Over 350 high school students from 50 local and international schools took on diplomatic roles in academic simulations of the United Nations from February 18 to 21 at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
Dima Khatib, Jjournalist and Managing Director of AJAJ+, delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference. The GeorgetownUniversity School of Foreign Service (GU-Q) in Qatar's Model United Nations (MUN) program is the longest running international model UN conference in Qatar and provides hands-on learning by encouraging students to confront contemporary global issues using the policies and perspectives of their assigned country.
Jacqui Snell, Educational Enrichment Manager at GU--Q, said: “Diplomatic role playing strengthens the skills of critical thinking, strategic negotiation, and debate, but also serves to introduce high school students to higher education.”
The planning of the topics under discussion was carried out by Georgetown UniversityGU-Q students. They chose the theme, topics, speakers, and prepared the background briefing. Hessa Al-Noaimi, senior at GU-Q and MUN Secretary General, welcomed the delegates and explained the theme, “Contested Boundaries: Redefining Authority”. Around half of the high schools were from Qatar, with the remaining from the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Jordan, Greece, Ethiopia, India and other countries.
Student committees negotiated topics in mock panels, including the legality of torture, the nuclear threat to security, borders and refugees, the situation in Yemen, and the social media- inspired and hashtagged topic, #CombatingCyberWarfare. The conference culminated in a Cultural Night, celebrating each school’s national heritage featuring cultural items, food, and artistic performances.
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