LAU’s MUN delegation gets lauded in New York
An MUN delegation of six high schoolers trained by LAU students brings back home six – out of six – Best Delegates Awards.
When LAU’s delegation to the MUN won six awards at the 15th Annual Global Classrooms International Model UN in New York last week, they were on top of the world - quite literally. “To celebrate, we went to the top of the Rockefeller building, with the best view of the city,” says Laeticia Kamel, one of the delegates. “We worked so hard, we deserved it.”
Kamel is one of the six high school students trained by LAU’s Outreach and Civic Engagement unit (OCE) to participate in Model United Nations events. “LAU student Pio Ibrahim trained us to develop great skills, and I took his lessons very seriously,” she says. “He taught us how to speak up, but more importantly, how to let others speak without interrupting them, and of course to thoroughly research our subjects. When we arrived, we discovered how well prepared and organized we were.”
As a result, the six came home with six Best Delegation awards – the highest ratio of awards per delegation – after competing against 2400 students from 130 educational institutions. Delegates were judged on their diplomatic composure, knowledge of the UN system, creative simulation, deep knowledge of the topics, involvement, tact, negotiation skills and reaching of resolutions.
“It wasn’t easy. We weren’t allowed to bring prepared speeches, they had to be improvised,”says Kamel, adding, “the highlight of our performance was the fact that we managed to integrate 10 of our own clauses without anyone modifying them, which was huge. We basically wrote the whole resolution!”
Some of the topics LAU’s delegation debated while representing Nicaragua included expanding the role of women in governance and policy, in which Chloe Abi Zeid Daou and Carole Abdel Khalek won Best Delegation in UN Women. Sean Aoun and Sally Farah won for the model UNDP session on Eradication of Poverty: Post 2015 Development, while on the Economic and Social Council, Laeticia Kamel and Badih Salha won for their presentation on Economically Displaced People: Environmentally Displaced Persons and Social Vulnerability.
“Their exemplary diplomatic tact and representation, their superb preparations, outstanding performance and dedication to team play won them the applause and admiration of all the international UNA USA secretariat. They were the talk of the conference,” says Elie Samia, OCE executive director.
Also, in recognition of the high status and achievements of the LAU MUN in the previous years, four LAU student leaders Mazen Chahabeddine, Joe Abi Sleiman, Leen Aghabi and Frederic Mourad made it to the Global Classrooms International MUN 2014 secretariat in various leadership positions, joining students from top U.S. universities such as Duke University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Chicago and Boston University among others.
Members of LAU’s administration were quick to express their compliments and felicitations. While LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra extended his congratulations on behalf of the LAU family, for Dr. Elise Salem, vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Management, this success had a special meaning: “Lebanon, despite the challenges that it has been facing, continues to produce young students who, when trained in our unparalleled MUN program, become masters of diplomacy, superb political negotiators, and beacons of hope. They are real role models.”