London Model United Nations- LIMUN
Texts and Pictures, by Ángeles Lucas
Youth, unemployment, integration and hopes
74.8 MILLION YOUTH UNEMPLOYED IN 2011… THAT IS 12.7 PERCENT OF THE GLOBAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE…
NUMBERS WITHOUT FACES. YOUTH WITHOUT HOPES.
All of these figure were quoted in the report “Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis”, which was published by the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) this January 2012. The report emphasized the fact that youth unemployment was affected badly by the World Financial Crisis.
“I CAN’T PROGRAM MY FUTURE”
Behind this information there are million of personal stories, faces, ideas, projects, names and surnames. One of them is María García, from Spain, where the youth unemployment reaches 48%, as the last National Statitics Institute studies stated on January 2012. She is actually even older than ILO report’s average age: this year she celebrates 29th birthday. She has Bachelor of Arts, three Masters degrees, international professional experience, four languages and a wide scope of professional training on her CV. Right now she is unemployed in Spain. “I need my family to survive, I can ́t be independent, I can ́t program my future”, she declares.
According to United Nation studies, “for those young people who are employed, many find themselves in low-paying temporary jobs with few protections”. It happens sporadically to María García too. “When I ́m hired for a job, I work extremely hard, many hours, and earning little money, but I can ́t complain because I am aware that I ́m very lucky having at least an occupation for a while”.
Spain is also the country in the European Union where the most overqualificated people get an underqualificated job, according to the last Eurostat Study. Another name to add to the
numbers is Amparo Sarmiento. She is Spanish, 28 years old, Tourism degree, studies in Japanese, Italian, English… international experience… she works in Spain as a telephone customer service advisor, earning more money than a professional in her sector. “If I were born again, I wouldn ́t study a university degree”.
RISKS ON THE CURRENT TRENDS
“Unemployment, underemployment and discouragement can have a negative impact on young people in the long-term, compromising their future work prospects”, concludes the report Global Employment Trends for Youth, also published by ILO on August 2010. It says: “Such trends, the report noted, will have significant consequences for young people as upcoming cohorts of new entrants join the ranks of the already unemployed.”
In a transversal point of view, in developed countries, investigation, development, plus inovation is considered as a wonderful tool for the enrichment of the society, but now, as a consequence of the youth unemployment is often that the well-educated young people leave their countries resulting in a loss to the country of the investment placed in them and a brain drain. It ́s also happening in Spain, where 580.850 people are going to leave the country in 2012, according to the National Statistic Institute studies. It ́s a unique affair for the last few decades, when Spain has been receiving a huge amount of people from abroad to work in the country.
In developing economies, situations are harder. “Crisis pervades the daily life of the poor,” said ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia in 2010. “The effects of the economic and financial crisis threaten to exacerbate the pre- existing decent work deficits among youth”, he added. “The result is that the number of young people stuck in working poverty grows and the cycle of working poverty persists through at least another generation”.
It should be mentioned that youth unemployment is not just an economic and financial crisis consecuence, goverment policies have their responsibilities, as the German cancellor, Angela Merkel, has stressed in a joint interview spread among many newspapers in
Europe in January. “I’m thinking about aid to SMEs and entrepreneurs, job programs for youth and funds for research and innovation. Thinking of the labor law: it has to be loosened precisely where barriers are raised too high for young people. (…) We need more privatization”, she considers. The aim is clear, reduce the high rate of youth unemployment, but the way to get it should be oversee by international entities.
United Nations is carefully considering these topics on the agenda, arranging issues as the International Year of Youth in 2010, the Youth Employment Network, the Youth Area at UNESCO, offering grants and work experiences around the world, or the conferences like the London International Model United Nations, where young people debate some of the most pressing problems, among many other projects and initiatives.
ON THE MEANWHILE, DON’T JUST STAND
But young people are strong, flexible, and dynamic… generally, their minds are always creating new ideas and ways out to resolve the current situation. In the meanwhile they try to get a permanent job, or some sort of solutions, young people don ́t just stand still.
