Success Story from Canada - MUN 2016 Assembly UN HQ NYC - Manousha Dhiwaghar
My Name is Manousha Dhiwaghar and I'm a 17 year old residing in Canada. Prior to moving to Canada this year, I was residing in Malaysia where a majority of my Model UN experience is from. I've been doing Model UN for approximately 4 years now and have attended around 10 conferences in that period as both a chair and a delegate. Model UN started out for me in grade 8/9 when i joined my school's MUN club, having been intrigued by the prospect of discussing very prevalent issues that we face as a global community and resolving them through negotiation and diplomacy; which is essentially what Model UN and the United Nations aims to achieve.
I am a grade 11 student at Elmwood School in Ottawa Canada, doing the International Baccalaureate program. Elmwood is an Independent Girls school in the heart of the nation's capital. I was representing Elmwood as a single delegate, only joining Elmwood as a student this September, after the conference.
I was assigned committee B which discussed Global Partnerships, Peacful Societies, Social Justice & Gender Equality. This was a committee i was exceptionally excited to be part of as the issues being discussed were some of the Global Goals that are personal to the issues and topics i passionately believe in and advocate for. These SDG's discuss the importance of building a society whose fundamentals are based on equality, social justice and peace. These are extremely important ideologies that would essentially enable a society in becoming one that is sustainable.
The MUN 2016 Youth Assembly was a conference that genuinely changed my perspective of a global Model UN community and reminded me of the very reason i continue to do Model UN and the importance of diplomacy in a world that is so interdependent on each other. I was reminded of how important it is to advocate Human Rights and the incorporation of creative methods to take the SDG's outside of conferences and Clubs. The committee agreed upon creating incentive based competitions such as the UA's initiative of the hall of fame to encourage delegates to take action on the resolution they've come up with.
We ultimately were able to garner an increase of knowledge on various global Model UN clubs/conferences and the types of difficulties they face and were able to establish the necessity for global partnerships within the global Model UN community in oder to successfully achieve the goal of stimulating models of the UN and to have access to a single database of resources. Personally, an achievement I was incredibly proud of the committee was the call for fostering relationships within the Model UN community and the general understanding that all of us are doing what we do for the same purpose and that is to create awareness of issues that pertain our society and encourage action to be taken on them. This achievement to me would mean a global support system that would be highly motivating for all levels of conferences and clubs to have access to and would only further our aims and goals of Model UN.
The general highlight of this conference was defiantly being completely inspired by the commitment the youth have towards achieving a peaceful. inclusive and sustainable society. The conference certainly established the fact that Model UN can indeed change the world as it changes our perspectives as individuals and translates as a butterfly effect for those around us. With Model UN, we become global citizens that are informed and diplomatic with approaching issues that are sensitive politically and culturally. We are equipped with a skill set that is necessary to affect change and impact the world positively. Small actions are certainly as loud as large ones.
Unfortunately, I wasn't presented with the opportunity to speak at the GA or the podium in the ECOSOC chamber, nonetheless, a definite highlight of my experience at UA-MUNYA was reminding the committee of the importance of advocacy and youth involvement as we represent the largest demographic on earth and we have the power to affect change in our primary society. Being part of a conference that aimed to achieve one of the most challenging questions the Model UN community could answer was itself an incredibly rewarding achievement and experience. With the conference being held at a place where the worlds most powerful engage in discussions that would result in profound impact to the globe was resounding. The final day at the General Assembly was an experience not be forgotten; the inspiration you feel when you are seated where the worlds most powerful make decisions that are so profound on global development is one which truly reminded me of how impactful even the most seemingly insignificant choices we make are.
As mentioned before, the affect this conference had on my perspectives and beliefs was life changing. It is an experience to remember for a lifetime as it established how powerful our voice is as youth. My immediate action was to implement this into the school i was going into in Canada. Elmwood is an independent school that is so culturally diverse and progressive with their belief in youth empowerment that I was keen to restart and revitalize the Model UN club there as soon as I joined and that's exactly what I did within the first 2 weeks. The time after the conference was when I deliberated on the type of club I would want to be part of and create one that is a balance of Model UN and SDG action focused. The aims of this club is to apply the UN4MUN curriculum and make it very SDG action campaign based, with direct involvement in them and other NGO's such as the Youth for Human rights. Being an all girls school that we are, Woman empowerment and Gender Equality are some of the goals we are prioritising on and aim to contribute towards achieving them. My aim was to restart the club with an a purposeful meaning aside from debating about issues in the club alone, but to further actively involve and advocate outside of the club, thus taking action on the Sustainable development goals through small scaled day-
to-day actions that would cumulatively result in profound change and success.
1) What do we want to achieve out of this club? -A socially responsible Model UN club to our local community. -Enforce the idea that every living person depends on the environment, every civilisation requires live-able climate in order to thrive and none of the human rights or life quality goals can be achieved if environment conditions are not available. -MUN and field advocacy on UN related issues. -Promote a inclusive MUN community.
2) How will the SDG’s be discussed in the club? -Discussion of the efforts of the UN on the SDG’s through stimulating specialised committees that address and analyse the indicators developed by the united nations to monitor the advancements in SDG and the emphasis on determining their effectiveness, existence or non existence. foster community engaging education initiatives such as visits to public schools, communities identified as less developed, shelters, rural areas and others where conditions of vulnerability exists. -Collaborate with young students and mentors to identify the most pressing SDG’s within our local community. -Surveys with the SDG action campaign standards -Discussions through online forums and in-person dialogue Move debates dressing the SDGs through youth seminars to raise awareness of the SDg’s on a local and Global scale. -Collaboration between NGO’s, public and private sectors and individuals pertaining to poverty, hunger, education, health, and the economy, sp it can be possible to carry out strategic social development programs. -Support micro-loan organisations
3) Implementing SDG’s into our club structure -Develop the MUN club structure to focus mainly on the SDG’s; Presentations, Focus groups, interactive activities, partnership with SDG related organisations. -The Club will be entirely inclusive and non-discriminatory in regards to race, gender, sexuality religion, nationality etc adhering to the Charter of Human Rights. -Underscore the importance of daily impact of SDG’s -Guest speakers and experts in the field from SDG related organisations to speak about them through a webinar or in person. -Partnering with Global Goals action campaigns such as but not limited to; Action/2015, Amnesty International, Design for Change, UN Women, Global Citizen, I am a girl, Save the Children, UN development program, UN department of public information, UN outreach, Office of the secretary general of the youth envoy, Project-everyone, SDG action, Global goals.org, HEFORSHE, the Malala Fund, GirlsnotBrides, Girl Up etc. The ultimate goal of this club is to encourage the students to take action and embody the values of the United Nations by practicing them in their everyday lives, through for example: Spreading knowledge and common understanding of MUN values such as diplomacy, tolerance, and respect and aiming to embody the ideal of becoming an everyday ambassador.