UN Youth Response to COVID-19

[Full statement here.]

UN Youth is highly conscious of the possible risks posed by the coronavirus COVID-19, particularly given the nature of our large events which often draw young people from around the country. The welfare of our participants and volunteers at our events is always our number one priority. Accordingly, as of March 17th 2020, UN Youth New Zealand has decided to cancel all of our events scheduled to take place before May 18th 2020 in response to the growing threat posed by the COVID-19 / novel coronavirus pandemic. This includes, but is not limited to, the following events:

  • Aotearoa Youth Declaration (“AYD”).
  • Canterbury Model United Nations (“CMUN”).
  • Wellington Model United Nations (“WMUN”).
  • Auckland Model United Nations (“AMUN”).

UN Youth appreciates the substantial disappointment and inconveniences that this will likely cause participants intending to attend our events. Running events that empower and inspire young New Zealanders is our passion. We do not cancel our events lightly and without deep regret on our part.

Regional ‘Model UN’ events; CMUN, WMUN and AMUN, may be postponed to later in the year, at the discretion of our Regional Councils. If this is the case, information will be released by Regional Councils regarding this in the coming weeks. Sadly, our flagship civics education event AYD has been cancelled, as the timing and logistics of such a large national event means that postponement of AYD is not possible. UN Youth is exploring running an alternate civics programme later in the year to ensure we can still offer youth a platform to address the opportunities and challenges facing our society.

To read our full statement, which includes further information (including regarding refunds), please click here. All queries can be sent to our National President, Mark Howard, at mark.howard@unyouth.org.nz


About UN Youth

UN Youth New Zealand is a non-profit organisation that provides civics education outside the traditional classroom context. Through fun workshops, conferences, Model UN, and outreach events, we engage high school and tertiary students in the most pressing affairs of their country and the international community. Our goal is to inspire young New Zealanders to be global citizens in the rapidly globalising world of today. Global citizenship exists in an incredibly diverse range of forms, and UN Youth hopes to provide the opportunities for all young people to be the global citizen that they aspire to be. 

Throughout Aotearoa, our work equips young people to become informed, engaged, and critical New Zealanders who understand their global context and the connections between the local and the global. Our organisation provides young people with the necessary educational and social skills to excel. Annually, over 3000 young New Zealanders from Northland to Southland attend a UN Youth event.

UN Youth hosts three conferences nationally each year drawing together hundreds of students from across the country. One of the conferences looks at solving problems in the community and government policy, the second considers international affairs and diplomacy, and the last aims to engage young New Zealanders in politics and democracy. An online Diplomacy Competition is also available for all high school students across New Zealand to help them further develop their understanding of these issues.

We also lead three annual international trips for high school students; the Global Development Tour through Europe and the United States, Pacific Project – a cultural exchange to Australia and the Pacific, and one to the Evatt Competition run by UN Youth Australia. For tertiary students, we run the North America Leadership Tour – a trip around North America, centring around Harvard National Model UN, and a trip to East and South East Asia focused on globalisation – the Globalisation Tour. 

UN Youth is powered by a body of 150 volunteers across the country who dedicate many hours of their week to engaging young people and growing the organisation.

Key Policies and Documents

Download and view our:

National Constitution

National Protocols

National Welfare Protocols