNESCO’s General Conference in a Model debate

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© UNESCO

77 highly talented and motivated young Mongolians participated in the first Model UNESCO Mongolia (MUM) held in Ulaanbaatar on October 17th, 2015. This one-day event consisted in a simulation of UNESCO’s General Conference, in which groups of young people were organized into 11 delegations and were assigned to play the role of delegates from UNESCO member states (including China, Egypt, Ethiopia France, Pakistan, Sweden, UK and USA) . The debate considered the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the UN General Assembly in September, under the theme of “Women and men’s equal participation on sustainable development”.

The MUM was organized by the United Nations Youth Advisory Panel (UNYAP) Mongolia and the Mongolian National Commission (NATCOM) for UNESCO, in cooperation with the UNESCO Beijing Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, the United Nations Youth Associations Network (UNYANET) and the Model United Nations (MUN) Siegen, Germany. The aim of the event was to give Mongolian youth an equal opportunity to learn about practical diplomacy and options for solving global issues, about the current agenda of UNESCO and its Member States, as well as to empower and to inspire young participants to be active and informed global citizens.

The young people selected for the MUM were invited to take part to a preliminary workshop on 3 October. On this occasion they were given directions on how to prepare themselves for the debate and the possibility to choose the country which they would represent at the MUM 2015. Participants received a “Delegate’s Handbook”, designed to be a training manual on the topics of the debate, on how to do research and write a position paper, on the drafting of the final resolution, on how to set up a negotiation and use lobbying techniques and on the general rules and procedures to follow during the conference.

On the day of the debate, the MUM created an environment to resemble that of the UNESCO General Conference, and the delegates discussed and agreed on possible solutions for tackling global issues such as extreme poverty, inequality and injustice and climate change.  The most considerable outcome of the MUM is its general draft resolution, deliberating on health, promotion of quality and equal education, equal social and political participation, financial equality and environmental sustainability. Thanks to the MUM, the young participants also got to improve their leadership skills, strengthen their capacity for teamwork, sharpen their negotiating skills and enhance knowledge gathering and sharing techniques on contemporary global challenges.