News from UNIC Manila

UN launches search for 10 “Intercultural Innovation” Awardees

The ten best community-based organizations that that are working to alleviate identity-based tensions and conflicts around the world using innovative methods will be chosen in the fourth Intercultural Innovation Award that is being organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group. Candidates may apply online on or before 30 September 2015 at 5:00pm in New York.

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Media Advisory: Press kit for the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations

The press kit for the forthcoming (70th) session of the General Assembly (GA) is now available, in advance of the opening day of the GA on 15 September 2015.

Download the press kit at: http://unicmanila.org/2015/09/04/press-kit-for-the-70th-general-assembly-of-the-united-nations/

UN and DFA call for applications to the Philippines’ first-ever Model UN Academy

The United Nations (UN) in the Philippines, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs – UN and Other International Organizations Division (DFA-UNIO), is calling for applications to the Philippines’ First-Ever Model UN Academy., to be held on 4-5 November 2015.

The Model UN Academy is a Training Programme for student leaders of colleges and universities all over the Philippines, whose objective is to equip them with the knowledge and skills to organize Model UN (MUN) Conferences in their respective colleges/universities.

The Philippines’ Model UN Academy is part of the year-long celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN), or UN70.

What is a Model UN Conference?

A Model UN (MUN) Conference is a simulation of how the UN works, specifically through the General Assembly (GA), the UN Security Council (SC), and other UN decision-making bodies.

MUN Conferences are an outgrowth of simulations of the League of Nations that date back to the 1920‘s. The first time that a Model UN conference was co-sponsored by the UN was in August 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. Almost a decade later, the UN Department of Public Information organized three Global Model UN (GMUN) Conferences in Geneva, Kuala Lumpur and Incheon from 2009-2011, respectively.

Today, the popularity of Model UN continues to grow. It is estimated that more than 400,000 students worldwide participate every year at all educational levels from primary school to university.

The Conference will focus on giving students and MUN advisors a basic understanding of the Rules of Procedure used by the General Assembly and the Security Council, how decisions are made at these UN bodies, what you need to know when drafting resolutions, the duties and responsibilities of the UN Secretariat, General Assembly and Security Council officials, the negotiation process that takes place during informal meetings, how consensus is achieved, how to chair meetings, the differences between UN4MUN and other MUN programmes and more.

The MUN is also an excellent programme for building their leadership skills. Many of today’s leaders in law, government, business and the arts participated in Model UN as students – including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Read about the MUN Conference: http://outreach.un.org/mun/

In the Philippines, MUN conferences are regularly conducted at the college/university level by International Schools based in Metro Manila as well as by the La Salle College of St. Benilde, in particular. The University of Santo Tomas held its first MUN Conference in 2011.

The UN in the Philippines and DFA-UNIO aim to expand awareness and adoption of MUN Conferences nationwide by organizing the Philippines’ first Model UN Academy. This training programme will also prioritize students from state-owned/run colleges and universities in the country.

How Will the Participants Be Chosen?

  1. Colleges/Universities will be invited to submit the names of no more than three (3) of their students to form the first shortlist of participants to the Philippines Model UN Academy.
  2. The following criteria could be used as guide by colleges/universities in selecting their three (3) candidates:
  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate program of the college/university;
  • Has actively participated in the college/university’s school government (ie, student council), or in school sanctioned extra-curricular programs for at least two (2) semesters, preferably in a leadership role;
  • Has the capacity to mobilize the support of the college/university officials and of the students themselves to spearhead a school-wide activity, like a Model UN conference within the college/university;
  • Has above average writing and speaking skills;
  • Has good teamwork/team-building skills;
  • Has documented participation in off-school activities or projects aimed at benefiting their community, a decided advantage;
  • Prior experience in organizing or participating in a Model UN conference, a decided advantage.

Submission of applications

The deadline for submission of applications, including all necessary documentation, of the candidates has been set on 21 September 2015.

The following documents should be included in the application:

  1. Properly accomplished application form (Download here.)
  2. Certificate issued by the college/university endorsing the application of the applicant;
  3. Certificate issued by the college/university attesting to the applicant’s active involvement in student government and/or school-sanctioned extra-curricular programs in the two semesters immediately preceding the application;
  4. Certificate issued by the Barangay Council; Municipal or Provincial Government attesting to the applicant’s participation in off-school activities or projects aimed at benefiting their community;
  5. Letter from the college/university president, or vice president for academic affairs, endorsing the student’s application to the Model UN Academy.

Application documents must be submitted by post to:

United Nations Information Centre Manila, 5/F GC Corporate Plaza, 150 Legaspi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City 1229 Philippinies

Alternatively, a scan of the application documents may be sent by email to: unic.manila@unic.org, with Application for Philippines Model UN Academy – (Name of College/University) in the subject line.

Selection of Participants to the Model UN Academy

First shortlisting

Starting 22 September, or the day after the deadline for submission of applications, each Rotary District will review applications received from colleges/universities within their area of coverage. Each District will choose the top six (6) applicants, which will comprise the first shortlist of 60 applicants.

Final selection

Applications from the 60 shortlisted students will be reviewed by a panel to be composed of representatives from DFA-UNIO; UNIC Manila; De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde; and Rotary District 3810. At the end of this review, 50 participants will be chosen to participate in the Model UN Academy.

Successful applicants will be notified on 30 September 2015.

The Model UN Academy will be held at the DFA Auditorium on 4-5 November 2015.

Board and Lodging, Transportation Costs

To the extent possible, the organizers will provide free board and lodging, as well as plane fare, and other transportation costs, to successful applicants. All meals will also be covered by the organizers. However, given the expenses involved, successful applicants will be encouraged to secure sponsors, or, if they have the capacity, to pay their own way.

The organizers will discuss these details with successful applicants.

CHED Memo

Memorandum from the Commission on Higher Education endorsing the Philippines’ Model UN Academy, dated 24 July 2015