The NUMUN 2016 Conference

Last weekend, Nazarbayev University Model United Nations club organized its first NUMUN conference. More than 80 people from different universities all over Central Asia and Russia gathered in Astana to participate in the simulation of the three UN principal bodies – Security Council, Economic and Social Council and International Court of Justice. The conference was dedicated to the new UN initiative – Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which came into effect this year as a continuation of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG).

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Let me first introduce you to the history of the NUMUN club. It was formed in 2013 by Zhanna Terechshenko, a NU graduate, who has just started her PhD at the Pennsylvania State University. During our meetings we conduct weekly simulations on various topics in order to enhance our debating skills. Dr. Chacha and Dr. Kobayashi are our club’s mentors. Some students at the university are reluctant to join the club since it takes time and effort to prepare for the club meetings. However, I keep on telling that Model UN is more than a mere simulation of the UN bodies and formal language of “moderated caucuses.” For me, Model UN is a engaging way to study politics and follow the news. So that you know, not only PSIR students are participating, but those from other schools and majors as well.

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Throughout its history, the NUMUN club members attended various conferences that have taken place in Rome, Stockholm, London and Manchester. Last year, I participated in RomeMUN, the biggest MUN conference in Europe. I was impressed by the tremendous effort of the organizing team. Therefore, once I became the president of NUMUN, I was thinking about bringing such conference to our campus. Being a “model” university in Kazakhstan, it is a must to support and follow such international practices.

In January, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and its faculty have agreed to support the conference through their donations and participation. Then…it all started: Numerous official letters, browsing of other conferences to use their experience, communicating with other organizers – all the effort was worth it. We were really excited that people from all over Central Asia were interested in our event.

Mr. Kamen Velichkov, from the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, has agreed to give a speech during the Opening ceremony about the role of the EU in the United Nations structure and his work in Kazakhstan. Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, the UN Resident Coordinator, has also agreed to attend the event out of curiosity to see what we are doing. He gave a speech on the work of the UN in Kazakhstan and the SDG. The opening ceremony was concluded by the Global Shapers Community’s presentation of the SDG and an announcement of the photo-contest that is still going on. 

Although it’s been more than a week since the conference, we are still very thrilled about the conference. We have so many plans and ideas for the future. I hope with this very first NUMUN, we have established a good tradition of annual conferences and I am sure that our younger club members will have even more ambitious projects! 

Written by Aidana Childebayeva. Photo sources: nu.edu.kz 

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