LAU student selected for prestigious position at Global Model UN conference
LAU student Khaled Kabbara served as the under-secretary-general for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management at the second annual Global MUN Conference, in Malaysia.
LAU student Khaled Kabbara was selected to serve as the under-secretary-general for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management — one of just five secretariat positions — at the second annual Global Model United Nations Conference, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from August 14-18.
Over 1,000 university students from around the world, including six from LAU, aside from Kabbara, were chosen to participate in the conference, under the theme “Towards an Alliance of Civilizations: Bridging Cultures to Achieve Peace and Development.” (Read more.)
In an interview after the conference, Kabbara shared his experience.
Q. What was the selection process like, and why do you think you were chosen among so many candidates to serve as GMUN’s under-secretary-general for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management?
A. I was selected to serve as one of the five secretariat officials in GMUN 2010 by the United Nations Department of Public Information at the UN headquarters in New York, in May. We were chosen after a rigorous selection process.
The position was open to candidates from around the world and selection was based on our previous experiences, leadership skills, academic records, and references from professors and colleagues.
I submitted the application and I was short-listed. Then, I had to submit some extra documents and had phone interviews with the UN DPI officials.
It was an honor to be selected to represent Lebanon and the Arab region in this year’s GMUN officials’ team.
Q. What were your tasks and responsibilities as the under-secretary-general for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management?
A. I was responsible for heading all the activities of the General Assembly and conference management, including the establishment of conference management policies, practices, standards and procedures, and the allocation of resources.
Q. What was achieved during the conference?
A. The conference theme was about the alliance of civilizations and it was a General Assembly summit, not a regular General Assembly session.
The participating delegations managed to adopt by consensus an outcome document (a declaration) after three days of negotiations. This outcome document will be sent to UN and Alliance of Civilizations officials, and will be one of the documents to be discussed in the upcoming United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Summit.
Q. How did LAU’s MUN program help prepare you for the conference in Malaysia?
A. I’ve learned a lot throughout my experience with LAU MUN. All the training sessions, the training camp, the final conference preparation, and the information I had learned helped a lot. They provided me with all the necessary skills and knowledge that will facilitate my future career path, especially one that is related to the United Nations. It is one inspirational and motivational experience, in addition to contributing to building a promising future generation in Lebanon.
Q. What was the most valuable lesson or aspect of the GMUN conference?
A. One of the valuable things I learned — after meeting with the delegations that were participating from different regions and continents in the world, and playing the role of diplomats and negotiating about different topics related to the alliance of civilizations — is that our differences as human beings can never be counted as obstacles and that reaching consensus and common ground is possible if we put aside our personal interests and start thinking for the greater common good.
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