The United Nations ‘Mock Assembly’ slated for Port Harcourt for the first time is set to begin on Monday, August 27, 2018. Already, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Awkwright, has sent a good will message to the youth of Africa expected to slug it out in Port Harcourt for slots to New York where the world would gather for the annual mock session.
The participating students usually represent countries other than theirs. They carry out research on the adopted countries and conference topics and make a case via a resolution for the main Mock Assembly.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, had earlier sent the UN’s solidarity message.
The conference would hold at L.A. Kings Event Centre on Stadium Road with security guarantees by the organizers, FutureTrust Initiative for Capacity Building (FTI), with the blessing of its chairman-emeritus, His Majesty, the Igwe, Nnaemeka Ugochukwu Alfred Achebe, a respected Nigerian monarch. The CEO and Founder of FTI , Maureen Egbuche, a 1999 doctorate degree holder in Aquatic Ecotoxicology (Major) and Sustainable Development (Minor) (Greatest Distinction / First Class, VUB, Belgium), said all arrangements are concluded to give a taste of the first experience in Port Harcourt.
The theme of the Mock Session is “The Future Starts Now’, a theme the British High Commissioner said was exciting and instructive. In the goodwill message to ‘The African FutureTrust Model United Nations (TAFMUN) Conference, Awkwright said he was delighted about the city of Port-Harcourt because the theme of the conference touched an important cord. He said the United Kingdom works globally to advance the development and prosperity of young people.
The word was out last year ending that the UN was to host the Mock Session in Port Harcourt, a victory the organisers said took some effort over the years since the maiden edition in Lagos. By this, Port Harcourt becomes the second city in Africa to host the Mock Session series which prepares and selects those to go to the main UN Mock Assembly for secondary and university students every year.
That was when FTI said it started putting effort to make the conference come to the Garden City of Port Harcourt. In 2017, they got the endorsement to come to Port Harcourt, the update being that the stage is now set.
The coordinator said the UN trusted FTI to handle this big responsibility and that this could be due to years of relationship. “Originally, FTI is the foremost organisation to be a service provider for young academics from Nigeria who attend the main conference in the UN Headquarters, New York, USA over the years. So, with the experience, when we sought the endorsement of the UN secretariat for Nigeria to host it, it was easy. Nigeria is now the voice of Africa’s leading young academics to the UN.”
Awkwright said in the message that the British High Commission was interested in the future of the youth in Nigeria and listed ways in which the High Commission has supported reforms that could guarantee the future.
It is not clear yet if the Rivers State governor would be the one to declare the conference open though organizers said attendance and participation were strictly for pre-registered and accredited delegates and guests, based on UN standards.