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186 delegates participate in the AUS Model United Nations conference
Over 180 delegates from 12 educational institutions participated in the seventh Model United Nations conference (AUSMUN 2014) held by American University of Sharjah April 10-12, 2014.
Organized by the Department of International Studies, AUSMUN hosted students from area universities and secondary schools. The Model United Nations gives students a chance to experience the dynamics of the actual United Nations and to gain valuable insight into the international realm of politics. As part of the Model United Nations, each set of students is assigned a country to represent in a formal assembly. During debate, participants must strictly reflect the policies and views of their assigned country. The main outcome of a Model UN is to write a resolution, which is a set of solutions for a particular topic, which can be adopted by the UN member states in a real scenario.
"The AUSMUN is a transformative experience for both the AUS students to hone their leadership skills in organizing the event, deciding on social issues to be debated, preparing background material to be distributed to the schools, preparing the budget and ensuring that MUN procedures are followed," said Dr. Meenaz Kassam, AUSMUN faculty advisor. "For school students this is an opportunity to work on their debating skills and understand how events are shaped by international organizations. At the end of the event everyone feels an immense sense of accomplishment," she added.
Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of College of Arts and Science, said, "Our simulation of the United Nations allows students to address key issues through creativity, debate and diplomacy. For the past seven years, AUS students and faculty have passionately hosted the MUN for students across the region. We work vigorously to provide our delegates with a rewarding educational experience through our thriving platform."
"Participants debated solutions to key global problems this year, ranging from chemical weapons to gender inequality, arbitrary executions to the situation in Syria, and crime prevention to the conflict in West Africa," he added.
Also present at AUS MUN 2014 was Sayed Aqa, United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in the UAE, Qatar and Oman. Aqa addressed the conference delegates and guests and said, "Participating in MUN will be very useful for your studies, and more importantly for your life in the future. Although it is not a real UN, it is very close to real life. We in the United Nations highly value the role of youth because you are the future in governments, private sectors, businesses and diplomacy," he added.
The conference's closing ceremony and awards night was also attended by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid Sultan Al Nahyan, lecturer at the AUS Department of Economics and chief guest at the event.