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Belgorod State University Hosts 'Youth' UN

This is the 10th year that the Youth UN has been run at our University. The forum acts as a proxy for the real thing, and allows students to debate issues the UN is currently considering. It is designed to hone students' debating skills and make them aware of global issues

The forum is run as near as possible to the real thing, down to the observance of strict rules of parliamentary procedure, and requires proficiency in English and Russian, two of the official languages of the UN. The forum welcomes students from different countries, who assume the role of ambassadors and diplomatic advisers.

Dr Svetlana Ostrikova, Vice-Rector for Educational Activities and Youth Policy at BelSU, commented on the forum as an introduction to geopolitics, saying,

This forum exists to develop students' oratorical and diplomatic skills, which will come in useful in later life, while also engendering a sense of national pride.

Dr Vladislav Kuchmisty, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation at BelSU, commented on the choice of a UN model for this type of event, explaining

The UN could be seen as the keeper of world order. For more than 70 years, general assemblies have been held to solve pressing economic, social and political problems. We think that as this event grows in scale, many future diplomats and specialists will have had the chance to cut their teeth here.

Professor John Burgess, a visiting professor from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in the USA, was an interested guest at the opening of the forum. He gave his thoughts, saying,

You must have a keen sense of patriotism in order to be interested in participating in the Youth United Nations, and a strong desire to acquire knowledge and develop your skills. Belgorod State University does an excellent job of guiding their students in this. I wish them all success.
The forum mirrors several bodies, the General Assembly, the Security Council and the International Court of Justice, UNESCO, UNICEF and WHO. The forum takes four days to complete, and the students are expected to resolve the issues put before them by the end. Their agenda includes complex and contemporary political issues, such as protection from terrorism, global pandemics, and war.

 Mirzoanis Yakubov Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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