The world of politics is unlike any other. What is it that makes it different? I had the opportunity recently to explore this question, and to walk in a diplomat’s shoes…
Abu Dhabi Model United Nations (ADMUN) is, as its name suggests, a conference in which schools in the UAE and other Gulf nations meet to discuss issues and propose resolutions for the problems the UN faces. These include the Kurdish problem, technological advancement in the context of international security, nuclear disarmament, and so on. The meetings are conducted in the same manner of official UN conferences. I was the representative or “delegate”, as we were addressed, of Denmark, and I was assigned to the World Health Organization committee. We discussed two issues, one for each debating day: the ethical and legal issues concerning abortion and the controversy surrounding genetically modified foods.
Debates and diplomacy are all part of the daily routine. The political world is definitely different in the way in which debates and arguments are conducted. A diplomat would state the facts and develop the conversation and strive to defend one’s assigned country until the very end. That is precisely what I tried to do throughout the conference.
When my country was called out, I stood up in front of the other delegates and the two chairpersons of my committee and presented my country’s position on the issue we were tackling. Then I was bombarded with questions that I was expected to have a direct and diplomatic response to. Sometimes the occasional heated debate broke out.
Initially I stumbled over my words and my voice wavered. However, by the end of the conference, I spoke clearly and without hesitation. I went from being the quietest delegate at my school meetings to winning the Gavel award, the most prestigious award there is. This was a great achievement for me as a junior because I was among so many more experienced seniors. To top it all off, aside from it being a great educational experience, the meeting was also extremely fun. I got to meet many interesting and intelligent people, some of whom I am still in touch with. The experience has even swayed my career prospects; I am now considering political science and international relations.
I am glad I participated, and I hope other students who are interested in politics consider the ADMUN experience. I cannot wait for the next conference, as I will be a senior then… I hope it will be as memorable as this year’s event.
By: Nisma Osama Hamid Fatouta, 16, Abu Dhabi International School