Zeeland hosts Modern United Nations

A ‘Modern United Nations’. This is how high school pupils in de Dutch province of Zeeland will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. They will be prepared in speech writing, negotiating and debating by the University College Roosevelt (UCR) and the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS).

The ‘Modern United Nations’ is a new modern modification of the classic Model United Nations (MUN). In MUNs, young people, in formal attire, negotiate about global challenges. One delegation is China, the other Russia, the third the US. The ‘Modern United Nations’, in the words of project leader Barbara Oomen, adds something to the mix. ‘What’s special about this event is that we will not only have country delegations, but also those representing other interests. Such as nature, future generations, companies or migrants. After all, they too have a stake in what happens to our planet’.

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 The trainings, offered by UCR students and RIAS and UCR faculty, pay attention to skills, but also to content. They emphasize how the Roosevelt family originates from Zeeland and focus on Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Speech and the impact of his focus on the Freedom of Expression and of Religion, and the Freedom from Fear and from Want. The high school students also learn how and why the UN would have received an International Four Freedoms Award in April this year. The Modern United Nations, held on the 28th, forms a highlight in a wide variety of events held in Zeeland related to the UN birthday on October 24th. The teaching materials developed for this project will be bundled in a book, and made available online, so that they can also be used in the future.

The initiative results from a cooperation between the Roosevelt Foundation, the V-fonds, the Province of Zeeland, the RIAS, UCR and the Liberation museum. They have agreed to work together to spread the Roosevelt Legacy, and have received support from the Vfonds for this endeavor.

For further information and to follow some of the guest lessons/attend the Modern United Nations please contact MUN@ucr.nl.

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