HIGHLIGHTS PMUN 2015
Presidium Model United Nations hosted its session of MUN in October, 2015 at Presidium, Ashok Vihar. The Presidium School MUN was organized to mark UN@70. The Presidium Conference was the first in India to have been accorded the use of the UN’s 70th anniversary logo, demonstrating its distinguished significance in this year of celebration. It was also an honour for PMUN to be the first conference of the year 2015 to have complied with the UN’s ‘UN4MUN’ approach. PMUN 2015 was indeed special as this year we partnered with UNIC, American Center and ALMA College. Along with the American Center and Alma College, UNIC worked in close collaboration with Presidium, under the wider theme of ‘Presidium for a Better World’.
It was also the largest of the conferences attended by the UNIC. Hundreds of young delegates from Presidium and various other schools all over the NCR, participated at the MUN conducted simulating debate and displayed their keen understanding of UN vision and values. They worked together in cooperation while discussing and brainstorming solutions to address the current global issues. Each delegation consisted of students who were assigned a country, whose role and position they took on in the committees. The student delegates while representing the country in their assigned committee diligently participated in the procedures and presented their perspective on international issues.
Amidst roaring applause and cheers, the most awaited exciting event of the year, PMUN 2015 was declared open. PMUN 2015 celebrated education and its role in empowering humanity and making the world a better place. Since education is not only preparation for life, but life itself, it is destined to change the face of the world.
The ceremony started with a warm welcome given to the distinguished guests by presenting them with saplings, followed with a heart-warming address by the Convener and the Vice-Principal Academics, Ms. Kavita Nath.
She welcomed the guests of honor; our Hon’ble Chairperson of Presidium, Mrs. Sudha Gupta; His Excellency Frank Hans Dannenberg Catsellanos, Dean of Diplomatic Corps. and the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic; Director UNIC, Ms. Kiran Mehra Kerpelman; Director of Alma College, Professor Hulme, and team Alma; Mr. Reid Deaver, Representative US Embassy; His Excellency Shaida Mohd. Abdali, the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,Mr. Sahar Sebiqullah, Head of Education Department, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; and Head of MUN Programme UNIC, Ms. Sanjana Manaktala. Presidium officials gracing the occasion were Mr. G.S. Matharoo, CEO Presidium, and Mr. S.P. Agarwal, Chairman, Advisory Board.
Following the opening remarks of Mrs. Nath, brief statements were made by the Secretary-General, Director General, and the Director of International Press. The lighting of the lamp was followed by a stunning Bharatnatyam performance.
In a powerful of address, the Hon’ble Chairperson of Presidium, Mrs. Sudha Gupta, emphasised the strength of youth-driven leadership. Acknowledging the UN’s immense contributions toward humanity, she urged students to change the world by following in the world by following in the footsteps of the United Nations.
Prof. Derrick Hulme, emphasised the importance of PMUN as a platform for global transformation. He narrated the example of one of his students, a PMUN Committee Secretary, to demonstrate the power of Model UN. This student was so moved by the problems she saw that she travelled to Sierra Leone for a university project building an orphanage for children who lost their parents, mostly health care providers, to the Ebola crisis. Prof. Hulme tried to draw a lesson from this heart-touching incident for the change makers to not only be what they want to be, but also be what the world needs.
Valuable lessons in diplomacy were learned during the speech of Ambassador Castellanos. Regaling the audience with anecdotes about setting up an Embassy in India for the first time, the Ambassador made important points about India’s role in the modern diplomatic landscape.
The importance of education was powerfully illustrated by HE Shaida Mohd. Abdali, who said that "lack of education is the mother of all evil". Narrating the story of Afghanistan, a country still suffering after more than three decades of political instability, the Ambassador emphasised the critical need for education in order to bring sustainable development in the region.
Celebrating the confluence of the UN’s 70th Anniversary and Presidium MUN 2015, Mrs. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman, congratulated Presidium for championing the values of the United Nations through Presidium MUN. Connecting the observance of World Food Day, 16 October, and echoing Secretary-General ban Ki Moon’s message, she advocated for collective global action to achieve zero hunger across all corners of the world. She said, "...the theme ‘Young@70’ is most appropriate because of the passion and vigour you inject in the United Nations as young leaders and innovators of the world. It is because of your dedication to the goals of peace, justice, human rights and human dignity on which the UN is founded that we can look with hope into a future that is sustainable for the planet and for all humanity."
During the thrilling three days of conference, 335 delegates in 9 committees addressed agendas as wide as Empowering Youth through Access to ICTs, in UNESCO, to the Syrian Refugee crisis in UNHCR; from Climate Change Adaptation in UNDP, to Elimination of Racial Discrimination in GA1, GA3, and UNSC addressed small arms, light weapons and terrorism in Africa and the Middle-East, while ECOSOC considered the role of youth in post-2015 development agenda. UN WOMEN reviewed the historic 1995 Beijing Conference on the rights of women, and UNICEF worked on promoting access to education for young girls.
In line with the UN4MUN approach, the delegates worked hard to negotiate on resolution texts that could be adopted by consensus. Each student walked away with a mature understanding of the goals and functions of the United Nations.
PMUN Socials are a special gathering meant for the delegates to enjoy and unwind. It is an apt opportunity for the delegates to relax in the evening and to forge lasting friendships with their fellow delegates. Like every year,this year too, the scintillating socials at PMUN 2015 were absolutely sensational. The delegates took to the stage with great gusto and swayed to the rhythm of great music. They burned the dance floor and enjoyed the evening in full swing.
As the closing ceremony neared, it became clear that the conference was a resounding success. Differently abled children from Sparsh set the dance floor on fire with a riveting performance. A note of thanks was given to UNIC for its support and cooperation, while Prof. Hulme gave an overview of the actual proceedings of the Conference and advice to the participants.
All good things must come to an end eventually, but the next experience awaits. We are waiting with baited breath for PMUN 2016, which has the theme 'Presidium for Environment'. PMUN 2015 has indeed set the stage for another groundbreaking experience.