UN Day and Mock Simulation prepare GC-LAUMUN participants for final conference
At the opening ceremony on April 5. From left: Director of the GC–LAUMUN Project Management Team Elie Mansour, Activities Coordinator in Byblos and LAUMUN Project Coordinator Riad Yazbeck, Director of Guidance in Byblos and Project Leader Elie Samia, Dean of Students in Beirut and member of the GC–LAUMUN Steering Committee Tarek Na'was, GC–LAUMUN Secretary-General and Director of the School Relations Team Karim Chaanine, and Deputy Secretary-General and Director of the Training Team Nicholas Georges Matta.
Senior Protection Officer of UNHCR Ayaki Ito lectures about the situation in Darfur. He said he was impressed by the students: "They have been a very active group, very passionate, and, most importantly, active thinkers and not passive receivers."
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April 15, 2008—
For a third consecutive year, the high school participants of the Global Classrooms–LAU Model UN program came together on the Beirut campus early this month to take part in the UN Day and Mock Simulation, after completing several rounds of training.
The daylong event was an opportunity for interaction among the approximately 1,000 students from over 100 private and public high schools across Lebanon, LAU students and coordinators, and guest speakers. “Today is your day,” Director of Guidance in Byblos and Project Leader Elie Samia told the high school students.
Each school represented one country but the students were divided into 12 classes according to the different UN committees they had previously selected.
During the first part of the event, called the “UN Day,” professionals from various UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, as well as LAU MUN student trainers, shared their experience with the delegates in the committees by lecturing on specific topics, including the AIDS crisis, the situation in Darfur, global warming, energy for sustainable development, sustainable tourism, prevention of nuclear terrorism, global epidemic alert and response, women and employment, etc.
During the second part of the day, students participated in a mock simulation, which was like a practice session for the final conference on May 3–4. All committees were given a common topic, and each participant had to write and present a brief position paper within a short period of time.
This activity aimed to get the students used to the flow of debate and the rules they must follow, without focusing much on what they actually said and without coming to a resolution, explained Sara Sibai, the Associate Director of the Public Information Team and trainer.
This event came after the completion of six training sessions on both LAU campuses between January and April, during which LAU MUN student trainers made sure to teach high school participants the necessary skills for the final conference.
During the first three sessions, the 36 LAU student trainers gave an introduction to the UN system and its different committees, taught the flow of debate through the rules of procedure, and provided tips on how to research into countries and how to write position papers.
Throughout the three final sessions, the trainers focused on developing the students’ public speaking and negotiation skills.This year’s team of LAU MUN consists of more than 50 LAU students, who are divided into four secretariats each headed by a director and an associate director: the Training Team is responsible for organizing the training sessions; the Project Management Team is in charge of logistics; the School Relations Team is committed to communicating with the schools and the students; and the Public Information Team is dedicated to offering coverage of the program and maintaining the Global Classrooms’ website.
Other stories in: Outreach and Civic Engagement Office.