The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has hosted its first ever Model United Nations (MUN) conference to discuss current world issues. The three-day conference was held to promote the MUN culture and encourage students’ interest in world issues, whilst developing the soft skills required to enjoy a successful career in these fields.
The MUN conference is a recent addition to the extra-curricular activity for UOWD students in which 140 students from 25 schools participated. Students were challenged to brainstorm and identify solutions that can change the world for the better rather than having debates that are based on complaints. The conference was conducted in The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) format. Through the course of activities during the event, students demonstrated substantial researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, as well as critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. In addition to this, they also learned how complex issues are discussed and compromises are made.
Zaina Habib, Head of Communications for the United Nations World Food Programme, said: “Speaking on behalf of the UN World Food Programme, our mandate is to raise awareness of world issues related to hunger and to fight hunger, with our ultimate goal being to reach a world with zero hunger. Addressing the youth is one of the key actions that we need to focus on, as their impact on communities has never been so strong as it is now, thanks to the use of social media – which has the ability to impact thousands of people globally. “It is great to see so many students looking to be a part of the MUN as their contributions can play a role in the solution, from now until they graduate and enter the world of business.”
Franky Barreto, the manager of Student Services, added: “This is the first time the university has hosted an MUN. We are really proud to have welcomed these talented students, witnessing them represent important delegates from different nations and discussing world issues. The participating students looked both excited, although nervous, and we were very glad to be able to provide them with a platform to learn and enhance their skills.”