9 May 2019

Al-Farabi KazNU Model UN Conference focuses on Silk Way regional collaboration on SDGs

9 May 2019 - The impact of the Silk Way regional collaboration on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals was discussed by the students of Al Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU). About 300 young experts in economics, international relations, mass media and global governance debated new and innovative approaches in dealing with the SDGs, regional security, economic challenges, gender issues and the social aspects of integrating Afghanistan and CSA into the regional Silk Road economic corridor between East and West and the “One Belt One Road” program.

For three days, the library of Al-Farabi KazNU became a home and debating platform for the 10th annual international conference “Model UN – New Silk Way”. The conference was organized between 26 and 28 April 2019 in the framework of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and Ban Ki-moon Institute of Sustainable Development (BKMISD) and with the support of diplomatic missions in Kazakhstan and the United Nations Information Office (UNIC) in Almaty.

In addition, the MUN-NSW Conference-2019 was dedicated to the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. The members of the Model UN-New Silk Way Organizing Committee identified in advance the most pressing global and regional issues, including various aspects of international population displacement, migration and refugee issues, economic, political and strategic cooperation between the global “North” and “South,” forthcoming technological changes in Industrialization 4.0, key global shifts and some other issues. 

The international students and students from Kazakhstan worked at the following Model UN committees:

  • United Nations General Assembly – “Measure to achieve the SDGs by the year 2030 with special emphasis on role of women and youth”;
  • United Nations Security Council – “Reforms in the UN Security Council with a discussion of the outcome of the work done by Kazakhstan as a member of SC”;
  • United Nations Environment Program – “Addressing the issue of air pollution in the world’s worst air quality cities”;
  • World Health Organization – “Overcoming cultural resistance towards vaccination programs”;
  • UNHRC (Language of the Committee: Russian)

During the three-day forum, the students acted as plenipotentiary delegates of the UN member states, where they defended the interests of the represented country. The Model UN reproduced the activities of various UN agencies working on global challenges, which often are transnational in nature and require transinstitutional collaboration in finding solutions. Participants included college and university students, high school students, young researchers and teachers, as well as all young people who are interested in UN activities. The UN Model activists acquired diplomatic, leadership, public speaking, negotiating, language skills, and the ability to come to a compromise.

The International Conference “Model UN-New Silk Way” is one of the largest UN Models in Central Asia, which has been held in Almaty every year since 2010. The MUN-NSW-2019 attracted delegates from Kazakhstan and eight countries of South and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Several representatives of the diplomatic community addressed the students, including Ruslan Bultrikov, Head of Representative Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Almaty, Eric Meyer, the Consul General of the USA in Almaty, Attache on foreign economy of the Consulate General of Hungary in Almaty George Tar and special assistant to the Ambassador of Afghanistan Mr. Ramin Mansoory.

The representative of the UNIC Office in Kazakhstan Mr. Abdurahim Mukhidov emphasized the importance of youth activism in developing the new vision of Silk Way cooperation. He also stressed the importance of International Multilateral Day and Diplomacy for Peace, Peace and diplomacy are the essence of the United Nations Model Events. Vice-president of the Porto Polytechnic Institute and vice-president of the European Network for Accreditation of engineering education professor Jose Quadro called the UN Model participants to focus on learning new skills and competencies, and studying about new technologies, which are in demand in the 21st century.

Executive Director of the Model UN-New Silk Way program and visiting professor at Al-Farabi KazNU Rafis Abazov noted that the International Conference “Model UN – New Silk Way” is the annual international conference, which offers creative learning experience, unites students from around the world into the creative and inclusive global networks, helps to find friends and like-minded people the rapidly globalizing world and become truly “global citizens.”