(Written by: Liu Susu; Original resource from Peking University AIMUN daily)
Introduction of AIMUN
The Asian International Model United Nations (AIMUN) is a comprehensive research symposium orgnizedby Peking University, with delegates consisting of college students from all around the world. AIMUN has a strong academic foundation, extensively utilizing Peking University’s rich and highly accredited academic resources. Renowned professors are invited to act as academic consultants for the conference, and to offer advice for AIMUN members on the design of committees and the selection of discussion topics.
Peking University’s AIMUN 2014 officially kicked off with the opening ceremony held at Wenjin Business Hotel along Chengfu Road on the morning of March 20th
, 2014. This year saw more than 550 delegates from 120 universities gathering at Beijing to discuss issues of a global nature.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Building a harmonious global society”. As the Academic Directors of the conference explained, “We are witnessing a rise in non-traditional security threats around the world. Thus it is important for delegates to ponder on building cooperation and consensus among nations in order to tackle these challenges.”
Professor Jia Qingguo, Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, emphasized on the importance of the United Nations system in the current international political system, with its crucial role in conflict resolution. He explained: “While we are unable to let the youth take charge in the real UN directly, the Model United Nations conference is a good replacement to prepare them to become leaders of tomorrow.”
Then Mr. Liu Zhixian, Vice President of the China United Nations Association addressed the delegates. Mr. Liu elaborated his take on this year’s theme. He believed that people from all nations and cultures have the same goal, which is the common pursuit of security and prosperity. This is in line with the goals of the UN. The dialogue among civilizations has never been so thorough through the UN. Though it is far from perfect, he firmly believed that the younger generation will step up to the task.
Following the two speeches, Ms. Joyce Msuya from the World Bank Institute delivered the keynote address on the opening ceremony. She is especially impressed by the energy exhibited by youth in China and all around the world. Ms. Msuya challenged the delegates to reflect on how they can contribute towards the development of their own country. She also shared her personal experience, both as a youth and as a professional working with the youth. “I have realized that there are more in common than differences. Youth around the world actually asked similar questions.” She hopes that youth from different cultural backgrounds can take advantage of the mutual interest and step up to the role as global citizens.
H.E. Mr. Ralph Thomas, Ambassador of Jamaica to China, and Mr. Zamir Awan, Counselor at the Embassy of Pakistan in China took turns to address the delegates, sharing their rich experiences as diplomats. Ambassador Ralph Thomas explained on the importance of reaching consensus in conflict management. They tracked the unique contribution to the development of peace made by the United Nations, including actively involved in conflict resolution and peacekeeping.
The Secretary General for AIMUN2014, Ms. Wu Biying, a junior student from the School of International Studies, addressed the guests and delegates. She reiterated on what she hoped that delegates will achieve and learn during the four day conference. She then declared the conference officially open.
PART 3 Interview with Ms. Joyce Msuya
The keynote speaker, Ms. Joyce Msuya, is the Regional Coordinator for East Asia& Pacific of the Word Bank Institute.
An exclusive interview was conducted with her after the opening ceremony. The following is an excerpt of the interview.
Journalist: Can you talk about your view on MUN in general as well as its popularity in China?
Joyce Msuya: Yes. When I think of the China MUN, I think it’s an absolutely timely and splendid platform. For three reasons: No.1 is that it brings students from different parts of China and give them the role models; No.2 is that it exposes students to global issues; No.3, China is now the second economic power after the US and it’s powerful in many aspects. The more you get in the youth, the better.
And I think the MUN platform is the right platform for that purpose.
Journalist: What suggestions do you have for youth today?
Joyce Msuya: I would say three things.
Dream your dream!
I have traveled almost all over the world. And sometimes I feel that for young people who have not seen what the world is like before computer. Sometimes you take for granted what you have with the phone and TVs and so on. It was the same when I was young. My parents said they didn’t have radio for me to imaging. So, firstly, I would say to the youths is that it is your moment. You are with energy and ideas. When you are young you can dream.
Secondly, I would say, to be curious. To ask questions instead of accepting and saying ‘it’s okay.’ Be curious and passionate. For me that’s what is driving me. You can do it because you really have all the resources.
