By Roohi Patel
The role of United Nations in governing global peace has a chequered history. Despite limited success in various occasions, it nevertheless remains an important and foremost platform for deliberation on pertinent issues and pressing problem for grievance redressal. A recent headline “Hopeful tone in Syria talks” in The New York Times reveals the progress that has taken place in bringing about a solution to the Syrian Civil War after nearly 10 days of talks in Geneva. Another piece titled ‘United Nations calls for calm between North Korea and Malaysia’ highlights one of the many efforts by United Nations after a Pyongyang barred Malaysians from leaving the country, sparking a tit-for-tat action by Malaysia. Ever since its inception, in all such situations, UN has played distinct roles.
Undoubtedly, United Nations has been the finest medium of modern day conflict resolution. The core of UN is the platform it provides for all countries to deliberate on issues that need global attention. The issues ranging from terrorism to war to human rights are all given foremost consideration. In pursuit of cherishing its ideals of peacekeeping and conflict resolution in international affairs, it is pertinent that the young generation especially students across the globe at collegiate level must be given an exposure to UN proceedings. This, in turn, will tend to bring together and educate the students about the conflicts around the globe and make them want to raise their opinions and concerns.
This task has been undertaken by the innumerable Model United Nations (MUN) that have been organized across the world at many levels. Modeled like UN, with different committees and delegates representing member countries, MUNs are simulation exercises where a given agenda is discussed and debated upon following various laid down procedures. But why are Model UNs important? It so happens that many of UN’s activities go unnoticed by layman because of lack of knowledge in such areas. Such forums of deliberations are a great medium to expose the young generation to the tenets and the practices of UN. As more awareness on key issues is triggered at an early age through Model UNs, it is very likely that the participants would like to be instrumental in the amelioration of the society as they assume roles in society in future.
“At a personal level”, says Nachiketa Vaidya, the Deputy General Secretary of forthcoming PDPU Model United Nations, “Participating in a MUN is a way of beaconing your presence to fellow young intellectuals of the country. It’s an activity that introduces you to public speaking, research, documentation, confidence building, teamwork and so on and so forth.” He further adds that It has taught him “how to develop interpersonal relationships with like minded people, how to identify them and in turn, how to deal with them.” Nachiketa has participated in 35 Model UNs in capacities of a delegate, executive board member, and the Secretariat.
PDPU Model United Nations that is set to happen between 7-9th of April 2017 will be organized by South Block, the Politics and Conflict Resolution Society for Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), India. It is a student club run under the Office of Student Activities Involvement and Leadership (OSAIL), PDPU which conducts activities that include debates and discussions on domestic and international affairs. An interesting part of these events is that it attracts a mixed crowd including students from not only social sciences but also engineering backgrounds. PDPU Model United Nations is one such initiative by South Block where students from all educational backgrounds will be invited. What adds up to its uniqueness is the fact that it is not only aiming to entertain participants who have an experience, but also aspires to give an unprecedented experience to those who will be participating for the first time! For more information about PDPU Model United Nations, follow them on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pdpumun. Register yourself as a delegate by clicking here!
Image Attribute: South Block, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, India
About the Author:
Roohi Patel is a current student at School of Liberal Studies, PDPU with majors in International Relations. A former recipient of the Department of State scholarship to attend the Global UGRAD Program, a Semester Exchange Program. Also the current President of South Block, the Politics and Conflict Resolution Society for PDPU.