WINNIPEG MODEL UNITED NATIONS ASSEMBLY
The 60th Winnipeg Model United Nations Assembly, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Winnipeg will be held on May 4th to 7th, 2017 at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. Delegations (each comprising two grade 10-12 students and a counsellor) representing member countries of the United Nations (http://www.un.org/) will gather from all over Manitoba, and from Saskatchewan, Ontario, Minnesota and the Dakotas.
In the Model UN program, young people get a valuable opportunity to learn about the workings of the United Nations in a realistic simulation of its operation. It also helps them develop an understanding of foreign affairs in general, and may even spark the interest of some students to pursue careers in government service, economic development, politics, foreign trade or diplomacy.
Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, a former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and who is a graduate of our very first Winnipeg MUNA, said of his experience “I believe participating in the Model UN was one of the formative experiences of my youth.”
It is fitting that the Rotary Club of Winnipeg should sponsor this MUNA program. Rotary, which encompasses all religions, cultures, sexes and creeds, was founded in the United States of America in 1905 with the objective to develop friendship and goodwill, to maintain the highest ethical standards in business, to render service above self in the community, and to advance international understanding.
Then, in 1910, the Rotary Club of Winnipeg was established, the very first Club outside the USA, thereby making Rotary international. (Today there are Rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries).
Subsequently, Rotary played an important role in finalizing the United Nations Charter in 1945; and then in 1957, the Rotary Club of Winnipeg became the first Rotary Club to sponsor a Model UN Assembly.
MUNA is purported to be a learning simulation of the United Nations General Assembly in its structure and proceedings. Therefore, debates in MUNA, the committee structure, rules of procedure, and the general decorum of delegates, were designed to approximate the UN General Assembly, conditioned, of course, by local limitations.
As Rotarians, we believe this program will be a valuable experience and an enjoyable event for your students. It is an opportunity for students to
- learn about and be heard on topical foreign affairs issues,
- practice the concepts of respectful discourse,
- challenge their public speaking skills, and
- develop friendships with students of similar interests.
As was said by the Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba, and also a graduate of our Winnipeg Model United Nations Assembly Program:
“Taking part in the prestigious Winnipeg Model United Nations Assembly as a high school student allowed me to experience for the first time how politics is conducted, both in the public halls and behind the scenes. It gave me a taste of what it means to speak to the hopes, dreams and needs of all citizens. For the participants of the Winnipeg MUNA, it is the perfect time to hone your debating and negotiating skills, and to put your convictions into action.”
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