From 18 – 20 November 2016, a group of delegates from the first Frederick University Model United Nations (FREDMUN) gathered in Nicosia to take part in a simulation of United Nations conferences, to get a taste of what it is like to debate in such an organisation on an international scale. More than 140 students participated from Cyprus and others countries from around the world.
Model United Nations (MUN) events take place across the world. Participants are placed in committees and assigned countries, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, where they represent members of that body. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent.
Thanks to the support of the Rector of the University Prof. George Demosthenous, the hard work of its Chief Academic Officer Dr Kouroupis Konstantinos, the wise guidance of Prof. Paroula Naskou – Perraki, and most of all, thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of the delegates and the staff of the University, this first FREDMUN showed that it could soon become a regular event both for Cyprus and the whole region.
The opening ceremony of the FREDMUN was pertinently situated at the Presidential Palace, under the auspices of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades. Both Foreign Minister Mr. Ioannis Kasoulidis and Ambassador, Dr. Andreas Mavroyiannis honoured them with their presence at the ceremony and addressed the delegates.
The United Nations Regional Information Centre offered its support and information to this new Model United Nations in Cyprus, while Dimitris Fatouros, the UNRIC communication officer for Greece and Cyprus, had the opportunity to address the opening ceremony and also brief the delegates about the Sustainable Development Goals and the employment opportunities within the United Nations. He stated that “ An MUN is not just a simulation of the UN works. It is something bigger. It is your commitment to the values and principles of the United Nations, a proof of your determination to support our common Organisation and make our world a better place”.
At the same time, more than 3000 km away, in Switzerland, the leaders of the two communities, Nikos Anastasiades and Mustafa Acinci, were engaged in serious and sustained negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus problem under the auspices of the United Nations.
All those that attended the event showed enthusiasm for the next meeting in 2017, and hopefully for years to come.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
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