Sep 1, 2009
For the 4 days from Monday, August 24 to Thursday 27, 2009, the Model United Nations Conference – 2009 Kyushu Summer Session (sponsored by The Model United Nations Kyushu Branch) was held at the APU Multipurpose Hall.
Held every year in August, the Kyushu Summer Session, which is planned and run by APU and The University of Kitakyushu, is one of the 4 major Model United Nations Conferences in Japan (Kansai Model United Nations Conference, Kyushu Summer Session, Model United Nations Hokuriku Conference and All Japan Model UN Conference). The Model United Nations Conference has branches across Japan. 40 organization members, centered on university and graduate students nationwide, played the roles of various nations' ambassadors and discussed problems facing the world while considering the interests of their country.
The subject for discussion this year was "The Round 7 WTO Ministerial Summit" and aimed to reach a framework agreement working towards the conclusion of the Doha Round of trade talks. The Doha Round is an international conference hosted by the UN and seeks to solve trade issues. During this model UN conference which put the spotlight on agriculture, a range of areas were discussed such as farming, the steel industry, service sector, trade rules and facilitation, development, intellectual property and the environment.
On the 4th day of the conference, members of JA Zen-Noh Oita, the Oita Board of Agriculture and Oita Prefectural Office were invited to participate in a post conference symposium to talk about the real situation in agriculture and made the participants aware of the pursuit of, and gap between, national interests. Looking back on the symposium, those who participated commented, "We have few chances to hear from people on the front line of agriculture so this symposium has really provided food for though. Through holding this model conference we have a tendency to neglect what the real situation is like. Therefore, we felt the need to attend these model conferences with a better understanding of the real situation."
At the conclusion of the conference, member of the APU Model United Nations and person in charge of the conference, YANO Mihoko (APS3, Japan) looked back on the success of the conference, "The Theme for this conference was 'Fight for..' and through these talks which were directly linked to national interests, we had the participants think about what they were fighting for. Through holding this model conference we have a tendency to neglect what the real situation is like, but if we look at the real situation, perhaps our attitude towards agricultural negotiations will differ. I think that by seeing the real situation, our model UN activities will have a greater sense of reality."
The Model United Nations dates back to 1923 at Harvard University. In Japan it has developed since 1983 under the guidance of OGATA Sadako (former UN High Commissioner for Refugees on the Human Environment). High schools and universities around the world are involved in the Model United Nations as part of an effective educational program to understand the workings of international politics and think about how to solve problems facing the world. The Model United Nations has adopted the development of human resources who can make a contribution to international society as one of their central philosophies and in fact, many graduates have gone on to work in organisations similar to the United Nations. Furthermore, it is gaining greater recognition for its role in society and in 2008 was awarded the Minister of Foreign Affairs Award.