Excitement, learning opportunities surge at LAUMUN final conference
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April 29, 2009—The first weekend in April marked the culmination of seven weeks of hard work and dedication for 80 LAU and over 1,000 high school students from across Lebanon as this year’s LAU AL WALID GC–MUN program came to an end.
The final conference included meticulous debate and discussion, a celebratory and creative “Global Village” event on the Beirut campus, and an emotional closing ceremony at UNESCO Palace in front of numerous dignitaries.
High schoolers came from every corner of Lebanon to compete in the fourth year of this highly respected and growing program. Acting as delegates of different countries, they developed valuable skills while learning how to navigate the complex and delicate world of international diplomacy.
“Students gain important experience in communication and public speaking at MUN,” said LAU journalism student Nancy Jabra, a member of the MUN public information team. “But they also have an opportunity to develop other vital skills that they will be able to use in their daily lives in the future… like bargaining [and] peaceful conflict resolution,” she added.
Lilyan Temraz, a student from Shouf National College, called the MUN program “fantastic” and said that it offered a “lifetime experience” in just a few short weeks.
The final conference allowed students to practice all that they had learned during the previous weeks.
During the sessions, the delegates tackled important global issues, such as refugee rights and landmine clearance.
The students also wrote position papers based on their countries’ positions and then defended them in moderated and unmoderated debates using a wide array of diplomatic procedures and language.
Jonathan Sabbagh, a student at the Lycée Nahr Ibrahim, said that the conference gave participants “space to express their ideas, to learn more about the United Nations, and to learn about researching and interpretation.”
But beyond being a learning experience, the MUN program also gave students a chance to have some fun, interact with classmates, and meet new friends.
At the “Global Village” event on April 4, the delegates had the opportunity to dress in the national costumes of their represented countries, enjoy some traditional food, and dance the evening away with some of their new friends.
The spirited closing ceremony at UNESCO Palace in front of diplomats, government officials, and other honored guests included an awards ceremony that honored the most outstanding delegations and position papers for each committee.
Attendees watched a short film that featured Prince Al–Waleed bin Talal, whose foundation has been a major supporter of the LAUMUN program, being interviewed by two LAU students about his philosophy of bringing the cultures of East and West together and his foundation’s work.
Previous stories on LAUMUN:
- “LAU Model UN embarks on new season with wider horizons” (January 2009)
- “LAU Model UN graduates new class of young leaders” (May 2008)
- “UN Day and Mock Simulation prepare GC–LAUMUN participants for final conference” (April 2008)
- “LAU’s Global Classrooms–Model UN wraps up its second year” (Global Classrooms 2006–2007)
- “Global Classrooms–LAU Model UN 2006–2007”
- “Lebanese students get a taste of international diplomacy” (Global Classrooms 2005–2006)
Other stories in: Outreach and Civic Engagement Office.