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Posts published in “#MUNimpact”

MUN Impact Zone debuts at SEOMUN

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By Chris Park, Secretary General of SEOMUN XXI

 


 The 21st Annual Seoul Model United Nations was hosted by the Korea International School from November 9-11, 2018 at the COEX Convention Center with participants from over a dozen countries. The Secretariat invited several clubs from international schools near Seoul that work to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals to the “MUN Impact Zone.” In the Zone, the student leaders had an opportunity to share their work to contribute to our local communities and join the global dialogue for change. SEOMUN participants had the opportunity to browse through each club booths as they learned the drives of the club leaders in doing what they do. The Secretariat hopes that the participants will return back home and begin taking action to combat the perils of indifference (the conference theme).

We wanted to share the stories of some clubs featured at the Impact Zone.

Well-Fair

Well-Fair is a student-led club from Korea International School that work to educate people on women’s health and empower women in our school and the local community. In sharing their passion through aesthetic and powerful posters, they discussed their work with a local organization advocating for women’s rights and health.

Social Justice League

SJL has a clear presence on KIS campus. It’s student leader, Sarah Oh, shares with us that it “is a progressive voice on the KIS campus. Each quarter, we focus on a theme such as women’s rights and body image to develop a deeper awareness of social injustice. Our activities include managing bulletin boards and posters, as well as multimedia projects. One of our major projects from this past year was installing free sanitary items in the women’s bathrooms. We've taken a significant role in leading the annual Human Rights Week as well as attending protests such as the Women’s March and the LGBTQ Festival. SJL's influence is growing rapidly, and we are excited to be the trailblazers of KIS”. They brought their “#ImAFeminist” pin that many participants--delegates, student officers, and advisors--wore proudly throughout the conference.

World Wildlife Fund

WWF is a cub from Seoul Foreign School whose goal is to make people realize the issues outside the urban Seoul metropolitan area. According to their club leader, Henry Kim, “Our club is a wildlife/endangered species preservation program which strives to spread awareness and take initiative to help in this cause around our own community. Through hosting physical volunteer activities, holding campaigns around campus, and researching, our club envisions to encourage our school and the local regions around us to join our movement in conserving wildlife.” One of the student leaders of the club, Ana Park, served as the Deputy Assistant President of SEOMUN International Court of Justice.

The MUN Impact Zone was open during the SEOMUN participant’s lunch and break After the Impact Zone closed, all the clubs leaders had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion. Each of the club representatives introduced themselves and elaborated on how their work has positively impacted their community. It was interesting to see how even with the diverse goals and approaches to action each club had, they all shared a central goal: a hope for a better tomorrow that can only be possible through our individual determination for action. Many of the club leaders mentioned how the listeners were very kind and didn’t hesitate to donate to their cause. Some members also mentioned how other guests from the venue came to listen to the presentations and wished for the MUN Impact Zone to be open for more than one day.

 

The SEOMUN XXI Secretariat team truly appreciates these student leaders who visited us to share their work with our participants. We are confident that these clubs left a deep impact through showing what is possible when we translate our passion for the various issues debated in MUN to creating a real movement that pushes for change.

SEOMUN XXII will be hosted by the Seoul Foreign School in November 2019.

 

Present your Impact Project at the UN!

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CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: United Nations Model UN Youth Summit

Friday, 12 April 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

United Nations Headquarters

Every year, more than 400,000 students worldwide participate in Model United Nations (MUN).

Global MUN has evolved into an agent of change that inspires actions in support of the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nations Model UN Youth Summit, organized by the UN Department of Public Information in collaboration with MUN Impact, will take place on 12 April 2019 in New York.

This one-day event features workshops and plenaries led by student leaders and UN experts, who will share experiences and ideas on how to transform MUN into a force for positive change. You are invited to submit presentations, detailing specific actions that you have taken to advance the SDGs. A select few will have the opportunity to present their outcomes at the event.

