KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia provides a good model of how society would be able to live with various ethnic groups on the basis of trust and efforts to foster good societal relationship among the various communities.
United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information Kiyotaka Akasaka said Malaysia's emphasis on education and mainstreaming youth issues as a fundamental of the national development agenda was also pertinent as the host of the second annual Global Model United Nations (GMUN 2010) Conference which began today.
"I know that Malaysia has various ethnic groups, Malays, Chinese and Indians are working and living in harmony and you have been keeping this harmonious society with great effort played by the government, civil society and the people at large.
"Malaysia will also be able to provide the best opportunity and lessons learned and the history to the students coming from all over the world to address the questions of alliance civilizations.
"Education is given top priority in this country, education indeed has been the important agenda for the UN, we have been focusing our efforts on our partnership with the young people for educational programme, through various initiatives," he told a press conference on GMUN 2010 on Saturday.
Themed "Towards an Alliance of Civilization: Bridging Cultures to Achieve Peace and Development", more than 500 delegates aged between 18 and 24 would explore issues on the relationship of cross-cultural, globalization and changes of socio-economic conditions in the world, he said.
"The world still has so many problems, conflicts, ethnic cleansing, ethnic conflict, hatred, discrimination and bigotry based on race, languages and communities.
"We in UN have been trying to address this problems and we hope that students who are coming to this conference will be able to discuss among themselves so that they will be the partners of UN as diplomats, as businessman, as leaders of civil society and working together with UN," he said.
Akasaka hoped that the conference would act as a platform to develop a network of relationship among the participating youths and act as a channel for youths to express ideas, opinions and alternative solutions to various issues.
"We would like to introduce the roles and procedures which are like the real roles and procedures at the UN so that the best and brightest students chosen for this conference will be able to learn about the UN.
"We believe young people, students of university in particular are important partners of UN. Their creativity and imagination will be able to help the UN in addressing those global challenges like poverty reduction, human rights, peace and security," he said.
Asked about the achievement of the first GMUN Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland last August, Akasaka said the participants have been working together in various subjects.
"We have created our own website and believe we will be able to keep close contact with them so that they will be able to help us in addressing the important challenges," he said.
GMUN 2010, organised by the UN Department of Public Information, targeted the best youths and university-level around the world in a move to educate them about the work of UN.
University students from 53 UN member countries including 80 from Malaysia are participating in the five-day conference.