After its last edition held in 2019, the Global Action Model United Nations (GAMUN) returned to WFP Headquarters on 26 and 28 April 2023, respectively holding their opening and closing ceremonies.
In addition to their civic, solidarity and social purpose activities, GAMUN is also regularly engaged in promoting educational projects within national and international high schools to bring the work of the United Nations (UN) closer and introduce it to young students through simulation initiatives, like the one hosted at WFP.
In preparation for this activity, working with embassies and the diplomats themselves becomes an important step that helps prepare students to gain a real understanding of the countries they are going to represent during the simulation.
About 800 high-school students from different schools participated in the GAMUN simulation, 250 of whom participated in person at WFP HQ. Thanks to a scholarship granted by the U.S. Mission, 3 students from the Philippines, 2 from Kosovo and 2 from Slovakia, were able to join the simulation at WFP HQ.
The simulation consisted in alternate groups in different committees assuming the roles of delegates representing several countries, discussing topics such as food security, peace development, education, youth engagement, climate change and world heritage. This year the students represented COP, FAO, IFAD, UNESCO, UNGA, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP.
Several country representatives contributed to the opening and closing ceremonies with their inspiring remarks, including:
Opening session: United States Chargé d’Affaires, Mr. Rodney M. Hunter; Ambassador of Kosovo, H.E. Ms. Lendita Haxhitasim; Consul General to the Republic of the Philippines, Ms. Donna Celeste Feliciano-Gatmaytan; Minister Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN, Ms. Catalina Constantin; Third Secretary of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Yazeed Khalid M. Alrshaidan; First Secretary and Consul of Malta, Ms. Kimberly Zammit.
Closing session: Ambassador of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. MD. Shameen Ahsan; Ambassador of the Republic of Slovakia, H.E. Karla Wursterová; First Secretary of Kazakhstan, Mr. Askar Yermukhan; Secretary to the Embassy of Argentina, Juan Patricio Pupi; Representative of Haiti, Ms. Stephanie Boisrond.
The opening ceremony was led by WFP’s Deputy Executive Director Valerie Guarnieri’s welcoming remarks, where she recounted some personal anecdotes and reminded the students of the potential and strength of youth in our changing world.
Global Action’s founder, Pierfrancesco Torrisi, President, Carlotta Venza, and Representatives, Giulia Martorana and Elisa Ghisio, shared remarks with the students underlying their role as fundamental resources to develop innovative solutions for peace and development.
On the final day, Ambassador of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. MD. Shameen Ahsan, former President of WFP’s Executive Board, shared words of appreciation for GAMUN, recognizing its important role: “As Ambassador or Diplomat, I find the GAMUN initiative extremely important as it helps foster a greater understanding between countries and communities. GAMUN is proving a platform to share ideas of young minds representing the cultures of different countries on important global issues that encompass and relate to every country”. Finally, addressing the students, the Ambassador encouraged them to think of themselves as the representatives of tomorrow and to believe in it because “it is possible”: “I’m deeply impressed by their [the young people’s] inquisitive minds. These students remind me of the days of my childhood, the dreams, and the aspirations of my own childhood. There will be [among you] the representatives of tomorrow proudly representing your country. So, it is possible, and I hope to see it happen.”