This year’s Beijing International Model United Nations held in the capital had a real-world feel to it.
More than 700 students from 160 high schools and universities from countries and regions including Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia and China, participated in the 2019 Beijing International Model United Nations, held over May 23-26 by the China Foreign Affairs University.
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However, what made the four-day model diplomatic event more than just a “model” this time was that the topics discussed by the delegates were inspired by several CFAU students’ face-to-face conversations with senior UN officials.
“For instance, the topic ‘Reform of the Dispute-solving Mechanism of the World Trade Organization’ that we chose to delve into at this year’s BIMUN is actually an issue that Yi Xiaozhun, the deputy director-general of the WTO talked about during our trip to its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland,” says Tang Jie, president of BIMUN.
Tang was among the 10 students who won the chance to join an international youth exchange program which sent them to visit organs of the UN in Geneva and meet diplomats and UN officials in July because of their excellent performance at last year’s event.
The exchange program was initiated by the Wu Jianmin Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase understanding between China and the rest of the world by supporting research, international exchanges and public charity.
The 10-member youth delegation visited the UN Office in Geneva, the WTO, the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Telecommunication Union, the UN Refugee Agency and the UN Institute for Training and Research, according to Feng Wei, secretary-general of the Beijing-based foundation.
Feng says about the trip: “This is the first time that young Chinese got to exchange views with such high-ranking UN officials, and it was also a great opportunity to connect the model with reality, and put the theory into practice.