Student UN conference tackles world issues

The recent model United Nations summit saw students from China, Australia and Singapore address major international issues such as terrorism and the global refugee crisis.

A record 500 high school students from China, Australia and Singapore have held a model United Nations conference in Shanghai to discuss major issues facing the world, such as terrorism, the global refugee crisis, human rights and cooperation in space.

The students from diverse backgrounds were divided into eight committees and the delegates debated, negotiated and worked out fresh solutions to the many challenges facing the global community.

The conference, the third of its kind, was jointly organized by the Shanghai Foreign Language School Affiliated to the Shanghai International Studies University, Oxford GlobalMUN and WELAND International.

Shu Dingfang, the principal of the host school, said the Model United Nations was a platform to prepare young students for taking the lead in helping the world sort out its problems.

“As the biggest international organization, the UN is a crucial catalyst in generating middle ground between nations and civilizations and helping humankind navigate the challenges of coexistence and development in a diverse and interconnected world,” he said.

“The mission of assisting the growth of humankind through running the UN will be handed down to the young as the guardians of the future."

The event could help improve students’ skills in communications, organization, coordination and critical thinking, he said.

Cao Shuye, CEO of WELAND International, said the experience had helped Chinese students develop their abilities in critical thinking and confidence in expressing themselves and debating with others.

Huang Qinqin, a graduating student of the host school and the Secretary-General of this year’s conference, said she had taken part in MUN activities several times and found such events helped enhance  students’ sense of responsibility as global citizens and their abilities in addressing global issues.

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