Suave, articulate and erudite, adjectives one won't normally associate with 16-year-old wannabes. But one session at the Dubai International Academy Model United Nations (Diamun) 2012, would be enough for a change of view.
Suave they were, articulate indeed and erudite as well, but above all the pupils who conducted the three-day fourth annual Diamun conference were impressive.
Inaugurated at the American University in Dubai on Thursday, the air at Diamun was so filled with diplomacy and the sound bites so heavy with political jargon, for a moment one would forget that it is just a model UN.
Held under the theme of "Sustainability through Development", Diamun is the only The Hague International Model UN (THIMUN) affiliated conference in the UAE and one of the first in the Middle East.
With a Secretary General, a deputy Secretary General, Chairman of Arab League, Chair of Environmental Committee as well as a Disarmament Council, the conference was very well represented by top leaders as well as by world bodies.
"Model UN allows a student to develop a sense of belonging to the world, it allows us as pupils to put ourselves in others' shoes and understand different perspectives. As Secretary General my job is to listen to all the views and try to strike a balance.
"My job calls for the highest level of dedication and an ability to understand my peers," says Amay Bhojani, the 16-year-old Secretary General of Diamun 2012.
Talking about the theme of the conference, the teenager, who has been part of Diamun since its inception five years ago, said: "Sustainability and development are two buzzwords when put together may not make sense, but what we mean by it is that our world needs to grow in a sustainable manner so that our future generations can also reap the same benefits from our planet as we do. For that we need to make certain basic changes to the way we are leading our daily lives."
More than 100 students representing 45 schools from around 15 countries took part in the conference, debating and discussing various issues that currently plague the world, and before one thinks this is just a training ground for pupils, the model UN would pass a resolution in its final session, which would be sent to the Secretary General of the real UN in New York.
Supporting its theme for the year, Diamun has formed a committee called Global Environmental Summit which would pass a resolution called the Dubai Accord, which is similar to the United Nations Climate Change Frame Work.
Diamun delegates also discussed pressing global issues such as the conflict in Syria, the issues of nuclear proliferation, as well as the deteriorating economic situation in the world, and called for a quick solution of these.
Well rehearsed they may be, but the ease with which the delegates deal with the subjects is no less than the way experts do, simply indicating the fact that they are up to it.
The conference was inaugurated by UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, who gave a keynote speech to the delegates while Umej Singh Bhatia, Consul General of Singapore shared his thoughts on the theme of the conference.