The presentation should:

  • Address the problem you were attempting to solve and how you attempted to do that.
  • Explain how this is connected to an SDG.
  • Explain the initiative, how you planned it and what you would do differently if it was not successful.
  • What advice or pointers you would give to others undertaking a similar initiative.
  • Accommodate a maximum of three presenters per project.
  • Presentation should be no longer than 40 minutes to allow time for questions.

Submission procedure and deadlines:

1 December 2018 Students ages 15 to 24 may express an interest in presenting a project.

Project descriptions must be submitted for consideration.

15 December 2018 Student presenters will be selected and notified by email

15 February 2019 Submit student presentation (with visuals) and names of participants*

Please include

o Your name, title

o School or MUN group

o The number of participants and chaperones (one chaperone per ten students, max total number per group is 30).

All submissions and questions should be sent to: education-outreach@un.org

Request for registration in the event does not guarantee participation. Students and delegations will be admitted on a first-come first served basis. The United Nations does not provide invitation letters, awards, monetary compensation or visas.

 

MUN Bilbao steps up to support SDG 2

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We are happy to share that the Club's second MUN Impact project is being an overwhelming success. Over 200kg of dietary products have already been collected and distributed among the most needed in our city. The campaign consists of a monthly school-wide collection of the basic food products. This way, we aim to collaborate on the achievement of the 2nd SDG, "Zero Hunger".  The youngest students' enthusiasm for the campaign together with the great results gotten, has boosted our motivation. We're even more enthusiastic now!

 

 

 

 

 

Lebawi Academy announces Blue Heart Campaign

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**Update** Lebawi Academy will be hosting a poster contest that captures the spirit of Blue Heart. Art submissions will be accepted at Lebawi Academy reception and shared during the Blue Heart Awareness event on November 29th.  Please email Kubur Adera at kiburadera@yahoo.com. You can find the event registration form here.

The Lebawi Academy in Addis Ababa is hosting a Blue Heart Campaign event, supported by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on November 29, 2018.

The purpose of this event is to promote, support and raise awareness of the Blue Heart Campaign amongst secondary school students in Ethiopia and to bring to light the issues of trafficking in persons (TiPs) currently happening. Participants will be introduced to the organisations who are actively combating trafficking and to explain the role youth have in helping end it. Lebawi Academy will  share with UNODC and related partners an art exhibition and presentations how the youth view TiPs and how awareness can be raised through art and media.

This event will also be in support of the UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative under the Doha Declaration which seeks to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and university students. These activities will help educators teach the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law and encourage of upholding lawfulness among youth to actively engage in their communities and future professions in this regard.

 

We interviewed one of the student organizer's, Feven Deneke Mamo, about the importance of this campaign.

Why do you think running a Blue Heart awareness campaign is so important in Ethiopia? Is trafficking a problem in Ethiopia?

Human trafficking is one of the serious problems in Ethiopia. Yet, it is somehow overlooked by the community, institutions and government bodies. The lack of the awareness is the main reason to the worsening of the case. A blue heart campaign is an incredible way to address the problem of awareness and open communication on the matter. The particular fact that it focuses on youth of Ethiopia directs the information to the influential and educated mass, that can help change the circumstances.

What role do young people have in raising awareness about trafficking?

Knowledge is a key. The awareness that youth will develop out of this program will help alert their community and help them work to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary level students. These activities will help educators teach the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law such as human trafficking, and encourage of upholding lawfulness among youth to actively engage in their communities and future professions in this regard. The more youth involved in the change of mind, the larger community is saved from the lack of knowledge and its effects.

Briefly describe your event and who will be invited? How many people do you hope will attend?

There will be students from several different schools – public, private and international schools at this event, as well as teachers and the UNODC’s representatives. We hope to have over 20 schools involved, Schools which are passionate about human rights, global issues or active in Model United Nations.

Attendance of a teacher and students (5 – 10 students) from each school, who will submit at least 5 art pieces (painting, sculptures, drawings, models etc.) that represent what human trafficking looks like/means to them in Ethiopia.

What is the major goal of the Lebawi Blue Heart campaign?

