A variety of educational features make up our programmes.
Model UN conferences task students with representing a foreign country in a simulation of the United Nations or another international body. It challenges students to step outside their personal space and advocate for a viewpoint, culture or way of government that is very different from their own.
Model UN is a useful tool for sparking discussion about global issues and teaching skills in communication, negotiation, lobbying and research.
Our Model UNs come in various shapes and sizes. Our flagship Model UN conference attracts over 250 young people from across the country. We also run small-scale Model UNs in school classrooms, tertiary events, and mid-sized conferences within each region. In addition to traditional issues, we have also explored new themes such as health, information technology and space conflict.
Aotearoa Youth Declaration
Aotearoa Youth Declaration draws young people from across the country to discuss New Zealand’s domestic issues. Through focus group discussions, workshops and outreach engagements with community organisations, the conference connects like-minded change-makers and exposes youth to decision-makers in their community. The beliefs of conference participants are articulated in a policy document that is presented to Members of Parliament, City Councillors, industry experts, and other organisations. The Youth Declaration document receives a formal response from the Minster of Youth Affairs each year.
Throughout our events, we run interactive workshops designed to challenge participants about a particular theme, using their personal knowledge, opinions of others and information presented to them throughout the workshop. Themes have included: peacekeeping, technology wars, and refugee treatment.
Our online Model UN competition is designed to overcome barriers to access such as cost and travel distance in order to bring our programme to all young New Zealanders. This competition requires participants to work in teams to produce researched papers that are peer-reviewed and marked. You can find out more at diplomacy.unyouth.org.nz.
UN Youth leads three international tours, designed to put delegates’ knowledge about international organisations and aid work into context. The European and US study tours expose students to key personalities in international law and business, historical sites, and the work of international agencies. The Pacific tour is centred on cultural exchange and “hands on” work in a Pacific community. All three trips involve participation at a Model UN conference.
External Speakers and Organisations
UN Youth hosts speakers from industry and academia to provide expert education and an outside perspective to our conference discussions. We also partner with a number of organisations to engage in community outreach activities and volunteering.
Other educational programmes that UN Youth hosts include case competitions to solve business problems for non-profit organisations, public debates, talks and speaker panels. We are open to new ideas and collaboration with other organisations, so please get in touch!