A student of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Q) - Eilin Francis - has been selected as the ‘Best Delegate’ for her committee under the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation at the recently concluded Vienna International Model United Nations Conference (VIMUN).
Francis was one of the 10 students from SFS-Q, who attended and actively participated in their respective committees at the conference held in Vienna from July 31-August 4.
“Attending this Model United Nations (MUN) was truly a great and rare experience. It’s always fulfilling to be able to exchange ideas from diverse peers across the world with one united concern. My committee was concerned with the improvement of nuclear safety issues, especially after the Fukushima disaster, and I can honestly say that I understand the complexity surrounding the issue much better,” Aya Elwadia (SFS’13) said. SFS-Q student Mohamad Khalil Harb motions for a point of information during a session
Issues that were discussed during the MUN included: the current situation in Libya, the rights of individuals seeking asylum, the potential for developing solar energy in Sub-Saharan countries, nuclear safety issues, and the use of genetic engineering in food and agriculture to reduce hunger.
“The whole exercise was truly the crème-de-la-crème of model UNs. Knowing that we were sitting in committee rooms that actual UN diplomats utilise and used our plaque cards to vote was a palpitating experience. It was an enriching trip that has shaped the diplomatic course we are on,” Mohamed Khalil Harb (SFS’14) said.
SFS-Q students have participated in MUN conferences around the world over recent years, including conferences in Oxford in 2007, Vienna in 2009, and The Hague in 2010.
Competition for seats at this year’s conference in Vienna was high among Georgetown students in Qatar, with 21 students competing for 11 spots.
The applicants selected, based on previous MUN experience, interest and academic achievements, include: Arwa Elsanosi, Aya Elwadia, Eilin Francis, Farah al-Qwasmi, Loukas Kyprianou, Malik Habayeb, Mohamad Khalil Harb, Reem al-Sulaiti, Sahan Sahsuvaroglu and Umair Dogar.
“I believe that the VIMUN conference was a unique educational experience since it took place in the actual UN offices in Vienna. In the course of debating various current issues in committee, our students experienced how the UN actually runs,” SFS-Q Student Affairs officer Erica Haviland said.