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Eui Yun Kim: For many people involved in UN issues, many know that the hot theme right now is the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This is the Development Agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals. In this sense, not only is it important because the participants will be informed of the real and ongoing discussions taking place at the UN right now but they will take ownership of the process, given that youth will in charge of carrying this Development Agenda for the upcoming 15 years.
Eui YunKim: Let's go over the 5 reasons.
Reason #1 is WIMUN takes place inside UN premises. We reached an agreement with FAO to host WIMUN in their headquarters. Their infrastructure is designed to hold big conferences and they count on audio and visual conference equipment. This will certainly provide a closer feeling to the “real deal”.
Reason #2 is WIMUN has worked with the UN Department of Public Information and Model UN experts to offer the most accurate simulation of the UN General Assembly Rules of Procedure. Many MUNs around the world don’t offer an accurate simulation of the UN General Assembly mainly due to lack of knowledge and time constraints. This is why we wanted to provide the ultimate UN experience. So, we partnered with knowledgeable actors to make sure to deliver one of the best MUNs ever.
Reason #3 is to get the opportunity to meet and network with UN officials and staff. During WIMUN, not only will the participants have the opportunity to meet the staff and network with them, but they will also receive briefings on topics such as Model UN and Food Security.
Reason #4 is to exchange ideas and experiences with fellow students from around the world. One of the best things about international conferences is that they provide a space for young people to meet and feed from the interaction of diverse cultures and ideas. WIMUN will be no different. However, an added element is that given that we are an international organization there will be an important focus on international participation, even more than many other MUN’s.
Reason #5 is that it takes place in beautiful Rome. There is an old saying: “all roads lead to Rome”. Rome is a city that if someone has been there before, this person will always want to return. If someone has never been there, this person wishes of visiting it one day. Rome is a beautiful city with great culture, great history and great food. Who doesn’t love pasta, gelato or coffee?
Eui YunKim: Youth is an important constituency for us. Therefore, we have many youth programs. For detailed information on our youth programs, I encourage you to go to our website.
I do want to talk about our UNA Youth Human Rights Training. It will take place 21-25 of July, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN hub for Human Rights. For the first time, it will be open to youth who want to apply and not only members of United Nations Associations. It will focus on empowering youth to take the lead in upholding Human Rights and become Human Rights Champions in their communities.
The Youth Seminar is another initiative that we are working on and it is geared towards the Youth members of our UNAs. It is focused on providing our young members with skills on project management, fundraising and social media management. It has taken place in Europe, South America and North America. So, we are working on taking it to Africa and Asia.
Finally, we are also working on the WFUNA Youth Delegate Programme Multipliers. The Youth Delegate Programme was established to increase youth participation at the UN by including youth representatives to the member states delegations when they come for the General Assembly. The Multipliers are a group of current and former youth delegates joining WFUNA's objective of multiplying the Youth Delegate Programme around the world.
MUNPlanet: What is your advice for young people who would like to follow the same career path and become a part of UNA in their countries or WFUNA? What is the most important thing?
Eui Yun Kim: WFUNA is a international civil society organization with national partners in more than 100 countries. We work on supporting and strengthening the UN. We do this in many ways. One way is by bringing civil society closer to the UN by informing and raising awareness of UN related issues. We also strengthen the UN by empowering and involving global citizens to become champions of action and advocating for UN related causes close to their hearts. My advice would be to ask young people to join their country UN Association now. If there is no UNA in your country you can also create one. However, the most important thing is commitment. Commitment towards the values on which the UN was founded.
These and many youth projects are happening. So, once again, I encourage you to go WFUNA website to get informed.
MUNPlanet: Thank you Eui Yun Kim for talking to MUNPlanet. We wish you a lot of success in your work on promoting the spirit of United Nations, and hope that WIMUN is a success this year.
If you are interested in what is going on at and around WIMUN, you may follow their Twitter hashtag.
*We thank Branislava Bakalovic for facilitating the communication with WFUNA for this interview.