MILAN, APRIL 6 – Five hundred students, from as far as Mongolia, gathered at Milan’s Bocconi University to simulate the work of the United Nations. MilanModelUnitedNations 2017, the 12th edition of the conference, was organized by the teachers and students of the A. Manzoni Linguistic Lyceum and has, as it does every year, drawn students from all over the world to discuss and help find solutions to the same international challenges that are addressed at the UN Headquarters in New York
For four days, students held debates in English on a wide range of issues including illegal arms trafficking, the impact of global warming on rising sea levels, the Kashmir conflict and methods to eradicate bullying in school and violence on women.
In the opening ceremony, Vincenzo Galasso, Professor of political economy at Bocconi, discussed the issue of migration and its repercussions on the economies of hosting countries. Other
notable speakers included Charles J. Hamilton from the US General Consulate, who illustrated opportunities offered by diplomatic careers, and Alessandro Amerio, a media, communications and public relations expert with the International Labour Organization (ILO), who discussed workers’ rights and underage labor. Problems can be solved when people commit to finding solutions, as witnessed by the significant improvements in South Africa.
Rossella Miccio, representing Italian NGO Emergency, received an enthusiastic welcome. Her account of Emergency’s doctors and nurses intervening in countries that are ravaged by war or devastated by epidemics, like Afghanistan and Sudan, moved the audience in what was recognized as a veritable example of altruism and solidarity.
The conference closed with a debate in the General Assembly on farmers’ rights to own and control their seed stocks, an issue that prompted active participation by most of the delegations and led to concrete, workable proposals to safeguard farmers’ rights.
Delegates treated the theme of nuclear disarmament with special consideration and their ensuing resolutions encouraged member states to strengthen efforts to meet the goals of the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. The hope is that the spirit and energy of the students will lend momentum to the conference to ban nuclear weapons, currently taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York.