Students debate world problems UN-style

Friday, 4 July 2008

About 500 university students from across Australia and overseas will gather at the University of Adelaide next week to bring new perspective to some of the world's most pressing problems in a simulated United Nations assembly.

Delegates to the 2008 Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference will be welcomed by Premier Mike Rann and University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha at a special Opening Ceremony in the University's Elder Hall on Monday 7 July.

The keynote speaker at the Conference Opening Ceremony will be former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, and newly appointed University of Adelaide Visiting Professor, Alexander Downer, speaking on 'Challenges and change for the United Nations'. Mark Butler, Member for Port Adelaide, will also speak.

Held for the first time in Adelaide, the 14th Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference is being hosted by the University of Adelaide from 6 to 11 July, starting with a civic reception at the Adelaide Town Hall on Sunday and culminating with a General Assembly at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday 11 July.

Student conference organiser and 'Secretary-General' Andrew Antenucci said the Conference emulated the way the United Nations worked. Fifteen UN-style committees would produce a resolution on each of two topics assigned on current global issues with the final resolutions debated and voted on at Friday's General Assembly. Final resolutions will be presented to the United Nations.

"We aim to raise the profile of the United Nations, its functions and processes and bring some new perspectives to the dilemmas facing our world," Andrew said.

"Students taking part will build skills in research, debating and public speaking and have plenty of opportunity for social networking. The host team has worked tirelessly to deliver a memorable week that will live with participants for their entire life."

The conference is being organised by a committee of University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Flinders University students, and has the support of the three universities and the State and Federal Governments.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha said: "University life is not just about academic studies, it is also about building broader life skills through opportunities such as this conference. Delegates will learn about leadership, communication and negotiation, and about engaging with others from diverse cultures."

Further details on the Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference can be found at


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