The goal is to educate and raise awareness amongst youth regarding their rights, justice, drugs and crimes. By promoting and supporting the Blue Heart Campaign amongst youth (secondary school students) in Ethiopia. And Bringing light to the issues of trafficking in persons (TiPs) currently happening, in collaboration with organizations that actively combat in preventing it and the role of the youth in this regard.

How does this campaign tie into your MUN club's work?

The Lebawi MUN club works hard to make impact on youth by raising subjects that are important. The base of leadership is responsibility, which is reflected through striving to know. The campaign doesn’t only inform the club members and our school but further broadens its hands to reach out to a larger community. The helps involve the youth in leadership activities regarding Ethiopia and the world as a whole. The campaign ties perfectly to our mission of being the Addis Ababa HUB for conferences, discussions and discourses that challenge and influence the current day procedures and systems.

 

This Lebawi Academy campaign is being run and hosted by the school's MUN club. MUN Impact is excited to support their initiative and look forward to sharing their successes with the larger Model UN community.

   

 

United Nations MUN Impact Youth Summit, April 12 2019

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United Nations MUN Youth Summit

***SAVE THE DATE***

Friday, 12 April 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
United Nations Headquarters

Model United Nations (MUN) simulations are popular exercises for those interested in learning more about the United Nations (UN). It is estimated that more than 400,000 students worldwide participate every year in MUN at all educational levels – from primary school to university. Many of today’s leaders in law, government, business and the arts participated in MUN as students.

While MUN has always involved researching and debating important global issues, the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) would like to see it become an actual agent of change in communities across the globe. It supports the evolution of MUN into a community that could take real action to support the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a first step, DPI’s Education Outreach Section, in collaboration with MUN Impact, will hold the inaugural United Nations MUN Impact Youth Summit on 12 April in New York. This one-day event will feature workshops and plenaries led by inspiring student leaders and UN experts who will share their experiences and ideas on how to transform MUN into a force for positive change. Whether currently active in MUN or interested in becoming involved, participants will leave with a toolkit of ideas, a network of support and a new action-oriented vision for their MUN clubs or conferences.

Following a substantive discussion on how the UN is working to implement the SDGs around the world, workshop sessions will be held, including among others:

  • Planning for Impact: Concrete ways to bring action and service to your MUN conference
  • UN Connect: Learning how to tap into current UN campaigns and initiatives to connect your MUN program to the UN
  • Delegates supporting Delegates: Inspirational stories of delegates helping delegates to bring MUN to new and underserved communities
  • Real Time/Real Action: Learning how to develop a successful social media campaign that will inspire students to take meaningful action in support of the SDGs

This event will be open to students between the ages of 15 and 24. In advance of the summit, participants will be asked to submit presentations, detailing specific actions that they have taken to advance the SDGs. A select few will have the opportunity to present their outcomes at the event – to inspire youth to engage with the UN and take concrete steps to help achieve the SDGs. A press team led by students will manage social media outreach throughout the day, helping to raise awareness of the SDGs and motivate students to join this worldwide effort.

For questions and to register, please contact education-outreach@un.org.

 

 

 

HELA awarded grant for MUN expansion in Afghanistan

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Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan has been awarded a significant grant by the US Embassy in Kabul to expand Model United Nations to university students throughout the country. HELA  had the honor of bringing student, peer to peer driven Model UN to Kabul. Now the team is taking it a step forward. Over the next three years, HELA will be implement MUN in Herat, Mazar, and Nangarhar, and expand its operations in Kabul. Partnering with universities in the country, HELA will develop an MUN university network, culminating in a large national competitive conference. HELA will also continue its Women's Empowerment program, working to develop female leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

HELA began as a high school MUN program, and with the support of delegates and educators around the world, became Afghanistan's first NGO devoted to promoting quality, student-driven, co-ed Model United Nations. MUN Impact is a proud partner in HELA's quest to make MUN available to everyone, everywhere.

For more information, please visit the HELA website: http://helamun.org/

 

 

TASMUN 2018 & The Sustainable Development Goals

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By: Si Yun Ee, Delegate at Taipei American School and MUN Impact Staff Writer

 

In April 2018, I had the honor of serving as TASMUN’s (Taipei American School Model United Nations) Secretary-General. The ninth annual TASMUN took on a very experiential, bold, and unique approach to Model United Nations (MUN) to say the least.

