Nibras International School recently hosted its first virtual Model United Nations conference. Entitled CURA: Creating Unified Resolutions for All, the conference brought 50 students from 5 ISP schools from around the world, together to debate and discuss topics like The Convergence of Climate Change with Inter-national and Intra-national Racial, Ethnic, and Socio-Economic Disparities. With representatives from schools in the UAE, Qatar, Peru and Ecuador, the conversations that emerged really tackled issues that are affecting the entire world.
World Health Organization Chairs, Hamdia Ahmed (grade 11) and Omar Ismail (grade 9), acknowledged how appropriate their committee topic was and still is, agreeing that: “In discussing pandemic response, most people do not consider how detailed a nation’s mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases must be. Our committee gave delegates a glimpse into how nations must consider their demographic, economic, and cultural complexities when drafting proposals to the four aforementioned categories.”
Nibras senior, Kinda Alghazzi, who portrayed Gita Gopinath, the chief economist for the International Monetary Fund in CURA’s World Economic Forum committee, arrived at the conclusion that, “Economics clearly play a part in everything…as this became apparent to me during my research and preparation for this conference. Being diplomatic with less developed nations who have suffered from the IMF’s predatory practices and with Western diplomats and corporation CEO’s in the search for ways to provide equity for communities disproportionately affected by climate change was a tightrope walk like no other!”
Dr Stephen Ritz, of the Green Bronx Machine, was the guest speaker for the opening ceremony of CURA. He was a great motivator for all the participants as he provided first-hand experience about dealing with equality and equity issues, and spoke about focusing on people, the planet and profit when looking at resolutions to the world’s problems. One of his most important messages was to help students understand that failure is something that happens frequently while on the road to success.
His words really resonated with the delegates and his phrases like:
“Bad habits don’t go away; they are replaced with good habits.”
“If you don’t stick to your values when they are tested then they are just hobbies.”
“Think Big, dream often and dig deep.”
“Make Epic Happen”
were heard throughout the committee sessions.
While the conference was conceptualized, organized and run by NIS students, Brandon Lewis, Director of International Studies served as mentor and guide. He explains why he felt it was important to support the NIS MUN students with this specific event.
“Support for students comes in many forms but for me, in regard to this conference, one word comes to mind: exposure. The power of exposing our students not only to cross-cultural experiences, but also to new ideas as well as opportunities for leadership cannot be overemphasized. Through events like this one, where we put the younger alongside older as participants, leaders and organizers, growth can be witnessed in real time; they were not the same afterwards. That growth of mind, and the positive struggle that accompanies it, embodies the notion of amazing learning,” said Mr. Lewis.
Since his departure from Nibras, Alumnus Hrishikesh Ayer has always been a contributor to MUN activities, including but not limited to: penning an MUN 101 handbook that Nibras students continue to use years later, providing advice on practice committee topics and potential conferences to attend; and for CURA, collaborating with the director and Chairs in vetting a most unique World Economic Forum topic (The Convergence of Climate Change with Inter-national and Intranational Racial, Ethnic, and Socio-Economic Disparities).
With the completion of another successful NISMUN conference, the students will be looking at initiatives like, coordinating school events, seeking MUN conferences abroad to combine with service expeditions, and conducting an Arabic MUN conference are in the works for NISMUN in 2020/2021.