UNYSAB in Sri Lanka Model United Nations 2010
IF someone ask what is the greatest strength of the youth? The answer would be the fighting spirit to overcome the obstacles! So, we never faltered on the way to our desired goal despite facing hurdles like visa denial from the high commission. But our firm determination helped us get rid of all complexities at the eleventh hour and finally brought us to the gathering of future leaders and diplomats in Sri Lanka. It was the 3rd Sri Lanka Model United Nations (SLMUN) Conference held on August 1-3, 2010 at Water's Edge, a lovely Golf course in the heart of Colombo. SLMUN 2010 was a groundbreaking educational political simulation for students organised by the Sri Lanka Model United Nations Association which was endorsed by the Education Ministry of Sri Lanka and UNESCO.
This year, about 1500 delegates from more than 25 countries including USA, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Thailand etc participated in SLMUN. The conference started with a workshop aiming to disseminate ideas and knowledge about MUN to the participants coming from different parts of the world. It was later followed by a 2 day long official session where there were ten different committees representing all UN member states. This conference featured a fully integrated crisis simulation, ultimately forcing delegates to think on their feet and work between multiple committees to solve demanding problems in a variety of forums. From Bangladesh I was assigned to represent ECOSOC 1, Norway while ECOSOC 3 (ESACP), Malaysia was allocated for another delegate from Bangladesh, Rahat Alam Chowdhury.Like others (General Assembly, Security council) the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (ECOSOC-1) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ECOSOC-3) were assigned to discuss on two issues on which we made our statements substantially on the basis of our 'Position Papers'.
Following an intense debate amid divergences and convergences of opinions shared by delegates of different countries, two resolutions were passed separately by voting in each of the committees after member states had come into a consensus unanimously. It was the young diplomats who led to a successful conclusion of the final session by demonstrating their high skills of diplomacy and negotiation. In the lunch break we tasted delicious Lankan meals and soon engaged in gossiping, making funs with foreign delegates who became our good friends within a very short time. But it was not the end of entertainment; soon we rushed into the grand hall where thousands of delegates were eagerly waiting for the Award giving ceremony. After a mind-blowing exhibition of the traditional Sri Lanka's cultural program honorable Education Minister of Sri Lanka, Mr Bandula Guanwardhana being the chief guest handed over crests and certificates to the delegates. After joining a group photo session in the evening we became overwhelmed while rocking on the music night party! But we were not exhausted, so in the following day we roamed the beautiful Colombo city, visited Buddhist temples and enjoyed the splendid beaches. On Aug 5 we departed Colombo for Chennai and finally reached Dhaka via Kolkata on 6th August. Thanks to United Nations Youth and Student Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB) for selecting us for SLMUN 2010 and also heartiest gratitude to Cats Eye and Shopnobaz for sponsoring our dresses in the conference.
(The writer is the Director, UNYSAB & MSS, Dept. of International Relations,University of Dhaka.)