The Indian International Model United Nation -A Report
By Clover Everett.
The Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the UNITED NATIONS that aims to educate participants about current, global events, diplomacy and the working of United Nations agenda. Participants take on the role of diplomats as they research the country given to them in the agendas and act as representatives of that country. They investigate, deliberate, debate and consult the presented issues and try to find solutions to the problems that sometimes do exist in the world. The students gain a sense of confidence by displaying their skills at public speaking and voicing their opinions. Stage fear is dispelled as the role-play gets underway and the whole experience is unforgettable leaving indelible impressions and memorable experiences.
A team of 12 Laidlaw School students and One Escort teacher visited Aamby Valley for their first ever, Indian International Model United Nations session. They boarded a mini bus on the school premisesat 3:45 am on August 24, 2017 and reached Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport to board their flight to Mumbai at 7:55am. The journey was comfortable yet exciting. The bus journey from Mumbai to Amby Valley saw a lot of chatter as the students made friends with other school children.
On arrival they were left ‘wide eyed’ at the scenic beauty of the place. They received a warm welcomewith the loud beats of Dhols played by men dressed in Rajasthani attire. After a hot cup of tea/coffee they were soon ushered to their lodgings called the ‘Supreme Cottages’.
The evening was welcomed by the Inauguration Ceremony. The children had to dress in Western Clothing and believe me; our Georgians looked smart and graceful. There were 54 school in all with some even from Nepal. Many dignitaries graced the occasion like Cyrus Brocha who was the convener of the show. Dr Sandhya Kurecha along with her team performed a Bharatnatyam recital that was mesmerizing. Ambassador Prakash Shah who was a former member of the UN for India in the 90’s gave an important speech on the need for India to push for a permanent membership as she holds a pivotal role in decision making along with other countries like Brazil, Germany and Japan. According to him the Right to Veto is the greatest obstruction to our seat in the UN and this has to be rectified.
Other take-aways of the evening were the songs sung by playback singers of Bollywood, like Pawni Pandey, Harshdeep Kaur and Leslie Louis. The Dance performance by the group called ‘Tactics’ was awesome and breathtaking.
The following day the children joined their committees after a sumptuous breakfast. The whole day was caught up in heated discussions about the agendas placed before them. The whole gamut of procedures of the UN was opened up before them and they had to use their intellect and skill to stand their ground as they debated.The delegates came back in-between to munch on goodies during intervals. The Chefs at Ambay kept all the participants happy and content with a lavish spread of buffets at lunch and dinner time.
Some of the Committees and agendas were as follows.
Committee 1: United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – Double Delegation Agenda: Role of Civil Society in Conflict Prevention with special reference to Jammu and Kashmir.
Committee 2: Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
Agenda: The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Committee 3: Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM)
Agenda: Strengthening Worldwide Protection of International Journalists and addressing the issue of false news.
Committee 4: Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN)
Agenda: Exploring the repercussions of a cashless society and the future of Bitcoins
Committee 5: LEGAL
Agenda: Legality of expansionist policies of the permanent five countries with special regards to that in Arunachal Pradesh
Committee 6: ADMIN
Agenda: Financing of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei
Committee 7: Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)
Agenda: Interpreting “Damage Caused by Space Objects” under the 1972 Liability Convention in specific pertinence to civilian space companies.
Committee 8: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Agenda: Addressing the challenges related to sustainable management of water and sanitation for all in accordance to meet the SDGs
Delegate-Aguru Lakshmi Narayana Teja
Committee 9: Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Agenda: Addressing the issue of gender gap in developing nations with special emphasis on removal of all forms of violence against women.
Delegate-Siddharth R R
Committee 10: BCCI
Agenda: Reforms in the BCCI Constitution
Committee 11: Lok Sabha
Agenda: Discussing the Role of FDI and promoting the ease of doing business in India
Committee 12: Harry Potter
Agenda: Election of the New Minister of Magic
Committee 13: Mahabharata
Agenda: The Kurukshetra War
The following evenings the children dressed in glamorous Indian traditional clothing and western wear. Intellectual talks were given by eminent leaders like Mrs Manju Seth who was Indian ambassador to Madagascar- she insisted on the possession of courage and passion to attain one’s goal, Mr Jetendra Mishra former ambassador to Portugal stressed on the issue that hard work always pays off and one should not worry about results. He believed that Failure always leads to success and they should be looked upon as stepping stones to the attainment of ones goal, MrYogendra Kumar former ambassador to Tajakistan said that society impacts a human being in a direct way.One should develop an international dimension to learn how systems impact our lives. He believed that the youth should be alive and alert. He said that those countries succeed that have a quick wit and quick political foot work. The lead guest was the ambassador of Afghanistan Mrs Naheed Essar. She reiterated the need for Women Empowerment and felt that there was connect between the people of Afghanistan and India politically and culturally.
Leslie Louis continued to entertain the crowd with his melodious numbers for three consecutive evenings.
The Munning Sesssion came to an end on August 27th 2017 with a Grand Closing Ceremony.
Mr Deepak Vohra, a former Indian diplomat serving as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and special advisor to the Prime Minister of Lesotho and Guniea-Bissau, spoke on the importance of loyalty to the nation and cultivating the feeling of patriotism and love for one’s fellowman. Mr Mani Shanker Aiyar the former cabinet minister during Dr Manmohan Singh’s tenure as Prime Minister also graced the occasion and reflected on the need for children to be aware of current matters and that Munning is an excellent tool for assessment and evaluation for any hurdle that needs to be overcome.
All in all the whole experience was worthwhile. All the participants of the 54 schools were given certificates along with a Certificate of Appreciation for each school. It is said, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ and I believe this first step of experience was the Best Teacher for our Georgians. I guess the children are happy and a little wiser than before with regard to global issues…
I take this opportunity to thank our Principal Mr Gary Everett and the Board of Management for having faith in our abilities and encouraging us to excel in this field.
God Bless one and all!