Hundreds of UAE and foreign students are holding a mock UN session at the Dubai International Academy (DIA) to break diplomatic gridlock over violent uprisings in the region that have claimed thousands of lives.
Also on the agenda are concerns about Iran's nuclear programme and North Korea's defiance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Small arms trafficking in African nations will also be tackled at the pupil-led DIAMUN (Dubai International Academy Model United Nations) conference.
DIAMUN will attempt to send the resolutions to the UN through its parent organisation THIMUN (The Hague International Model United Nations). Over 600 students from 15 countries are taking part in deliberations from Thursday to Saturday.
The role-playing exercise sees students become diplomats in proceedings closely following UN mandates and other organisations.
DIA student Mohammad Jasem, 18, who plays Arab League president, said foreign intervention in Syria would not work. "In my opinion, the regime system there is too strong to fall, and there are third-party interests at work. I think the system's proposed reforms and further visits by international observers are part of the solution."
Fellow DIA pupil Amay Bhojani, 16, who plays the UN Secretary General, said political solutions only come about when real-life diplomats rely on "unbiased reports and understand the idea of compromise."
The veto power of permanent members of the UN Security Council can be a drawback in that diplomacy, added "president" of the UN General Assembly, Naman Jain, 16. "We need to put small countries on the same platform as the giants — that's what equal representation is about. "
However, the main theme of this year's DIAMUN is Sustainability Through Development, which will address issues like volatile food prices and setbacks in national debt on countries' fiscal health.