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Nearly 1,000 students convene at AUS Model United Nations conference
Nearly 1,000 students gained first-hand diplomatic experience during the American University of Sharjah Model United Nations (AUSMUN) conference held February 9-11, 2017. A collaborative effort by AUS faculty and undergraduate students, AUSMUN is an innovative conference in which debates are fostered, alliances are created and thoughtful solutions are proposed to some of the most pressing issues of the present day.
Now in its tenth year, the three-day conference required high school and undergraduate students to participate in a simulation of the work by various United Nations committees through representing a member state or an organization in a formal assembly. Along with developing a sound understanding of international relations and diplomacy, participants also acquired a diverse skill-set, ranging from negotiation and public speaking to leadership and teamwork.
The student delegates addressed a wide range of topics, including protection of children during armed conflict, international counter-terrorism measures, youth and technology, and women and peacekeeping missions. To form a successful resolution, delegates had to negotiate their positions and make reasonable concessions, as would occur in a real diplomatic setting. The main objective for delegates was to engage in finding solutions to the problems being addressed by their respective committees.
An initiative of the Department of International Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), this year's conference featured 20 committees, offering the widest selection in AUSMUN history.
During the opening ceremony, Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor, said, "At this tenth edition of AUSMUN, we welcome delegates from 40 different institutions, both from high schools across the UAE as well as universities such as NYU Abu Dhabi, American University in Dubai, Paris-Sorbonne, Herriot Watt, University of Sharjah, Zayed University, HCT, and RAK Health and Sciences University, and of course, AUS. This year we also have two international high schools participating, one from Kuwait and the other from Afghanistan."
According to Hanan Arab, Secretary-General of AUSMUN, "This event is a reflection of our common passion for the field of politics and international relations. The conference allows students an insightful experience into the first-hand workings of diplomacy and negotiation, alongside the functions of the United Nations and a simulation of the various issues the international organization faces. Moreover, we aim to allow all the participants an opportunity to develop and further broaden their horizons, and to provide a platform in which any knowledge gained can be shared."
The opening ceremony was attended by AUS Chancellor, Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of CAS, and other AUS senior officials.
More than 200 AUS students help organize the event, many of whom are international relations students.
AUSMUN platinum sponsors included the Department of Government Relations-Sharjah and the Mohammed Hilal Group.