In 1991, students from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) were invited to participate in the International United Nations Model in Luxembourg. However, as the experience was mostly focused on the political area, the economic activity and UN economic structures and organizations were not covered by the agenda of the Moscow International UN Model.
The inspiration for the idea of organizing a Model UNCTAD came to mind when MGIMO became a member of the UNCTAD Virtual Institute network, and the first group of students participated in a study tour of Geneva-based international organizations in April, 2008. This student initiative was supported by professors of the Department of International Economic Relations.
UNCTAD XII and its final documents became an additional stimulus for the students to discuss the world economic situation and problems and thus to expand their understanding and present their views on the future world economic architecture.
In 2009 owing to the persistent work and initiative of the third year students, the preparation for the simulation started. Documents were examined and analyzed at the regular seminars and class discussions, then support materials were distributed a week before the event. The latest Vi study tour, organized in March, 2009, provided valuable assistance and made significant contributions to their practical experience. Additional documents provided by VI staff also proved to be extremely useful for better understanding of the problems to be discussed.
Due to the fact that the students were limited by time, two issues of the UNCTAD XII Agenda were chosen for the simulation: Regional Trade Agreements and biofuels. Each participating country was represented by a politician and an expert. Students voluntarily applied to to represent the positions and countries they were interested in. During the first day of the simulation politicians from each country presented their position statements on both issues of the agenda. The second day of the program was designated as an expert session, where the experts were to come to agreement on the final text of the Accord through several rounds of formal and informal debate in compliance with the rules of procedure, commonly used for Model UN activities worldwide.
During the simulation students exhibited deep knowledge of the subject, strong analytical and presentation skills, as well as bright personal features.
So, for the first time in the history of Russia, and probably the Commonwealth of Independnt States, a small group of economics students has managed to open a new page in the academic simulation of the Model United Nations activity.
We strongly believe, that the experience provided deeper understanding of globalization and multilateral diplomacy as well as sustainable economic development and cooperation and will stimulate involvement of other Russian and foreign universities in the process.
In the past 18 years MGIMO has become one of the world's leading centers engaged in model UN activities, as the university counts with a strong reputation for providing a high level of knowledge of the world political situation, human rights development and negotiating skills.