Tag Archive | "United Nations"

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United Nations to Hold a Live Town Hall Meeting


Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

NEW YORK — For the first time, the United Nations will hold a town hall meeting to select candidates for the position of next Secretary-General.

In the past, the meeting has been held behind closed doors. This time, the event will be televised and to be viewed around the world. As a result, many nations will have thier say about who will be the next Secretary General. The webcast event in the General Assembly Hall will include taking questions from diplomats and the public at large.

The event is scheduled for July 14  from 6.00 p.m – 9.00 p.m  and be webcast and broadcast live by UN TV and Al Jazeera Media Network across multiple broadcast and social media channels.

“In the past, UN Secretaries-General have been chosen behind closed doors. This time, we want  to ensure all UN member states and the entire world
have a chance to know who the candidates are, what their vision is and see how they perform,”  said the President of the UN General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft .”This Townhall is another way to enhance public interest in the mission and work of the United Nations and the need for the best possible candidate for our next Secretary-General.”

Ten of the 12 official candidates, nominated by their governments to take over at the helm of the UN Secretariat when current Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon leaves at the end of the year, will be engaged in a wide-ranging 60-minute discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the
organization. They will each be given the opportunity at the start to make their case for the job and explain their vision.

The General Assembly Hall’s 1,900 seats are expected to be filled to capacity with ambassadors, diplomats, UN staff, journalists and leaders
from business and civil society.

The 10-confirmed candidates will be split into two groups of five (determined by draw of lots) for a one-hour discussion and Q and A led by
moderators James Bays and Folly Bah Thibault from Al Jazeera English.

Questions to the candidates from Member States and the global public will come from the floor and via video from around the world.

This Townhall event is distinct from the UN General Assembly mandated two-hour informal dialogues with candidates that have taken place over the
past few months and that will continue to be held as further candidates are presented. The next one of those will be on Thursday 14 July at 11am EST
with Christiana Figueres.

The two candidates unable to attend the event in New York are Srgjan Kerim (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Miroslav Lajčák (Slovak
Republic). However, both have been invited to send video messages that can be used in the event.

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Hartford School To Hold Model UN Session


HARTFORD — About 800 students from 28 high schools throughout Connecticut are expected to convene at Hartford Public High School on Feb. 11 through 12 to participate in the annual Model United Nations Plenary Session.

The Model U.N., sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, is  simulated meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in which student teams, each representing a member nation, meet to discuss pressing issues and how to  resolve those issues.

Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski said the model conference “is one of the best ways of widening our students’ perspective on the world.”

Not all countries are represented, however. Students will represent selected countries from each hemisphere.

In addition, they will research a country, take on roles as diplomats of that country, investigate international issues, debate within parliamentary rules and procedures, consult and then develop solutions to world problems.

Among Hartford public schools, for example, a team from the Law and Government Academy will represent the Democratic Republic of the Congo; a Bulkeley High School team will represent Vietnam and teams from the University High School of Science and Engineering will represent Nigeria and Djibouti.

Preparations for the Model U.N. begin in late September, when representatives from the participating schools meet to choose the topics that could be discussed, school officials said.

A variety of topics were designated to one of four committees: the political committee, the economic committee, the environmental committee and the humanitarian committee. Student delegates in each committee then choose a topic that will engender debate and foster increased understanding of each committee focus.

Once the committees selected their topics, the school teams picked the countries they wanted to represent by lot and began researching their country’s geography, history, economy and political structure as well as its position on issues.

This year, the political committee will debate nuclear proliferation; the economic committee will discuss worldwide economic stability; the environmental committee will discuss ocean pollution, urban growth and environmental sustainability; and the humanitarian committee will talk about refugee camps in Darfur, Somalia, and Congo.

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