MUN team attends Harvard MUN Conference

The Model United Nations club at African Leadership Academy (ALA) recently participated at the 60th Harvard Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in Boston, USA from Thursday January 31st — Sunday February 3rd, 2013. The conference, which was organized at the Sheraton Boston Hotel attracted more than 3500 students and 400 faculty advisors from over 100 schools drawn from 38 countries. The Model United Nations is a simulation of the activities of the United Nations, organized in several countries, and the 60th Harvard MUN Conference was the largest MUN conference ever organized in the world.

The ALA students who attended the Harvard MUN Conference are: Khaoula Morchid (Y2), Pakinam Moussa (Y1), Wambui Mburu (Y2), Adil Nyambasha (Y2), Isaac van Heerden (Y1), Wissem Gamra (Y1), Mhraf Worku (Y1),  and Ian Muriuki (Y1). The diverse team comprised of four male and four female students from Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.  The faculty advisor and mentor to the ALA Model UN team is Mr. Faith Abiodun.

The Model UN team represented the Russian Federation at the Harvard MUN conference and debated, met in caucuses, drafted working papers, prepared resolutions, and answered questions based on their understanding of the Russian Federation.

The team participated in four committees: UN Commission on the Status of Women, UN Human Rights Council, UN High Commission on Refugees and UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

The topics discussed by ALA delegates at the conference ranged from Corporal Punishment in Schools to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights, Girl-Child Education, Women’s Reproductive Rights, Cancer Treatment in Developing Countries, Stem-Cell Research, the North Korea Refugee Crisis and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) Refugee Crisis in Central Africa.

The ALA delegates all served as outstanding leaders in their respective committees and received awards from their co-participants for their contributions. The team was also acknowledged by Harvard MUN Secretary-General Ethan Lyle for their resilience and determination to participate at the conference in spite of the huge financial cost involved.

During the course of their participation at the conference, the ALA delegates visited the campuses of Harvard University, Tufts University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and  met with some of the ALA alumni currently studying in Universities in Boston.

After attending this Harvard MUN Conference, the newly formed ALA International Relations Council is bringing their experiences to bear on efforts to organize the first ever Model African Union in March 2014. They envision a student-organized conference at ALA’s campus in Johannesburg, where they will invite high school students from across the world to simulate the activites of the African Union.