For three days, they took the world’s most pressing issues into their hands.
For these three days (February 27 –March 1), what mattered the most was the steps they took to figure out how to remedy some of the problems humanity had created.
Who were these people? World leaders you might say. Rather, future world leaders – 600 of them from over 30 schools in Sri Lanka and abroad.
Not content with passively accepting pressing world issues as given, these youth between the ages of 14–18 were the participants of the 15th Annual Colombo Model United Nations Conference (CO-MUN) held at the Overseas School in Colombo and the Ceylon Continental Hotel.
The Colombo Model United Nations is a student run initiative that enables high school students to assume roles as ambassadors at the UN for an assigned country. Delegates negotiate to frame resolutions and debate them under rules based on the rules of debate in the real UN. Debates are chaired by students, with all the officials who are students themselves.
While the world remains increasingly apprehensive about the global financial crisis, the organising committee comprising 19 members collectively agreed that attention needed to be paid to the marginalisation of the world, making the theme of this year’s conference ‘The World Food Crisis’.
“Most of us have been involved in past conferences,” explains Sakina Esufally, the Vice President of the Security Council. “We know how things generally work, and for those who have no past experience, we conduct practice sessions.”
“All resolutions passed during the conference are forwarded to the UN Headquarters,” says Raqeeb Thameem, the Secretary General. “However, this year we intend to do things a little differently; we plan on forwarding the resolutions to UNICEF.
This is because the main UN Headquarters receives many of these resolutions from conferences around the world, and we hope to be able to give more notice of our work and hopefully create a bigger impact.”