Model UN conference comes to UVic

Throughout the year, the club discusses current events and global issues, preparing student delegates to visit other model UN conferences around the world. The goal of the conference, Matthews said, is to foster leadership and enthusiasm for local and international issues.

International media from BBC, Al Jazeera and FOX News are about to descend on the University of Victoria.

It’s all part of the UVic Model United Nations Conference that sees high school and university students act as international leaders and debate real global issues. It also includes a mock press conference and media scrum where youth take on the role of hard-hitting journalists for the world’s most popular news sources.

“It’s a really great opportunity for budding leaders,” said event organizer Caroline Matthews, secretary general for the UVic Model UN Club. “Basically, they’re solving the world’s problems.”

Throughout the year, the club discusses current events and global issues, preparing student delegates to visit other model UN conferences around the world. The goal of the conference, Matthews said, is to foster leadership and enthusiasm for local and international issues.

Students who attend will have the opportunity to research foreign policies and negotiate topics from different global perspectives on UN committees. They’ll also hear keynote talks linked to the conference’s overarching theme: climate change and the environment.

Speakers include Michael M’Gonigle, law professor and founding member of Greenpeace, as well as Robert Gifford, an expert in environmental psychology.

Last year’s event drew 100 “super-engaged A-types,” Matthew said, noting her hope is to see that number grow by 50 per cent this year.

“I’m hoping that by stimulating younger people, they’ll grow into more energized, better leaders.”

The conference runs from Oct. 21 to 23 in the school’s engineering and computer sciences building. To register, visit web.uvic.ca/~unclub/ or contact Matthews at vicmun2011secgen@gmail.com for more information.

“I like to pretend to solve the world’s problems myself,” she said.

nnorth@saanichnews.com