Thousands of High School Students from Across the Globe Convene for 13th Annual International Model UN Conference in New York City

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Nearly 2,500 will Participate; Special Guests Include UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Celebrity and Youth Activist Monique Coleman

Nearly 2,500 high school students from the around the world will attend the United Nations Association of the USA’s (UNA-USA) Global Classrooms® International Model UN Conference at UN Headquarters in New York City Thu., May 17 – Sat., May 19. Students from 23 countries will role-play as ambassadors from UN member states, interest groups, and nongovernmental organizations in a simulation of the United Nations.

Opening ceremonies for the event will occur at 6 p.m. Thurs. evening in UN General Assembly Hall, with addresses from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth, as well as celebrity and youth activist Monique Coleman. Coleman, most recognized for her character Taylor McKessie in the High School Musical movies, was named UN Youth Champion for the International Year of Youth in Nov. 2010, and most recently named Champion of the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign. Among the committee speakers will be Fabien Cousteau, grandson of noted oceanographic explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and Founder and Executive Director of Plant a Fish. Cousteau will speak to students working on issues confronting the UN Environment Programme.

WHAT:    UNA-USA Global Classrooms International Model UN Conference


  •     High School students from 23 countries
  •     UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  •     UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth
  •     Celebrity and Youth Activist Monique Coleman
  •     Plant a Fish Founder and Executive Director Fabien Cousteau
  •     The United Nations Association of the USA

WHEN:     May 17 – 19, 2012

WHERE: UN Headquarters                 Grand Hyatt New York
760 UN Plaza                                     Park Ave. at Grand Central
New York, NY 10017                         New York, NY 10017

Media wishing to cover the event should contact Joseph Catapano at jcatapano(at)unausa(dot)org.

The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), a program of the UN Foundation, is a membership organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations. UNA-USA works to accomplish its mission through its national network of chapters, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign are the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. For more information on UNA-USA, visit

Global Classrooms is UNA-USA’s innovative educational program that engages middle school and high school students in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. In 1999, Global Classrooms was created to bridge the gap in the Model UN community between experienced programs and traditionally underserved schools worldwide. The program cultivates global literacy, life skills and attitudes necessary for active citizenship by: engaging students in the exploration of international issues and institutions; supporting educators with professional development and innovative learning resources; and enriching communities by nurturing respect for diverse perspectives. For more information on Global Classrooms, visit

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Joseph Catapano
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