In Melbourne this week, 2000 young change-makers from 80 countries will meet for the world’s largest international student-led youth conference, the Harvard World Model United Nations (WorldMUN), from 18-22 March.
Now in its 22nd year, with past meetings in Brussels, Geneva, London and Beijing, the world’s future leaders will be hosted here by students from Monash University and RMIT University at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
This year’s conference asks what will come after the UN’s Millennium Development Goals – eight targets in health, education, finance and human rights. As the 2015 deadline looms, the young delegates will plan towards the next set of goals in development, watched over by UN officials and mentors from the Red Cross, World Vision, UNICEF, and AusAID, the Australian government’s overseas aid agency.
But of course, many of these young people working toward these goals already, and can share personal stories of the impact of the MDGs in their communities and of the work they’re doing now to create change:
- Indonesian Kyana Dipananda has established Buku Berjalan – The Walking Book – to share books with children in her community.
- Costa Rican communication student Natalia Salas is determined to keep children in school by bringing the One Laptop One Child project to her home country by 2014.
- Lena Diekhans, from Germany, is funding women’s groups in Togo to work together to grow beans and rice, using $15,000 she’s raised through parties and events back home. She’s also encouraged 50 fellow business students to take on their own development projects.
- Entrepreneur Bonnie Chiu is building a social enterprise to tackle poverty by photographing and sharing the stories of the poorest women in her home town Hong Kong, with plans to expand to Indonesia.
- Australian-Papua New Guinean Ayesha Lutschini is working on a project to address violence against women in PNG, as well as campaigning to increase the amount Australia spends on foreign aid.
For interviews and high res images:
Tamzin Byrne, 0432 974 400, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Moore, 0433852947, email@example.com
- Future leaders meet at WorldMUN in Melbourne – WorldMUN organising committee
- Monash supports Model UN in Melbourne – Monash University
- Melbourne wins the right to host WorldMUN – Minister Louise Asher
Melbourne WorldMUN 2013 website: www.melbourne2013.org.au
Harvard WorldMUN website: www.worldmun.org
WorldMUN 2013 is supported by: the United Nations, UNESCAP, the City of Melbourne, the Victorian State government, Study Melbourne, RMIT University, the Harvard World Model United Nations, UNICEF, Monash University, AusAID and working in collaboration with One Just World.