Offentliggjort torsdag d. 17. november 2011
Dear students, participants at EGMUN 2011
Thank you very much for inviting me to open EGMUN, the Espergærde Gymnasium Model United Nations, here in Copenhagen. It is wonderful that you are able to continue and further develop what a group of students from Espergærde Gymnasium pioneered in Denmark nine years ago. After their participation in BONAMUN in Holland, they wanted to create a similar forum in Denmark simulating the United Nations and discussing real international political matters and finding solutions to the issues that affect the world we live in – and all through a completely student-driven approach.
Today at the ninth session of EGMUN it is great to see that so many young, dedicated people from Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy and Sweden have travelled to Denmark to spend four days discussing and developing solutions to some of the most important challenges our world is currently facing.
In this ninth session you have placed the United Nation’s 2015 Millennium Development Goals on top of the agenda – a blueprint with eight crucial goals identified and agreed upon by all the countries of the world and leading development institutions’ to end poverty. Choosing to place the MDG’s on your agenda is evidence of the responsibility you feel for the future of the world and that you feel responsible of being part of the solution.
Human rights, development work and humanitarian efforts. These are some of the topics you will be covering. Topics that today are more relevant than ever. Topics that are at the core of the UN’s work.
MDG 4 and 5 aim to reduce child mortality and to improve maternal health. In my role as patron of the United Nations Populations Fund, I understand how collaboration and communication between nations is essential in the effort to achieving these goals. Much has been done to achieve them and much is being done. Yet, these two goals are those that are farthest away from being reached by 2015. In fact, every minute a woman dies during pregnancy or child birth somewhere in the world. I’m sure we can all agree that it should not cost life to give life.
In October, the world’s population reached a milestone of 7 billion people – a milestone that also requires international collaboration. While you are here in Copenhagen, I’ll encourage you to stop by City Hall just across the street to experience a fascinating and thought provoking exhibition by UNFPA and National Geographic about the challenges and the opportunities a world of 7 billion gives.
I’m pleased to see that you are also discussing solutions to the tragic situation in Somalia. In August I travelled with the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation to the Horn of Africa to see firsthand how the international community is dealing with the humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people in the area. Here, I saw that the UN’s and the international NGO’s humanitarian work makes a difference and that collaboration between countries is crucial when helping people in desperate need. It is saving lives.
But why not just leave it all to the real UN? Why is it so important that young people from all over the world get together to discuss these very same topics?
It is because it is young people like you that create our future. It is you who very shortly will be making the decisions to make the world a better place. EGMUN provides an incomparable opportunity for you to meet young people from other countries and other cultures and to hear and share your views on the world.
I hope that each and every one of you will enjoy your time here in Copenhagen, a beautiful city full of history and a lot to offer. And I hope that your discussions and your time here will serve as inspiration for you and your future.
I hereby declare Espergærde Gymnasium Model United Nations 2011 open!