Sustainability: Georgetown Model United Nations in Qatar 2013 Recap

by Zohreen on March 25, 2013

Delegates from the Human Rights Commission in unmoderated caucus on the topic of Transnational Water Resources and Human Rights

This recap is provided by GMUN 2013 Secretary General William YangUn Cha. Photographs are courtesy of the Media/Press team members. For further articles/photos, please refer to:

Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in Qatar hosted its 8th annual Georgetown Model United Nations conference from the 21st to the 24th of February 2013. Unlike the previous seven conferences, the 8th GMUN was held at the Qatar National Convention Centre, which boasts its state-of-the art facilities. Approximately 400 students from 61 high schools in 30 different countries were represented. High school students participated as delegates, while the SFS-Q students served as chairs.

From this year, GMUN placed heavier emphasis on the Georgetown students’ roles in organizing the conference; seven students who served as Presidents in the previous GMUN conference or are seniors (approved by the board members through voting procedure) were chosen as part of the GMUN Board, including the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General. The Board dealt mainly with regards to the contents and procedural facades of the conference. For example, we voted on the general theme, respective topics of all committees, procedure guide, opening/closing/plenary session-related agendas, and Georgetown chairs for the actual conference. Another pivotal job was to host the annual Local Schools Training Day for high schools in Qatar and mock sessions for Georgetown students. In addition to the Board, the student staff along with Student Development Officers of Georgetown University (led by Kathryn King and Sara Berhie) assisted and finalized mainly logistical aspects of the conference.

2013 conference theme was ‘Sustainability’. The idea is to have a broad theme such as sustainability that can be applicable to issues in all of the eight committees; UN Security Council; Advisory Panel on the Arab Awakening; The G20 Summit; International Court of Justice; Human Rights Commission; ECOSOC; SPECPOL; IAEA. Sustainability is ideal in its applicability to not only environmental, but also economic issues. For instance, the issue of ‘Phasing out Nuclear Energy’ in IAEA is critical to the sustainability of peace. Economic development as discussed in ECOSOC must be paralleled with minimized pollution, which hints at the sustainability of the environment. The same logic can be applied to The G20 Summit’s question of ‘Green Growth and Climate Change’. The Press Committee abided by the theme via its green initiative of handling their media coverage on the web as to printing its newsletters.

Many events took place once the daily committee sessions ended. On Day 2, high school delegates were invited to Georgetown University campus, in which they received sample lectures from our very own Georgetown professors. They also had the opportunity to mingle with representatives from numerous embassies in Qatar. Towards the end of the night, there was a panel discussion between selected ambassadors on the issue of public policy and diplomacy. On Day 3, Cultural Night took place at Georgetown University campus. All countries that the high schools were based in were represented with booths. Many schools performed as well (dancing/singing/etc.).

The last day ended with Plenary Session and Closing Ceremony. Secretary General William YangUn Cha, Deputy Secretary General Eilin Francis, and President of ECOSOC Mohammed Al-Nasr led the Plenary Session, discussing the best resolution as deemed by the Board – the resolution passed with overwhelming majority. Plenary was shortly followed by Closing Ceremony, in which Presidents of respective committees gave out their Best Delegate Award. The GMUN 2013 Conference was immense success and we hope to see new and old faces next year.

From left to right: President of IAEA Mohammed Abouzaid, Secretary General William YangUn Cha, Rapporteur of SPECPOL Jordan Choi during lunch period

Delegates getting ready for Harlem Shake

Conference venue – Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC)

Opening Ceremony

Delegates in heated debate during unmoderated caucus

Witness brought in for the International Court of Justice

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