 

Unlike the conventional MUN conferences, where committees ranged from the usual few that were similar and topics were repeated from conference to conference; my Secretariat team and I worked hard to place a strong emphasis for the conference, on something we shared as a common passion - The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year’s conference theme was MUN Impact. By having MUN Impact as the center of our conference, we hoped not only to shed light on the newly growing MUN Impact community and organization, but also to raise awareness regarding the purpose of a united community, passionate about global issues to solve the global goals (SDGs)  we have set before us. As such, each of our committees were named after a particular sustainable development goal that we found to be relatable to our participants or interesting and approachable to our general audience. Each committee, would therefore focus on topics related to that one goal and specialize in issues of that area.   

 

 

 

In addition, committee topics were inspired and sifted through Sustainable Development Goals targets and indicators, tweaked so that they were not overly complex or broad, but yet fresh and challenging enough for our conference participants. We hoped that by doing so, our participants would not only be more aware of the SDGs and their existence, but to gain a particular expertise or find an interest or passion in a particular SDG that may spur action, inspiration and impact.

 

Call it revolutionary, non conforming, different, unique or weird; a focus on the SDGs to such an extreme from committee names, or to specified topics. Over the two days of the conference, participants told us how much they enjoyed the specificity of topics they enjoyed, the knowledge they have grasped and gained expertise in; most importantly, an understanding of how much each SDG impacted our world. The SDGs were no longer just a far reaching foreign concept to them, it is now an action prompting question waiting to be solved.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Secretary-General for TASMUN IX, I hope to leave a message on behalf of my Secretariat team, to both our conference participants and MUN participants worldwide:

As we seek to evolve the culture of Model UN by assisting each other in understanding the value of action and activism especially in these tumultuous times, the focus of this year’s conference structure not only strives to promote impact through MUN, but also to evaluate and to take further consideration of the Sustainable Development Goals. In taking initiative to achieve the SDGs, the power of impact through MUN will be prominent - and that is what I hope we can all take away and share with those who have not seen what we, as a commu

nity is capable of changing. Let TASMUN IX be the first change, non conforming to the norms of what MUN may mean to you. Let yourself be the living and breathing impact of MUN, youths who contribute to our global community, and a team of activists capable of rousing change that we so desperately need.

 

 

Instilling a Health-Conscious Mind

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Yengkhom Hojai Naomi is a delegate and year 12 student at DPS-Modern Indian School, Doha-Qatar.

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I’m always on the pursuit of learning something new, which is why I joined MUN. I attended the MUN Impact Student Leaders summit which was held on the 14th of March. This summit and my own Model UN activity inspired me to hold a Free Diabetes Screening Camp in Silchar, a town of the Cachar district in the state of Assam, India.

I should mention that I have done MUN for quite some time, and this is the source of my inspiration. In March 2015, I attended my first ever MUN conference as the delegate of UK in Security Council, ODTC V at Doha College. As a delegate (MSMUN-Q 2015, THIMUN-Q 2016,2017), along with gaining knowledge, my diplomacy skills grew as well. DCMUN X (2017) is a conference that I’ll remember as the one where I, as an Advocate of Mexico in ICJ, along with my team, pushed myself to make the perfect reports and evidence packets. My experiences did indeed broaden my knowledge and horizons, which is why I was selected as Director MUN of the school student body of 2017-18 and 2018-19. I learned many a good thing from my experience as the deputy chair of GA6 (MSMUN-Q 2018) and I am currently a student officer for the Doha College Model United Nations XI.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease caused by inherited and/or acquired deficiency in production of insulin by the pancreas, or by the ineffectiveness of the insulin produced. Type 2 diabetes is much more common and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide. It occurs most frequently in adults. Construction workers and families of daily wage earners are unaware of the complications that can arise from their lifestyle methods. Since SDG 3 GOOD HEALTH & WELL-BEING states to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages, I had held this camp to motivate them to become health conscious and make necessary changes in their lifestyle to lead a good healthy life.

