By Zohaib Ahmed, THIMUN O-MUN’s Executive Officer for India
On 13th November of this year, Online Model United Nations became the proud recipient of the World Summit Youth Award. The determination and tenacity of its delegates and its Executive Team had led it to win one of the most prestigious awards for ICT development in the world. The World Summit Youth Award competition is a project of the United Nations Millennium Campaign and brings together young developers and digital entrepreneurs – under 30 years of age – who use internet and mobile technology to put the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into action and make a difference.
Over the last few months a large international jury of social activists, young entrepreneurs, UN officials, businessmen and IT experts evaluated over 1896 submissions, across six different categories, from 138 UN member states, and reached a verdict. O-MUN emerged as one of the three victors in its category and probably the most unique one. Amidst projects which aim to use the power of the internet to “redefine wealth and social welfare” and others which seek to “tackle the interrelated problems of hunger and waste” stands Online Model UN, the only completely student-run organization with the potential of having an impact anywhere in the world and dealing with the largest demographic the world, the youth. It due to this that the award has been very fitting for this organization, for it propagates, across every level of its organization, the idea of harnessing the power of the youth to change the world.
While many of the other recipients perform commendable work to further the MDGs, their focus is generally narrowed down to a particular MDG. Online Model UN on the other hand serves as an organization working towards the fulfillment of every MDG of the United Nations, for unless people are educated about these goals how can they be expected to help realize them? Through numerous debates and discussions, all held in an online environment, O-MUN does a job which very few organizations can do. It teaches young minds about the world’s problems and the UN’s goals, motivating them to take action and create a better world.
It is perhaps for this reason that O-MUN has been awarded with such a prestigious prize and been invited at the Winner’s Event at Brazil. There, O-MUN representatives will have the opportunity to meet other social entrepreneurs, business leaders and representatives of international organizations as well as government officials and get the chance to present their project to an international audience, gaining valuable support and a brilliant platform. It is my hope that this event can enable O-MUN’s uniqueness and value to be recognized even further, this time by the UN itself, and enable it to cater to a wider body of potential leaders. Brazil holds new and great opportunities for this organization and I am confident that it will be able to make use of them all.