Students Experience Gateway to Diplomacy
‘I find extracurricular activities and student engagement outside the classroom to be highly valuable to both students and schools. They provide a channel for reinforcing lessons learned in the classroom, offer students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a real-world context, and are thus part of a well-rounded education’.
The last few weeks have been totally awesome for me. I took part in the 18th annual Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference, which was held at the UN office in Geneva from March 25-31, 2017. While the UN has long supported model UN and other educational activities, there are limited model conferences that take place entirely at the UN. The GIMUN conference was conceived to fill this gap in the organization’s educational efforts.
The GIMUN brought together students from all over the world with different academic, social and political backgrounds to deliberate and find possible solutions to global issues. It provided an opportunity for students to both replicate the work of the UN and to view the problems facing the international community from a unique perspective. Over the five days, it recreated the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council, the Disarmament and International Security Committee, the African Union, the Special Committee (SC) and the Human Rights Council.
I was a delegate of the Republic of Ghana in the African Union, which had two agendas to be discussed at a committee on ‘The African continent in the 21st century: how good governance can help overcome environmental challenges and peace and stability in the Central African Republic’. The five days of heated debate on how good governance can help overcome environmental challenges and bring about peace and stability in the Central African Republic were very enlightening. I listened to my fellow delegates and engaged them, and I had the opportunity to meet with them during the breaks to further discuss various agendas. Listening to different views helped me to understand where member states stood on certain global issues.
After each day of debate, we were able to relax and experience the nightlife in Geneva. We also took a trip to France for a committee house party, and we had a one-day tour of Geneva where we visited historical places and of course a tour of the UN building.
It was a wonderful experience, highly educational, professional and fun. I strongly recommend that my fellow students consider attending GIMUN next year.
Prepared by Rukevwe Etikini,
first-year student in the Political Analysis and Public Policy Master’s programme