The Model United Nations Organization at The American University in Dubai (AUDMUN) successfully participated in the sixth edition of the Columbia Model United Nations in New York (CMUNNY) Conference, which took place recently at the campus of the Columbia University in New York, USA. Fourteen members of AUDMUN departed for NYC to take part in the Conference.
Ms. Peggy Awad, AUD’s External Relations Manager and Advisor of the AUDMUN Club, comments on the tremendous learning experience MUN conferences grant students by stating: “These conferences aim to promote the ideals of the United Nations Organization. Students are assigned to represent countries in a specific committee, that usually simulates the operations of some organ within the UN, and have to solve a current issue while also defending the interests of the country. Thus, delegates gain knowledge about foreign relations, politics, and world issues through debating and public speaking.”
This year’s edition of CMUNNY commenced with an opening ceremony, during which the Egyptian Ambassador to the United Nations, His Excellency Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz, delivered a speech tackling the recent events in the Middle East that are continuously reshaping the status quo in the world. Brief committee sessions followed, where students from AUD got to mingle with other delegates.
On his reflections about the resonating impact the CMUNNY had on the AUDMUN participating members, Deniz Gasimli, President of AUDMUN, comments: “The trip to New York City was very successful and satisfying since students got to experience one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It provided the members of AUDMUN with knowledge necessary for such a young and aspiring club. CMUNNY VI adds up to the diverse conference history of AUDMUN and marks another bright step of the club on its way to becoming an internationally known organization with, hopefully, its own annual conference.”
The Conference’s ensuing couple of days conveyed many hours of sessions during which the delegates, in each of twenty crisis committees, engaged in rigorous and thorough debates. Crisis committees require prompt response, ongoing research, continuous evaluation of the relationships in the room, strong debating and public speaking skills, and an enormous amount of background knowledge. AUD students were challenged, taking into account that most of them were first time MUNers. The fact that they had to face delegates, from universities possessing a rich MUN background, made the sessions even more challenging. However, the AUD Knights did their best and succeeded in representing the interests of their assigned countries and politicians during the debates. The demanding sessions were followed by Head Delegate meetings, in which Charvi Bhatt, Head Delegate from AUD, addressed issues and concerns of AUD students. Evenings were marked with social events that aimed to build ties among delegates from various universities.
As for Sara Al Boom, an AUDMUN delegate, she describes her enthusiasm, right after partaking in the recently-held CMUNNY, with the following assertive words: “The joy of participating in such conference has made me want to pursue a career in the UN. It was by far the most interesting conference I have ever attended and hopefully will continue leading AUDMUN to many more conferences in the near future.”
The last day of the conference consisted of a brief committee sessions, where delegates got to conclude their subject matters of discussion. The closing ceremony followed, during which the best delegates in each committee received awards. Deniz Gasimli, President of AUDMUN, won an Honorable Mention Award, while Varunya Venkatesh, PR Officer of AUDMUN, bagged the Verbal Mention Award. This is a testimony to the fact that AUDMUN members managed to successfully face their experienced opponents from top US universities, like Harvard or UPenn, in a tough and competitive environment of MUN committees.
In turn, Urshita Lele, another AUDMUN delegate, stresses: “CMUNNY was an experience I’m going to cherish lifelong. I never thought I would be amongst the few deciding on India’s next prime ministerial candidate! It was my first time in a crisis committee and the best part was anything could happen. CMUNNY definitely helped me polish my decision-making skills. Thank you AUD!”
All 14 AUDMUN delegates excelled in their respective crisis committees and earned acclamation for their outstanding performance. Their names, along with the committee each represented, are as follows:
Varunya Venkatesh – Rwandan Genocide, 1994; Amena Shah – Turkey At A Crossroads, 2007; Urshita Lele – India: National Democratic Alliance Convention, 2013; Sweta Kumar – Ending the 30 Years War: Peace of Westphalia, 1645; Udit Ruia – Ashoka’s Court: The Great Exhibition, 270-232 B.C.; Salma Abdullah – Central Tibetan Administration, 2012; Krisha Mehta – Alberto Fujimori’s Peru, 1995-6; Rukash Raza – Thailand: Red Shirts v Yellow Shirts, 2010; Lubna Contractor – Ending the 30 Years War: Peace of Westphalia, 1645; Madona Assaad – Ending the 30 Years War: Peace of Westphalia, 1645; Lamees El Monofy – Ending the 30 Years War: Peace of Westphalia, 1645; Charvi Bhatt – Mycenae, 1200 B.C.; Sara Al Boom – Palestine Underground Council, 2014; and, finally, Deniz Gasimli – Russian Security Council, 2012.