Reported by: Jumakhan Rahyab, an alumna and teacher at Star. He is a senior at Kabul University majoring in Political Science. Jumakhan was one of the core members of the Kabul Model United Nations organizing’s team.
The Kabul Model United Nations (KMUN) Conference held in Kabul from August 19-21, 2016 was a prestigious program which simulated the United Nations. The conference was initiated, led and organized by an independent group of youth who are committed to bringing changes in Afghanistan. It would not have been held without the hard work of this group. I would like to use this opportunity to warmly thank everyone who helped the KMUN, especially Star Educational Society for its great support. Thank you very much Star for letting raise our voice through the Interstellar Bulletin. A special thanks and great applause to the core members of the organizing team – Bismellah Alizada, Mahmood Mohammadi, Fatima Shokoh, Ehsan Safdari, Aziza Munji, Alijan Rahimi, Nowroz Ali Kamyar, Dawood Tawana, Muneera Sharifi, Ahmadshah Mohammadi and other members.
The Kabul Model United Nations provided a unique platform and opportunity to bring together dozens of participants from different socio-geographical backgrounds throughout Afghanistan. This conference aimed to provide an opportunity for young leaders to practice diplomacy and exchange views on current global issues. Each participant was assigned to represent a member-state of the United Nations. This conference was a great opportunity for the students to not only experience diplomacy by engaging in debates and negotiations, but also to learn about the United Nations’ work. The whole session was conducted according to the Rules of Procedures (RoP) of the United Nations General Assembly. A dais including a Chair with the help of a Co-chair conducted the sessions. The KMUN was a platform where the delegates used the bulk of their time exchanging their ideas and perspectives with each other.
The opening ceremony was held on Thursday, August 18th in Marmarin Palace and included special guests from embassies of several countries, UNAMA, high ranking officials of the NUG and other well-known figures. Speakers during the opening ceremony addressed different global issues and expressed their appreciation for the organizers of the program.
Ehsan Safdari, on behalf of the KMUN team, thanked and welcomed the participants and guests. He talked about the history of the Model United Nations, KMUN, the goals and objectives of KMUN and briefly explained the agenda and the schedule of events. He said, “KMUN is an educational simulation program. There will be more than 200 participants. This conference is mainly designed for students, researchers, and other people who are interested in international diplomacy, international organizations and especially the United Nations.”
Mr. Pont, the Senior Political Officer at the UN mission in Kabul, addressed the participants and said, “To be effective, countering terrorism and building peace need to be inclusive and representative processes, which command the active participation of young men and women.”
Ms. Hanae Boughdad, representing the Human Rights Unit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), spoke at the Kabul Model United Nations Conference. She highlighted the importance of MUN conferences as a great opportunity to learn about the function of the United Nations General Assembly.
After the opening ceremony, the participants who were representing a country in the United Nations divided into four committees. They went to their committees for further discussions on the titles shared with them before the event. The committees included the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Women (UNW), United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The committee members worked on and discussed different global issues related to the UN, while following the exact Rules and Procedures of the committees in the real United Nations. Their meetings took place over three days and at the end each committee came up with position papers and resolution papers. The resolution papers went for voting, and the delegates voted as representatives of their assigned countries.
In addition to simulating the United Nations, the KMUN created a unique opportunity for the participants to show and share their cultures. At the end of the second and third days, the KMUN organized a special program called the Cultural Night. The cultural night included drama, music, dance and other fun programs. There were Damborah, Qarsak, Jarajo, Athan and theatre. It was one of the most exciting and interesting parts of the KMUN where the participants coming from different cultures and ethnicities shared their culture and had a great time together. One of the participants who was very excited said, “I can’t believe KMUN could do such a great initiative. It is more than a simple simulating the UN. Here I found my country and different cultures of Afghanistan more than UN.”
After three days of hard work and struggles, the conference concluded with a closing ceremony where high ranking officials and speakers participated and gave speeches. Amrullah Saleh, the former president of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), spoke and said, “Knowledge, Wealth, and Power are the keys to a powerful government.”
The program ended after the third day by appreciating and awarding the best delegates, best position papers and the best committee. A final cultural night and entertaining programs were held and were warmly received by the participants.