MUNs and their effect on our youth - Pakistan Today

MUNs and their effect on our youth

He stands speaking for the rights of his country. He stands speaking with the awareness that he needs to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. He stands speaking for the men, women and children who cannot due to oppression. He is not an ambassador of a nation yet, but he is learning how to fill the shoes of one in a Model United Nations (MUN) conference.
A MUN is one in which students come together into a public speaking forum where they simulate an actual United Nations committee. The students adopt personas of ambassadors of their allotted country and step into the special councils and General Assemblies of the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Social and Cultural and Humanitarian Council (SOCHUM). With the development of the MUN circuit, other specialised committees have also appeared on the face of the circuit including the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the World Health Assembly. With such a wide diversity available to them, the students participating within these conferences gain unique exposure to political and humanitarian crises plaguing our world.
The youth gain several benefits from MUN conferences. It is often that the perspective of the youth is often kept confined to the view of their own country. Through a MUN they have their horizons broadened and learn just how diverse the views within the international community are. They learn that no crisis, even a humanitarian problem, is not black and white and there are two sides to every story. Students learn that the world is surrounding by problems, problems that perhaps do not get enough attention. However, when these very adolescents walk in to a MUN conference, they vow to use these three or four days to speak for the speechless, and raise an outcry for the silenced.
The skills one acquires during a MUN conference also prove helpful to him or her in their day to day life. They learn a vital lesson that people will have different stances and will often not be ready to come to an agreement. However, under no circumstances can a delegate in a MUN conference break diplomatic conduct. It is perhaps this very calm and collected manner of thinking which is lacking within our youth today, and MUN conferences are there to correct this wrong. A MUN conference ends with members of a bloc coming together to form a resolution on how to solve a crisis at hand. This teaches all the delegates a valuable lesson in teamwork and also encourages them to develop a solution oriented mindset.
It is with all these advantages in mind that I feel that the growth of the MUN circuit in one, which is of great benefit to the youth and eventually Pakistan as a whole. It will breed a generation of more politically aware individuals who know how to carry themselves diplomatically, how to gain compromises and above all, how to represent their country in the best way possible.
ALY RASHID
Lahore



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