Zoya Azhar, 10B
“When a diplomat says ‘Yes’, he means maybe. When a diplomat says ‘Maybe’, he means no. And when a diplomat says ‘No’ - he is no longer a diplomat.”
Making the decision to go for an MUN is always a plunge; or so it seems.
And it seems even more fear-inducing when it’s your first experience.
Five of us, students of class 10B, decided to take part in the PAFMUN, take the challenge, and see what all the fuss was about. And I am extremely proud to say that all of us came through. We all rose to the challenge.
When we took part in this simulated United Nations, we unconsciously learnt exactly how world leaders communicate with each other at international forums, how they dodge the right questions and give the most diplomatic answers. We learnt about so many problems on a global-scale, and we understood the crucial, sensitive concerns and issues behind each and every decision and lack of decision – whatever the case may be.
We learnt that coming up with valid, practical solutions is such a time-consuming and difficult task, let alone implementing them.
Maria Suleman Chawla opted to go for the World Health Organization. I opted for Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, which discussed the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza. Zaryah Chughtai opted for UN Women and Mahmooda Qaiser chose the International Atomic Energy Agency which was discussing pressing matters like reviewing the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Riza Qureshi was accepted into an application-based committee, which is rumored to be the toughest committee – the United Nations Security Council.
Our delegation was assigned the Hellenic Republic, i.e. Greece, and we were given the task of defending and promoting our country’s best interests in our respective committees. We were all assigned two topics, over which we had to extensively research and then keeping our research in mind and our country’s stance – we had to debate, counter-question and defend. Above all, we had to understand how to exercise and display the maximum amount of diplomacy during the whole process, which is easier said, than done. We also had to put our personal opinions and values aside; I, for one, being the delegate of Greece, could not blatantly defend the Palestinian Muslims, and had to consider the Israeli people too and so, being level-headed and present-minded while debating was essential.
We formed alliances with members of the European Union and other countries and helped compose Draft Resolutions regarding our respective topics. My greatest challenge was undoubtedly defending Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip in a room where majority of the delegates believed that Palestinians were the only victims in this issue. Maria had some very interesting encounters with Greece’s allies – namely France and other EU countries. Riza whipped up quite a storm, as she defended Mexico’s sovereignty and interests through heated debates with the United States of America. Maria Chawla also got an Honorary Mention in the closing ceremony for her work in her committee, and I was pleasantly surprised when one of the four Best Delegate awards was presented to me.
It was a worthwhile experience and I would strongly urge others to come forth and definitely try their hand at it as you simply cannot go wrong when it comes to Model United Nations. One gets a lot of positive exposure and learns how to further improve social skills. Finally, we would all like to thank Sister Mary for her unwavering support, and faith in us.