It is my privilege to introduce you to the 2014 Session of Rotaract Global Model United Nations. Taking place in Westminster between the 4th and 7th of September, our conference will offer young people from around the world a unique opportunity for meaningful debate. As somebody who has participated in many MUNs since my school days, I do not use the term ‘unique’ lightly. However, I truly believe that we can give our delegates something no other conference can offer.
Hosting the conference in the Romanian city of Baia Mare, last year’s team demonstrated that Rotaract could hold a truly international event. After this successful first step, it is very fitting that Rotaract’s MUN comes to Westminster – a city that has maintained a proud tradition of internationalism since it hosted the first meeting of the General Assembly back in 1946. Throughout my time as Secretary General of this conference, I look forward to bringing an even higher profile to what I see as a deep compatibility of objectives and values between Rotaract and the United Nations.
To explain this further, Rotaractors’ inspirational commitment to promote better relations between all people worldwide is not dissimilar to the UN Charter’s promise to “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours”. Despite this being my first time directly working with Rotaract, I passionately support their cosmopolitan emphasis on the leadership of young people. In fact, the prospect of empowering youth is what attracted me to Model UN in the first place. As Secretary General of this conference, I will do all in my power to ensure that the full potential of this compatibility is realised – and make Rotaract MUN a unique platform for young people to have their voice heard.
I would argue that there has rarely been a more important time than 2014 for the world’s youth to have their say on global issues. Throughout my career, I have always emphasised the importance of the UN to international politics. However, the fast approaching 2015 Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, along with continuing debates about the organisation’s role in the Syrian Conflict, makes this a pivotal year for the United Nations. I believe my choice of Committees will enable delegates to debate these vital issues, and, crucially, do so in a way that has an impact on the UN itself. I have never seen MUN as a purely academic exercise, but I am delighted to announce our opening of a Rapporteur’s Office that will convey the results of the conference directly to UN officials.
This is what I mean by “unique”. The UN faces significant challenges, and I strongly believe that the voice of young people is the answer to these challenges. I very much look forward to welcoming you to the 2014 Session of Rotaract Global Model United Nations, and being inspired by the solutions you propose.
Secretary General, London Westminster Rotaract Global Model UN 2014