Learn and Learn!
No.3 is to keep learning. Because I think your future would be much more competitive than ours. I’ve been [in] the bank for 16 years but I still learning. The world is changing so fast. Try to learn other things. You really need to broaden your horizon.
PART 4 Hot Topics
The following are some topics discussed at the Conference.
TOPIC 1 Different Reactions to the Crisis-----GA and SC act against pandemic crisis
The crisis began in the morning of March 21th
, 2014, when a virus termed“V1” attacked the Middle East and the region of Pakistan, causing a great stir worldwide. After receiving the news, General Assembly (GA) and the Secure Council (SC) worked with each other to act on the problem immediately. Delegates were supposed to draft a crisis resolution in 20 minutes.
GA responded to the crisis positively and tackled the emergency effectively. The delegates were all eager to reach a consensus, but priorities varied when it came to concrete solutions. The delegates of Japan and Liberia appealed for mutual compromise from all countries in order to achieve a solution as soon as possible. USA and Japan were both asked for their position on the issue since they always play a vital role in assisting foreign counties in need. Delegates represented the two counties promised a full and timely support from their countries.
TOPIC 2 UNICEF: For all of the children
On March 21th
2014, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) started its second session, with delegates representing 36 different countries divided into 6 groups before the conference. Under the topic of “Child Recruitment by Armed Forces and Militants”, delegates from each group were asked to come up with a Country Program Document (CPD) for a particular country, using the limited financial resources they have at hand.
Group Five, which included the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, the Central African Republic, Brazil and Switzerland, had come up with a clear plan for the Central African Republic. The creative yet cautious plan included three well-thought aspects. Firstly, they demanded the international law on the child soldiers, using the power of law to protect the children’s rights. Secondly, from the financial aspect, Group Five called for budget from UNICEF and international donations. Last but not least, from a long-term angle, this plan called for cooperation with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and some Governmental Organizations. In addition, the countries suffering from the child recruitment by Armed Forces and Militants need support from UN.
PART 5 From the eyes of the Secretary-General
Liu----Liu Susu (journalist from PKU OIR English Press Team)
Wu----Wu Biying(Secretary-General of ALMUN 2014)
Liu: Can you share your personal experience during the whole conference with us?
Wu: This is my third and last year in AIMUN. From an Assistant Director in HSC (Historical Security Council) when I was a freshman to today’s Secretary-General of such a big conference, I have learned a lot from AIMUN. To me, AIMUN is not only a four-day conference, but also a significant and insuperable part of my life. My roommate calls me “AIMUN Daily”, because I almost have to do things of AIMUN every day during the past year. But I really enjoy this wonderful journey. It is my great honor to work with such a strong team, to have such an enthusiastic group of friends, and to meet hundreds of outstanding delegates in AIMUN2014.
Liu: What is the topic that attracts you most? And, can you briefly tell us your own opinion towards that?
Wu: I am very interested in the topic of General Assembly: Terrorism and Global Cooperation. As you know, General Assembly is always the biggest and most important committee in a Model UN conference. Hence, we are especially cautious when we select topics for GA. Different from the past; AIMUN 2014 aims to re-evaluate the impact of globalization in international politics. We have witnessed significant changes in international politics for the past few years. It has brought about new changes and new problems, especially in the area of non-traditional threats. Undoubtedly, terrorism is one of the thorny issues. The challenges call upon the global community to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions. Therefore, to bring GA more in line with international situation, we choose this topic at last.
Liu: Could you give a brief summary of the conference?
Wu: During the four days, members of organizing committee of AIMUN, members of committee dais and volunteers have worked so closely to bring forth a stimulating, enriching and truly unforgettable Model United Nations experience. Besides, I really want to say thank you to all the delegates and faculty advisors for their active participation. I remember that the delegates of the General Assembly were still discussing the crisis at 12:30, long after the session should have ended; For example, MPC (main press center) produced all the daily newspaper and wonderful video clips for all to know what the other committees are doing. Not to mention, our dear Ambassadors from the Ambassador Program who have participated actively in the liaison system. I am certain that everyone who has attended AIMUN2014 will be able to take away something from this conference, from friendship to fond memories of conference.