 

Since it was my first time to hold a social service program, I started with a small group of 20 people who were between the ages varying from 25-90 years. During the first half of the day, their BMI (Body Mass Index) was taken as it is an important measurement to know for diabetes and weight management. RBS tests (Random Blood Sugar Level) were taken as well. Being a Biology Major student myself, during the second half of the day I had even taught them about the necessary actions they were to take to prevent diabetes, as currently the number of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is increasing at a staggering rate.

The people were taken a bit by surprise and were delighted to see a student holding a medical camp. A few of them, especially the elderly, invited me to their homes and asked me to visit them in the future. Seeing their appreciation and response, it gave me more confidence to continue and fulfil my dream of helping people with what I know and can do.

This was only the beginning, I started with a handful of people, but I plan to make it my lifelong project to hold such similar health awareness programs, voluntary works which’ll be expanded to neighbouring towns, villages and districts.

This experience enlightened me of the many things we can do with what we have learned from school and our own Model UN activity by putting our knowledge to use for helping and alleviating the world to a place where people can live healthily and lead a peaceful life.

HELA supports UNODC Mandates with biggest conference to date

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In August, Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan (HELA) hosted their largest MUN conference to date. Over 400 delegates participated in a two day conference, focusing primarily on UNODC mandate topics. We caught up with Sulaiman Sulaimankhil, Co-Founder of HELA, to get an update on the conference.

(HELA was founded by MUN delegates, who created the first NGO in Afghanistan devoted entirely to promote Model UN in the country).

Why did you want to do UNODC mandate topics? 

Following the start of the valuable program of E4J MUN, we at HELA organization consider ourselves to be one of the only implementing partners of UNODC in the project of E4J. Therefore, we believe we should carry the responsibility of spreading the program in Afghanistan on our shoulders, through increasing awareness about the mandate topics of UNODC. But most importantly we believe these issues are really crucial and need to be discussed and debated by Afghan youth; our country suffers a lot due to existing challenges, many of which are covered by the mandate areas

What is HELA's goal as far as supporting UNODC?

HELA is transforming itself into a big national organization that will operate in all the provinces of Afghanistan, and through this transformation, we aim to continue supporting UNODC with spreading awareness about their mandate topics and about UNODC  itself. In the upcoming years we will be able to provide Model UN opportunities to most of the provinces in Afghanistan. It is our goal to continue selecting UNODC mandate topics for our upcoming conferences because HELA strongly believes in the importance of promoting the culture of lawfulness in Afghanistan.

Did you use the E4J MUN guide in any way? If so, what parts and why was it helpful? 

After returning back to Afghanistan from the E4J workshop in Vienna, we started training our team using the E4J MUN guide. It was helpful because it clearly describes the right way of doing Model UN, using the mandated topics, and forming committees in our conferences. There were links for supporting materials and documents. It's a very valuable resource for us.

  

 

What topics did you debate? 

So far we have debated the following topics in our conferences:

  • The question of Human Trafficking and addressing migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean.
  • Effective measures to protect the rights of smuggled migrants.
  • Reforming the criminal justice system and developing alternatives to imprisonment.
  • Improving access to education during times of conflict.

Did you try to contact the UNODC office and get them to send a speaker? 

We contacted the UNODC office to ask them to send a speaker to the conferences but despite several efforts, we did not manage to get their speaker to come to our conference. We definitely would love to have their support in future events!

What major things do you think the delegates learned about UNODC mandates? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we mostly focused on the topics related to migrants, that is the number one thing they discussed and debated and they learned important things about their protection, rights and etc. But also, delegates learned new things such as crime prevention and alternatives to imprisonment and the rights of prisoners.

Do you have plans to debate UNODC mandates in the future? 

As mentioned in the beginning, we are planning to widen our activities throughout the country and we also bear in mind the idea of promoting the UNODC mandates, so yes we will have several conferences on the mentioned topics.

