Research and Innovations, Key to Africa’s Development – Kayanja
“As I welcome you to this Model United Nations, it can never be business as usual. We have to work more smarter, and harder for our survival as a people."
In strengthening its commitment to promoting youth development through Model United Nations conference in academic institutions in Nigeria, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria and the Redeemer’s University, Ede Osun State, have organized the first Redeemer’s University International Model UN conference (RUIMUN) held both onsite at Ede and online.
Addressing the over 240 delegates from eight universities from Nigeria, United Kingdom, Ghana, and Sierra-Leone at the conference held on 13 – 17 April, the Director of UNIC, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, emphasized that research and innovations are key if the challenges of poverty, unemployment, inequality and climate emergency in Africa must be addressed.
“As I welcome you to this Model United Nations, it can never be business as usual. We have to work more smarter, and harder for our survival as a people. Research and innovations are key, and we cannot always depend others. In Africa, we must develop a strong mentality – to hate begging and dependence on the outside world.” He explained.
Earlier, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a video message to the conference, welcomed the holding of RUIMUN, and acknowledged that RUIMUN conference delegates’ “unwavering commitment to international cooperation is essential for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic – the biggest test our world has faced since the Second World War.”
According to him, we could only defeat the coronavirus if we do so globally. “We are strongly committed to providing full support to all, guided by our shared values. The world needs your energy, and I draw great hope from seeing your generation mobilize to address the challenges of our time and to build a healthier, more equitable and sustainable future for all.” He added.
The Vice Chancellor of Redeemer's University, Professor Anthony Enisan Akinlo, expressed the commitment of the University to ensuring the success of the institution’s first Model UN conference.
The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, represented by the State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Hon. Lawal Azeez Olayemi, expressed his delight at the delegates' confidence, intellect and quality of debates at the First Session of RUIMUN General Assembly. He emphasized the need for youths to always stand for what is right, even as they conform to the changing times of the post-COVID-19 era.
Speaking on “The UN in Global Governance in an era of Growing Nationalism”, Emeritus Professor Akinjide Osuntokun, who was the Guest Speaker, traced the history of the United Nations and the organisation’s many successes and challenges over the decades. He highlighted the dynamics of international politics and diplomacy as well as the inequalities amongst nations.
Other speakers included Ms. Beatrice Eyong, Country Representative, United Nations Women (UNW) in Mali; Professor Oyeyiola Oyeyinka, the Senior Special Adviser to the President of African Development Bank, Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire;
The theme of the conference was “Achieving our collective commitment to multilateralism in the new normal.”
RUIMUN 2021 was coordinated by Dr Oluwatoyin Oluwaniyi while the Secretary General was Mr. Olubayo Stephen.