Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  Contact Us
Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 139 | October 11 , 2009|


   News Room
   Funny Bones
   Job Hunt
   Movie Review

   Star Campus     Home


Global Model United
Nations 2009 Geneva

Ruhin Afrin Joyee

A delegation team from United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh was sent to participate in the first ever Global Model United Nations from 5th to 7th August, 2009 held in the UN Conference Center in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference is considered to be the most prestigious of its kind as it was the first MUN organized by United Nations itself. The event targeted the best university-level students from Model UN programs currently organized around the world. The theme for the conference was “The Millennium Developments Goals - Lifting the bottom billion out of poverty”.

“United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh” (UNYSAB) is a voluntary youth and student movement for United Nations. It is dedicated to convey the voice of young generation regarding current global issues such as MDG, human rights and development, environment, disarmament, social justice etc. It is an excellent environment for development of organizational and leadership skills, intellectual abilities and research orientation. From the beginning it has been working to familiarize the concept of MUN in Bangladesh. After the great successes of the delegation teams from Bangladesh sent to previous international MUNs, this year UNYSAB sent a team consisting of 5 members that included Sheikh Mohd. Erfan Uddin (Assigned country Mexico), Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman (Venezuela), Mirza Salman Hossain Beg (Brazil), Ruhin Afrin Joyee (Bolivia) & Nabeera Rahman (Nigeria) to attend GMUN 2009. UNIC & specially Kazi Ali Reza sir advised the team about the conference as it was a part of the many programmes of UNDPI. United Nations provided the delegates with a hostel near the United Nations Building for accommodation. They were also given transport facilities.

The travel cost & the formal dresses of the delegates were sponsored by two Bangladeshi companies Rahimafrooz & Cats Eye respectively.

Model United Nations (MUN) is an authentic simulation of the U.N. General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. Every year, hundreds of thousands of high school and university students participate in various Model United Nations (MUN) conferences around the world. The aim of MUN differs from conference to conference but generally it aims to educate participants about civics, effective communication, globalization and multilateral diplomacy. In standard Model UN, students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of an intergovernmental organization. Participants research a country, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.

There were grooming sessions arranged for the delegates from 3 to 4 August. On August 3, there were arrangements for the delegates to meet each other in the UN building “Palais Des Nations”; to have guided tours and to visit the permanent missions of the countries they were representing. On August 04, the session started with the welcome speech and introduction by UNDPI followed by the introduction of Secretariat and General Assembly officials and GMUN volunteer groups, conference logistics and security issues, briefing on social events and conference services and overview of conference programme. In the second session that started after lunch a briefing session was held on the 8 MDGs by 8 UN experts. The day's programmes ended with the meeting of the delegates with their committee chairpersons and the meeting of the head delegates.

The day at the United Nations began at 9 o clock in the morning on August 5. The opening ceremony included a press conference of the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly of GMUN and the Undersecretary General of Department of Public Information (DPI) of UN. A short cultural presentation of a group of Kenya added a different taste to the conference. The main conference of Global Model United Nations 2009 stared right after that with the plenary meeting of 493 delegates from 55 different countries in the General Assembly Hall. In the second session of the day the delegates gathered in the committee meeting rooms where they met UN officials who described UN's current activities on the issues specified for the committees. Then the delegates of different countries in different committees discussed about the problems and opportunities of their assigned countries. The day's ending agenda included a head delegates meeting.

The most important and exciting day of the three days conference was the second day that is August 6. Throughout the whole day the committees worked and discussed to make draft resolutions on their specified topics. For better coordination committees divided themselves in some regional groups beyond the two main division G-8 and G-77. Some committees completed their draft resolutions before lunch and the committees continued to debate on the drafts till the end of the day. This debating is considered to be the most attracting part of MUN.

The 3rd day of the conference began with discussions of the committee members on the draft resolutions they had made previously. After adding, removing and editing the clauses of the drafts they were finalized and was voted and passed by the individual committees.

After that all the delegates met each other in the General Assembly Hall once again for the plenary meeting. Here delegates from different countries explained their positions and opinions on the draft resolutions. Then the 4 committees presented their draft resolution to the General Assembly for voting. 1st, 2nd & 3rd committee resolutions were passed as they gained majority vote each. But the 4th committee's resolution was cancelled as it could not attract the majority. Afterwards with the ending ceremony the first ever Global Model United Nations came to an end.

The Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN), a student-run NGO and partner of the Global MUN organized a party for the delegates participating in GMUN titled: Global Model UN International Party - Long Night of Informal Talks on August 07 sponsored by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. It was held at Mr. Pickwick Pub. The party included welcome glass and Rich finger food buffet, music show by Band "The Sixticens”, a locally renowned cover band and a DJ. The programme ended at 3 in the morning.

Meeting someone from homeland in someplace abroad is always exciting. But it can never be more exciting or astonishing than what the team from Bangladesh experienced. They were surprised to find one of the 8 experts of UN organizations, who briefed them about the 8 MDGs, to be Bangladeshi. He was Quazi Monirul Islam, a Director of the WHO, Department of Making Pregnancy Safer and is a public health specialist. He obtained his medical degree from Dhaka University in 1980, joined WHO in 1992. The team was moved by his friendly manners and took photos with him and his lovely wife. Later on Mr. Islam invited the team to visit his home at Geneva on August 7 in the afternoon. He and his wife drove them from the United Nations to his home. Experiencing such cordiality from a director of a department of WHO was beyond the delegates' expectations.

A fireworks show arranged over Geneva Lake on August 8 was a part of the closing ceremony of the one-week celebration programme of the National Day of Switzerland. People from many different countries gathered there to watch the tremendous show. All the lights around the lake were put out; reminding the Bangladeshis about load shedding! But it was just the announcement of the beginning of a fantastic show. All the delegates of GMUN who remained till that day there at Geneva immensely enjoyed the show with a crowd coming from the four corners of the world.

(The writer is an executive member of United Nations Youth & Students Association of Bangladesh)


The title "In memory of Tumpa on her 1st Birth Anniversary” printed in last week's issue of Star Campus should read "1st Death Anniversary". We regret the inadvertent oversight.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2009