The second St. Agnes Model United Nations (SAMUN) was held virtually on October 21-23, 2021. Initiated in 2020 and hosted by St. Agnes Loreto School in Lucknow, the event is participated by many IBVM and CJ schools in South Asia (India, Nepal and Bangladesh). Sr. Janet Palafox ibvm gave the Opening Remarks and encouraged the participants to learn from this experience and become involved in the local, national and global politics to advocate for social change. Sr. Cynthia Mathew gave the Closing Remarks and congratulated the students for the way they conducted their deliberations. It was a wonderful opportunity to link the students to the work of the NGO Office.
Model UN simulation is an effective way to learn about the working of the United Nations. The conferences are organised by educational institutions like St. Agnes to engage your students in diplomatic debates and dialogues similar to the United Nations. It provides students exposure to international affairs and gain an understanding of the skills of diplomacy and negotiation.
This year’s SAMUN focused on the importance of educating young people on the ideals of knowledge, innovation and, critically, TRUTH. As their brochure stated:
The world they inherit is the burden of the youth, and to change it is their duty and privilege. If we want to see ideas and leadership that can bring about a change sufficiently powerful, we must rear the leaders of our future on ideals of knowledge, innovation, and truth. Ignorance and stagnancy have no place in this vision of our future.
SAMUN 2021 gave the students, from Years 8-12, an opportunity to understand the fundamental issues that threaten global peace and security. The students looked at issues relating to the relationship between the United State and United Kingdom post-Brexit; trade and multilateral cooperation; political conflict; integration of migrants and refugees especially women and gender minorities; global response to natural disasters and building more resilient cities focusing on SDGs 3, 10 and 13 (health, reduced inequalities and climate action). The student participants were articulate, competently debated their country’s positions and demonstrated creativity in their deliberations.
The students were supported by an Executive Board that included academicians, researchers, and past students, eminent keynote speakers, and a dedicated Organising Committee of staff and students. It was an impressive group of people who guided the deliberations and provided advice especially on the mechanics of Model UN processes and techniques. The students seemed to have enjoyed and learned from their experiences.
This year’s Secretary General was Prateeksha Shukla who is one of our Youth Advocate. The previous year’s (2020) Secretary General was Riya Bhargava who is our current Youth Representative intern. No doubt that their experience and skills gained from participating in a Model UN contributed to their ability to participate in the real UN processes and contribute to our work at the UN for a more just world.
To learn more on how to host a Model UN, click here.