As always has happened, youth unemployment causes a wide mobility landscape around the world. Further away than immigration or emigration, young people, mostly in developed countries, are moving through scholarships, grants, international programs, couch surfing, or taking part in a voluntary service abroad. There are options that allow you to be useful to the world, to get experience in areas you are interested, and to learn how to survive with not too much money in other places.
LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVE
Nowadays, the low cost flights, and the Internet connection are promoting a huge mixture of humanity. Internet is a wonderful tool to keep in touch with families, friends, partners… social networks make you feel closer to your relatives. It ́s knowing people abroad, breaking prejudices, and opening minds in an easier way than the migrant movement was before.
Shaping the future, today
by Ángeles Lucas and Jason Grant
by Ángeles Lucas and Jason Grant
And… we are here. More than 1.300 youngsters from around the world, joined to claim one aim: Peace in the world by the dialogue and understanding.
London International Model United Nations is becoming a reality for another year from 10 th to 12th of February 2012 with people from more than 100 nationalities. The opening ceremony starts with a packed hall of participants, some of them coming straight on from the airport with their luggage, that they leave in the corridors of the Logan Hall at the Institute of Education not to miss a minute to say hello to the new 13th Limun session.
In a snowy but sunny day in London, every delegate, every participant and the team are very welcome to such a global event.
Think globally, act locally
“Be aware about who we are and what we can do in our daily life to improve the earth in which we are living. “Think globally but act locally. This is the message we want to let you know. Nothing is more important for us to trust in the young generations to take to this context”, says Jeremy Greenstock, Chairman of the United Nations Association of the UK in the first conference speech of the opening ceremony.
Greenstock remark that the LIMUN is the largest Model United Nations in Europe, and he stress that the youth is shaping the future International System Landscape.He has stressed widely the power of civil society and the capacity of the people as an individual person to change the world. “We have to start first by ourselves, in small groups, in civil society, as individuals, and can affect economic, defence, political affairs…. “A free world is more equal and if it’s equal is meritocratic”
The opening continuing with Kirsty Hayes, the Head of international organization department who remains the UN providing peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and equal of Human being.Then it was the turn of the Princess Al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia, who stressed the equality between women and men. Next up was Doctor Simon Buckle, Pro Rector for International Affairs at Imperial College of London, explained that 50% of their students are coming from outside the UK, and he confessed his happiness because of the Limun.
A previous Limun delegate who has been to over 100 model UN conferences in the last 10 years shared: I used to shake when I spoke but at the end, I addressed the real UN conference and met Ban Ki-moon. (delegate) has set up his own company advising other student groups on becoming the best delegate. He challenged the audience to think about what they want from life. “We are free to work and travel with more choices to do what we want, it paralyses us into making no decisions. The default choice is to go to good schools, get good jobs and become successful – what about living the life that I want to lead? True happiness comes from fulfilling dreams so design a career to support how you want to live, learn and lead.” All of the seriousness was balanced by suggesting that delegates should speak to that cute delegate who is watching you across the room, which was met with rounds of applause.
The next speaker is on the LIMUN board of trustees and urged the audience to ask the right questions and they will get the right answers. Each year is a landmark year for Limun, initially thought up in a pizza express in 1999. The first Limun had 200 students at the University of London. The budget went from 3,000 pounds to a five figure sum that is due to be audited soon. One previous delegate came from Zimbabwe managed to set up a global forum in his own country, an example of a success story from Limun. “I would like to believe that Limun may have played a part in your success, so I wish everyone all the very best for the weekend”.
The secretary general was the last person to take the podium and controversially gave out his personal phone number to the conference floor, urging delegates to give him a call. Limun is the global experience. Starting from a wide eyed kid at 13 to being a secretary general 10 years later, he would not be doing anything else. He made a comment about the conference being lived streamed on twitter which is pretty cool. After extending his thanks to the secretariat and all of the chairs, his key message was to: “Be the change for what you want to see in the world, I cant changed the world but I can take one step, this is my one step for change”.
The session was only officially opened with the hammer hitting the gravel. Everyone stands and applauds, grabs there coats and gets ready for the sessions to start. Let the debate begin.