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The seventh annual THIMUN, Model United Nations was hosted by Qatar Foundation (QF), on Friday, January 26. It saw participation of more than 1,300 local, regional, and international students, who touched upon broad-ranging discussions and debate around global issues.

The Model United Nations (MUN) conference was held at the Qatar National Convention Centre gave students opportunity to  participate in a variety of committees addressing a range of  global topics, including disarmament, the environment, human rights, and the rule of law.

The event motivated the students to a great extent as various UN representatives addressed them during the conference, like Mr. Roberto Abdalla, Ambassador of Brazil in Qatar; Mr. Eric Chevallier, Ambassador of France in Qatar; and Ms. Ewa Polano, Ambassador of Sweden in Qatar.

Dr. Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Qatar, encouraged all delegates, saying: “You can inspire the leaders of the world. You are in command of the coming days. Show us how to build a better and more peaceful world.”

Gilberto Duarte, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC, said: “This is a great opportunity for youth to learn more about the importance of UNODC-related issues; topics they may or may not be aware of but which certainly impact us all. This idea of working with young people and building a better understanding of rule of law issues at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is key to UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, part of our Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration.”

The participation of UNODC was derived by the recommendation made at by young people at the Doha Youth Forum on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, jointly organized by QF, held in April 2015.

The seventh year of MUN, encouraged participants to prepare and engage in a simulation of the United Nations, taking on roles as diplomats, to discuss and debate on international issues and develop solutions to some of the greatest challenges faced by international community.

Themed on  ‘Gender Equality and Empowerment for Women and Girls’, inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), Trisha Shetty, Founder and CEO of SheSays India, a youth-led NGO with a focus on youth and civil society engagement to promote gender equality, delivered this year’s keynote speech.

Another highlight as the ‘MUN Impact’ program, which served as a hub for sharing stories of impactful MUN activities, best practices, and ways to support the SDGs through action.

Other issues highlighted by the students to the MUN Impact initiative were: the Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan, the Salam Centre for Peace, and Online Model United Nations. The developments made in the seventh THIMUN made a greater difference since it elevated the MUN from a debate platform to a driver of social change.

Hopefully such continued efforts will be able to create the rational aptitude and environment needed to sought collective resolution for a comprehensive development of the global society.

 

Al Jazeera: Taliban office officially opens in Qatar today

It seems international news organizations never cease to spin the same tale about tiny Qatar and its super-sized influence on the world stage. For those who’ve yet to get around to it, writer and regular Doha News reader Vallath Kavitha Krishnan has put together this helpful (if not a little bit sarcastic) guide to writing about the wealthy Gulf state.

This is a paragraph about the size of Qatar. Always use the words “tiny” “emirate” and “Persian Gulf”. This is a good place to make reference to “pearl divers” and just get it over with. Although impolite, it is considered normal to make references to the Emir’s size.

Include the only historical fact which matters – the coup in 1995. Make sure the word “bloodless” is included in the description. This a good place to write a few words about migrant workers. Don’t bother talking to them to get their side of the story. They’re invisible anyway. Comparing them to worker-ants is sufficient. Make sure you speak about expats – but only Arab and Western ones. Only they do the paper work and keep the trains running on time.

This paragraph will speak of wealth and money of natives. Include information on per capita income, GDP, and oil and gas output. Make sure to include everything Qatar has achieved as an itemized shopping list. Start with American universities, Al Jazeera, Doha Debates, Tim Sebastian, Harrods, World Cup 2022, Barcelona FC and end with the immunity from Arab Spring.

In this paragraph, condense everything gleaned from Wikileaks in context of Iran, Saudi, US, Israel and conclude with its “meddlesome” nature in Libya and Syria.

Conflate obesity, diabetes, hot, dusty with ban on alcohol, pork. It is now fashionable to talk about environmental impact of Qatar. Make passing reference to The Pearl Qatar if necessary.

Taboo subjects: Qatar’s success amidst a region in turmoil, escaping the financial crisis in 2008, safety and security in the country, balance of modernity and conservative culture. This will distract from the central point of the article.  

Conclude with doomsday prediction about how everything will end in light and flames. Attribute this to arrogance, karma, size, depleting natural gas, too much natural gas, whatever you fancy. Just make sure it sounds scary and that you don’t live in Qatar when it gets published.


*Note: This post is, quite evidently, sarcastic. The author says it is inspired by Binyavanga Wainaina’s essay “How to write about Africa.”

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

What do you think, did she miss anything?