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Leaping over boundaries

  • Published at 01:21 pm August 11th, 2015
Leaping over boundaries

At the moment several countries, including the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, are getting engaged in a number of proxy wars in Arab lands, irrespective of the civilians and youths who have been living there for decades. The delegates from the member states of the council were agreeing upon the resolution that the youths are the worst victims of armed conflict. The council called for the creation of an international frame-work for analysing and responding to the problem of youth, violent conflict and prevention of the exploitation of youth by terrorist organisations.

Apparently, this scenario may be seen as an impossible one in the context of the action plans of the permanent members of the council and considering the veto power they own. This actually happened here in the Bangladesh Model United Nations 2015. All the countries agreed on the resolution that the stakeholders of the armed conflicts should stay aside from exploiting the youth population during the conflict for the sake of their opportunity to play their role in the community development across the globe, as the theme of the conference was the “Role of youth in community development.”

Model United Nations (MUN) is an educational simulation of the activities of the UN with the participation of aspiring diplomats. Bangladesh Model UN, also known as BANMUN, is the oldest of all MUN conferences in Bangladesh that started in 2002, on the theme of combating global terrorism.

Since then, the UN Students Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB) is working with the concept of MUN in Bangladesh. This year they have organised the seventh session of BANMUN, which was attended by 571 students, making the conference the largest MUN ever in this country.

Though the concept of MUN is a new one in Bangladesh, compared it to other extra-curricular activities, it is growing by leaps and bounds, especially for the last couple of years. This year the BANMUN secretariat received around 3000 applications from the students of different schools and colleges across the country. Of the applications, the secretariat selected 571 individuals as eligible to be a delegate and assigned them with the member countries of the UN, and the committees where they have to represent their countries.

Every committee was allocated with two different agendas on which they have to continue the discussions and have to come up with a resolution. BANMUN 2015 had eight committee sessions and plenary sessions. All the committees came up with a resolution on the final day, and nine of them were passed except for the one of Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN).

MUN is completely different from other activities similar to it. It is a package of activities like debating, quizzing and extempore speech to some extent. A delegate has to involve himself or herself in all these, while participating in MUN.

What sets MUN apart from the other youth conferences that deal with public speaking is in those programmes. Panelists are the people who speak and argue, while most of the participants are listeners. MUN ensures that the participants are getting the floor for the maximum time to speak and debate, which improves their public speaking and negotiation skills.

Bangladesh Model UN is the best platform for students of schools and colleges to learn the art of negotiation, analytical ability and public speaking skills that will help them to have a better future. The “Meet the dignitaries” session helps to understand diplomacy directly from the diplomats who attend the session as the sole panelist. BANMUN 2015 invited the Director (UN) of Foreign Affairs ministry, Mr Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, as the dignitary who discussed his experience with the delegates. Moreover, the in-depth research on the agendas of the committees, and the socials of the conference let the delegates go beyond the boundaries to learn from the diverse cultures of people in different countries. 

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