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150 Public and Private School Students From All Over Los Angeles are Part of Global Classrooms(R), an Innovative Program of the United Nations Association of the USA, in Partnership With Merrill Lynch

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2007-02-25 05:29:02     
United Nations Association of the USA

Today more than 150 public and private school students will have the unique opportunity to debate and resolve current international issues together at the first of two Global Classrooms: Los Angeles Model UN Conferences to be held this year, sponsored by the United Nations Association of the USA and Merrill Lynch. Held at the Davidson Conference Center on the USC Campus in Los Angeles, the conference mobilizes students to engage in world issues, such as the situation in North Korea, freshwater resources, children in armed conflict and post-conflict transition.

UN committees to be simulated during the conference include the Security Council, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Executive Board, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Committee and the Peacebuilding Commission. Remarks will be delivered by Ms. Clare Bailhe, managing director, Merrill Lynch Capital, Healthcare group; and Mr. J. Lloyd, director, High School Programs, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

In the past decade, the popularity of Model UN simulations in Los Angeles has increased on both the university and high school levels. However, these conferences are mostly limited to students attending private academic institutions. The United Nations Association of the USA's Global Classrooms program in Los Angeles is taking the lead in helping bridge the gap in California by extending the Model UN experience to students of public and private schools.

The LA Conference will bring together experienced Model UN students and teachers from more than seven schools to promote global citizenship students of diverse backgrounds. This year, six delegates will be selected from the conference for the coveted Secretary-General's award. The prize -- a trip the annual UNA-USA Model UN conference at the UN headquarters in New York, May 17-19. As part of the Global Classrooms Exchange Program, these winners will join a group of 100 other Global Classrooms students from around world.

"With the world moving so quickly, today's generation of students is more affected by what happens in every corner and on every continent of the world. Global Classrooms provides a strong foundation for understanding international affairs, which is a vital step to peaceful solutions to problems -- whether at the community or global level," said Ambassador William Luers, president of UNA-USA.

Global Classrooms is made possible through the generous financial and volunteer support of Merrill Lynch. This support has allowed Global Classrooms to expand its reach to include the following cities: Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York City, San Juan, Sao Paulo, Tampa Bay, Tel Aviv and Washington, DC.

In the words of Eddy Bayardelle, President of the Merrill Lynch Foundation, "While globalization is bringing people closer together, it is also requiring children to develop certain skills and perspectives so that they can understand the interconnected world. Global Classrooms will help today's youth to become tomorrow's global ambassadors and business leaders."

"Global Classrooms has been successful in exposing students from diverse backgrounds to a more inclusive way of thinking, understanding and interacting," noted Dr. Lucia Rodriguez, vice president of education for UNA-USA. "Armed with this new perspective, students feel empowered to take an active role in shaping their own future."

The United Nations Association of the United States of America is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations among the American people. Its educational and humanitarian campaigns, along with its policy and advocacy programs, allow people to make a global impact at the local level. http://www.unausa.org

About Merrill Lynch's Global Philanthropy

Merrill Lynch was founded on the idea that the world is full of opportunity. Opening the door to that opportunity for underserved children and youth is the focus of the firm's global philanthropy. In 2005, Merrill Lynch giving totaled more than $37 million, with education receiving nearly half of that support. http://philanthropy.ml.com

Specialized in: Una-usa - United Nations Association Of The Usa
URL: http://www.unausa.org
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