 

Distant elites, the Goals, and the future of MUN

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By Lisa Martin

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In March, I found my way to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I came on a mission-to find an emerging MUN Club to collaborate with and bring to THIMUN Qatar 2019. Lebawi Academy's new MUN program had huge aspirations, and I wanted to meet the MUN Director and their students. The Lebawi Academy MUN Club did not disappoint, and I was treated to a spectacular day, meeting some incredible students, teachers and school administrators. By the time I left I knew I had located the perfect school with which to collaborate, and I will leave it to the Lebawi and Qatar Academy Doha students to share their stories as their emerging collaboration develops.

I spent the morning visiting different clubs at the school: meeting with the student government, the girl's empowerment club, the girls who code.  The morning was filled with incredibly engaged students sharing their projects and stories, and by lunch I was already overwhelmed by the positive energy. It was a day of many superlatives, from the excellent tour of the school to the amazing lunch, and a visit to the school's small special needs classroom, but there was one interaction with students left a profound impact on me, and has informed some of my thinking on MUN Impact moving forward.

Gathered in a small classroom, I listened to this articulate group of young women explain project after project they were working on. From maternal health and FGM to access to higher education and technology innovation projects they were working on. I began to see a pattern...each of the projects they were describing were related to an SDG, and in almost all cases, a specific target. I finally stopped the conversation and said  "Do you REALIZE that what you are doing, all of these programs, are supporting the SDGs?" And after some silence I asked "How many of you know what the SDGs are?" A few tentative hands were raised, but generally speaking, this was a term that had little currency with the group.

I went on to explain that quite unknowingly, they were part of a huge global movement, an international commitment by the United Nations to address multiple complex issues that underpin sustainable development. Did they know they were part of something that was actually a massive global undertaking? They had not, they told me, but a current of energy pulsed through that room in what teachers know to be those exquisite, teachable moments. And when I asked if they wanted to be connected to this larger movement, and to act as role models within it, the answer was 'Of course'.

In my final meeting that day with the school leadership, I shared my observation on this unintentional SDG alignment. I commended them on the service ethic that seemed to be a part of every aspect of the school and suggested that there might be real value in taking a closer look at their programs and searching for further SDG alignment. But it was the Assistant Dean of the School who put this SDG discussion into context. He said the the average person in Ethiopia saw the SDGs and something designed by distant elites, something that had little relevance to the average person. And yet, ironically, the entire school, with its service ethic, was deeply committed to those very goals and was working to solve them every single day!

It led me to ask myself a number of questions. How many young people were engaged in supporting the Goals without knowing it? How many school programs could be linked/aligned directly to the SDGs by simply evaluating their programs? Is simply knowing that your work supports the Goals of value in and of itself and is there synergy that comes from identifying your initiatives as part of a larger movement? How could this enormous chasm between local action and goals formulated by 'distant elites' be bridged? Was there a role for young people to play in narrowing this gap,  making the Goals accessible in some kind of meaningful way to local communities? Could students mentoring students be part of this solution? Could MUN be a vehicle for delivering SDG awareness and a space for young people to engage in UN mandates (content), their communities (through action) and by collaborating with one another to bring the change needed to make the Goals attainable?

I think Model UN has an enormous role to play in bridging this chasm. This high school aged demographic, eager to work to support the Goals and larger mandates of the United Nations, seems to be both underutilized and only minimally engaged by the UN itself. When the different rules of procedure and the false dichotomy of what makes MUN, well 'proper MUN' is removed,  and the competitiveness gets stripped away from conferences, something very different emerges.  This is what MUN Impact has discovered: a groundswell of enthusiasm for 'doing something' with the knowledge gained through MUN participation. If we can purposefully connect MUN delegates around the world to ask these bigger questions about successfully attaining the Goals, and to facilitate opportunities to work together, something powerful will emerge.

The future of MUN will be found in places like Lebawi Academy. With the help of MUN Impact, this club and others like it can pivot together into something more powerful than just debate. This is a global community ready to lean in and support the UN through action. Now is the time to take words off a resolution and apply them to the challenges we face. I think our delegates are ready for this challenge.