A Voyage over the Youth’s UN

Fariha Raisa, Abdullah, Kaifuzzaman and Hasnain- these four delegates from Fiji, India, Russia and Switzerland, respectively, locked their horns in a debate on the agenda about the participation of the youth in local governments across the world during a committee session of United Nations Development Programme. At one stage, the debaters became so engulfed by the topic that the President of the committee had to intervene due to time constraints. This was among the hundreds of exciting incidents that happened during the Bangladesh Model United Nations (BANMUN) 2015.

This year the seventh session of the oldest model United Nations conference of the country, BANMUN, was held at the Adamjee Cantonment College from July 29 to August 1. Organised by the United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB), it became the largest in the history of MUN conferences in Bangladesh with the participation of 571 students as delegates. MUN is an educational simulation of the United Nations participated by the students who want to serve as the delegates from different countries during the conference. What makes the MUN special from the other youth conferences is that it ensures that the participants are getting the floor for maximum time to speak and argue, which helps improves their public speaking and negotiation skills.

Considering MUN conferences as the best possible way to introduce the UN system to the youth and the students, UNYSAB has been working to popularize the concept of MUN in Bangladesh since 2002. Bangladesh Model UN conference has a legacy of working on the issues related to youth and their role in sustainable development. This year, BANMUN 2015 was held under the theme “Role of Youth in Community Development” to let the participants, mostly high school students, think of the pros and cons of youth involvement in development policymaking. Moreover, the delegates were facilitated with an opportunity to meet and learn the art of diplomacy from real diplomats. The conference began with the welcome speech of Honourable State Minister of Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam MP while the Director (UN) of Foreign Ministry Faiyaz Murshid Kazi met the delegates in the Meet the Dignitaries session. However, BANMUN 2015 was not all about doing debates and negotiation. There were two back to back social nights to refresh the participants on the second and third day of the conference. The curtain of the conference was drawn over in the presence of Honorable State Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid MP and the Secretary-General of BANMUN 2015 Mohammad Mamun Mia who awarded the best delegates and other performers, appreciating their participation.

Written by Aaqib Md Shatil