York Model United Nations Conference features prominent speakers

This year’s York Model United Nations (YMUN) Conference will feature two prominent speakers, Pierre Pettigrew and George Smitherman, as well as a salon to discuss Afghanistanand an opportunity for delegates to debate some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Organized by the student-run YMUN, the 2009 conference will take place from Friday, Feb. 27 to Sunday, March 1, at Queen’s Park, MacDonald Block Provincial Conference Centre, 900 Bay St., Toronto. Delegates from across Canada and abroad are expected to attend.

Left: Pierre Pettigrew

Pettigrew, the executive advisor, international, at Deloitte and Canadian minister of foreign affairs under then prime minister Paul Martin from 2004 to 2006, will deliver the keynote speech to conference delegates. Prior to his current position, Pettigrew held several posts in the Martin and Chrétien cabinets, including minister of intergovernmental affairs and minister of international trade.

Smitherman, Ontario deputy premier and minister of energy & infrastructure, will deliver his speech, “Green Energy Act: Ontario’s Opportunity to Lead Internationally”, on the second day of the conference.

In addition, the conference will feature several committees, including a crisis committee of the United States cabinet & Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations Development Program. YMUN will offer delegates the opportunity to engage in three days of debate tackling the most important world issues facing the international community.

For the first time ever, the YMUN is partnering with Salon Camden, a Toronto speaker series, to host a special salon where Azmi Haq will speak on: “Stabilizing Afghanistan in an Increasingly Unstable Region”. This dinner and discussion event will begin at 7pm on March 1. For more information about the salon, click here. A select number of conference delegates and York students will be chosen to attend this event. To apply for a seat at the salon, e-mail Andrei Sedoff at andrei.sedoff@gmail.com. Include your name, the year of your study and your major(s).

Right: George Smitherman

YMUN is dedicated to realizing the goals of the United Nations by sending its delegates to Canadian and international interactive events where they participate in debate simulations. These simulations are modeled after various United Nations branches and intergovernmental organizations representing the foreign policy of an assigned country within a particular committee. YMUN is designed to challenge and enlighten future diplomats of the process of globalization and multilateralism and strengthen their public speaking, research and team-building skills.

Model United Nations is a growing worldwide movement that addresses some of the most significant current political issues head-on. Conferences are held at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard.

For more information or to register for the 2009 YMUN Conference, visit the York Model United Nations Web site.