Having participated in the 35th annual East African Model United Nations (EAMUN) Conference in Nairobi, I can say whole-heartedly that it was a worthwhile experience. This year, our school represented the delegations of Iraq, Green Peace, and Zambia. Our school was well presented in each of the committees, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the Global Health Council. This year was a life changing experience for several reasons. As one of the youngest people at EAMUN, it was wonderful meeting students in their final year of school and talking to them about their life experiences. Meeting people from Uganda, Malawi, and Kenya opened doors to opportunities for me and broadened my horizons. The debates were very enjoyable and helped us create lifelong memories of this trip. Even outside of debate times, we engaged in discussions about controversial issues which extended our understanding and enabled us to become more open-minded to common ideas and misconceptions in our world.
The resolutions debated were quite diverse, and resulted in delegates identifying potential solutions to some of the most pressing global issues. Being a delegate of Iraq in the ecology committee, we mostly looked at the different causes contributing to climate change. Model United Nations (MUN) made us feel accountable for the actions of our country, which is important because we are all contributing to the destruction of the world and have a role to play in mitigating these challenges and for the overall development in the society. By proposing solutions to the General Assembly at MUN, we looked for ways to find solutions to the problems in our world. MUN is a very powerful platform that exposes young people who are the future leaders of the world to the challenges of decision-making on a global scale. Another thing we were able to see at such a forum were countries facing internal conflicts uniting to solve the global issues affecting all of us today.
It was an excellent platform to facilitate interactions amongst ourselves, as a school, as well as with others across nations. We also had a chance to bond with people from our own school, as we got to know them better through our interactions there and for having the same purpose at the conference. Our MUN group was wonderful as we were able to understand and motivate each other better throughout the conference hence explaining our shared successes. We enjoyed a lot within our committees, especially ending with an MUNnequin challenge.
MUN is a wonderful social experience, allowing us to meet people from all various countries around the world. Talking to people with views contradictory to your own leads to learning, and shaping a pluralistic outlook on life. I first joined MUN in Year 8, and I have seen the difference it has made in my life. It has led to an increased confidence and improved self-esteem. I have also become more open-minded, and learned to respect everyone’s views whether I agree with them or not.
This year I also had an opportunity to be a judge for a case at the ICJ. As the judging panel, we were presented with the case and evidence from both sides. We gave our verdict and ruled in favor of the side with the stronger case. As judges being part of different delegations, ICJ taught us how we can be unbiased in our decisions. It is crucial to make fair decisions that are just. ICJ taught me how justice is difficult to achieve because even after hearing both sides for over an hour, it was difficult to make a decision that was fair. We managed our way around this challenge, by looking at the facts presented and the documented evidence which helped us form our verdict. Through our verdict, we were able to clearly justify why we ruled in favor of one delegation and not the other. This experience helped me look at life in a more objective way, and to appreciate both sides of the situation before forming a conclusion.
After developing these skills and debating about solutions to world challenges, it is very important to reflect how we can take this learning into our real life, in making a humble and persistent contribution to have a positive impact in the world around is. I will make all the efforts to go beyond these intellectual discussions and make my humble contribution, such as small efforts to lower my carbon footprint. We must constantly ask ourselves the impact of each of our actions, and ensure it is beneficial.
Previously on Ismailimail…
The nə́c̓aʔmat ct (pronounced “naht-sah-mahtst”) Strathcona library – Project made possible with the help of Ismaili community of B.C.