Students discuss pressing global issues at 10th Model United Nations

Dubai: Discussing some of the most pressing global issues, students at the 10 edition of Dubai International Academy’s Model United Nations (DIAMUN) are also taking small steps to foster change in their environment.

In a round-table event at the DIA on Thursday, Gulf News joined the DIAMUN executive team of 2018 who discussed some of the most pressing global issues being discussed at this year’s edition taking place from Wednesday to Saturday.

The DIAMUN conference offers participating members the opportunity to attend a real-life simulation of a United Nations Conference. Each delegate is assigned a country to represent and is presented with topics and current events.

“DIAMUN is a student-led conference — the idea of the topic chosen for the theme and research topics are all selected by the student body. It is an example of leadership in learning,” said Poonam Bhojani, CEO of Innoventures Education.

The event’s theme, ‘Global Innovation in Education, Energy and the Economy’, aims to encourage attendees to think about how education and energy play a crucial role in strengthening global economies.

“We have chosen these key words ‘innovation, education, energy and economy’ because we think that most of the conflict around us and all the other problems we face in our world today stem from these few factors,” said Aditya Rathi, 17, DIAMUN 2018’s secretary-general.

The conference challenges the notion that students cannot foster change and reinforces the fact there is more than one way of saving lives.

However, for many participating students, presenting resolutions that begin with simple practices in their environment such as decreasing their water and electricity usage is a step towards encouraging change in their communities.

“The most important thing that brings us all to MUN is that students are empowered when they attend such conferences, because they actually get to understand these world issues that they otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to. It is important to conduct a dialogue and understand the functionality behind these international conflicts,” said Rathi.

Eleventh-grader Ayush Walia, DUAMUN 2018’s executive president, took on a personal project to encourage more people to install solar panels in their houses, which are easily found in Dubai.

“I created an interactive video along with a model for residents of Dubai to educate them on how to work towards installing such a technology that can control their electricity bills and help them work towards a sustainable future,” said Walia.

Pointing out that conferences such as DIAMUN have played a key role in expanding his knowledge in the subject, Walia aims to implement his project in a small village in India, where he will supply students, who are in need of electricity to study, with solar lanterns.

Among the topics being discussed in DUAMUN 2018 across 16 committees are renewable energy, global nuclear security and architecture, nuclear weapons security, renewable energy sources, women’s rights, and refugees’ access to education. Topics concerning the GCC region on the event’s agenda include tourism, solar energy, trade, economic and educational growth, as well as the refugee crisis.

Students taking part at DIAMUN have been preparing for the four-day event for over eight months.

After selecting the executive team, press team, officers, and the topics to be discussed, the students welcome hundreds of delegates from schools across the globe to begin the debates, expressing their opinions and views. This is done in every committee and is overseen by three student chairs.

The event brings several hundreds of the world’s most open-minded, innovative, confident students who want to use this platform to develop the skills they will need to change the world. It also gives them the chance to mingle with others and develop networking skills through social events and other interactive opportunities.

The previous conference, DIAMUN 2017, hosted a record number of over 900 delegates and directors from over 52 schools.


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