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AUS celebrates UN Day with 2019 UAE Youth Ambassador to the UN
The Model United Nations (MUN) Executive Board at American University of Sharjah (AUS) hosted Manal Bel Houl, UAE Youth Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), in celebration of UN Day.
In a virtual session attended by more than 100 students, Bel Houl, who is an engineering alumna from AUS, reflected on her experience as a UAE youth delegate to the UN in 2019.
“The UAE’s annual youth ambassador program offers youths the opportunity to participate in international causes and enrich discussions at the UN. At the end of the selection process, one young man and one young woman are selected to be part of the youth representation of the UAE at the General Assembly (GA). I remember that I did not know what to expect as I entered the famous hall of the GA. I was just an engineer working in the space sector. However, when I entered and stood next to world leaders in that hall, I realized the importance of youth participation. We are the future of tomorrow and we are the ones who will have to deal with all the consequences of today’s decisions,” she said.
Bel Houl also noted that while the UN is different today from when it was originally established 75 years ago, nations have shared problems and cannot work alone. She said: “We took part in the UNGA’s Third Committee, which focuses on social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues. During the deliberations, it did not really matter what country you came from because everyone from the 193 member countries spoke of the same challenges the world is facing, which brought us together. Be it health, education, climate change, clean water…we all wanted the same things.”
The UN Day event also included a speech by Dr. Sammy Badran, Assistant Professor at the Department of International Studies at AUS, who reflected on the role of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the challenges faced in the delivery of humanitarian assistance in light of COVID-19.
Celebrated annually around the world on October 24, UN Day marks the date the United Nations Charter was enacted in 1945.