The Security Council and THIMUN 2017

By Jan Sedlacek

About the Security Council:

When the United Nations were established at the end of World War II to prevent any other conflict of such magnitude, the United Nations Security Council was tasked with the great role of maintaining international peace and security and preventing the escalation of a conflict into an armed struggle at all costs. In the last decade, the Security Council has been meeting almost continually to address ongoing issues of global importance that pose a threat to the maintenance of peace. It consists of 15 nations, 5 of which are permanent (Also known as the P5, consisting of UK, USA, France, China and Russia), who possess the veto power over which there has been a great deal of debate over, as it is misused by certain members more often rather than not. The other 10 member states are elected for two year terms and typically there should be a representation of each geographic region of the planet.

The Security Council is the only UN body whose decisions are legally binding. It is also the only body which can authorize military action. Nevertheless, this is often the last choice as the purpose of the Security Council is to, as previously mentioned, prevent armed conflict at all costs. As such, the council elects to impose economic sanctions on nations unwilling to cooperate. Since its establishment, the Security Council has established a number of important peacekeeping operations, for example MINUSCA, which will be discussed alongside the issue of Central African Republic. Currently, there is significant discussion happening over the reform of the Security Council, taking into consideration the distribution of the veto power, the permanent status of nations and methods of refining the inner workings of the council.

About the Question of the Central African Republic:

The ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic is one of the many that cannot be easily summarised in one paragraph. It is the direct consequence of religious, political and social instability, fueled by ethnic divisions and unstable government. (It is said that since its independence from France, the country has been everything but a Republic). From an empire to a dictatorship to the hideout of some of the worst African War Criminals, the citizens of the Central African Republic have seen it all, and little improvement is one on the horizon. With the transformation of a relief mission called MISCA to a UN peacekeeping operation called MINUSCA, the UN Security Council realised the volatility of the region and the importance of maintaining peace there. The issue of the Central African Republic appears regularly on the Security Council agenda, yet a satisfactory resolution is not reached very often. Support for the country is underway, both at a peacekeeping and a humanitarian status, but the Security Council has yet to effectively apply long term solutions to the problem, establishing a secure environment in one of the poorest, yet tremendously important players on the African political field.

About the Question of Syria

Nearly 6 years of civil war has entrenched Syria, managing to amass an astounding death toll of more than 450,000. What started as a peaceful anti-government protest escalated into a full wage multinational conflict pooling in countries such as the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran into the conflict. Internally, Bashar al-Assad and his army have clashed viciously with opposition groups in bids to gain control over territory. Additionally, the so-called Islamic State (IS) has been rising in authority in the region, making Syria a cauldron of both internal and external conflicts. As a result of the Syrian Civil War, today, Syria is the world’s largest generator of Sunni-Shiite sectarianism.

Furthermore, the Syrian conflict has forced more than 11 million people into displacement, causing yet another crisis, as a result – the refugee crisis. Ultimately, it is the mixture of international interventions and internal disarray that has made the “Question of Syria” one of the deadliest conflicts of the 21st century.

The UN Security Council has worked actively on the conflict, and has usually ended up in a state of division when it came to the agreement between China and Russia on one sides and the United States, United Kingdom, and France on the other. Regardless, it managed to facilitate the entry of international aid and support through resolution 2268.

Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts:

Terrorism has been present for many years and as of the past two decades it has been on a rampant rise. The act of terrorism has always been to invoke fear and panic within a population, intending to cause major physical and psychological damage to all those involved. Just ten years ago in 2006, almost two hundred thousand casualties had been recorded as a result of terrorist acts, and this number has only continued to grow within the past ten years with most recent attacks in countries such as France. Furthermore, the rise in terrorism has increased with the alibi of religious extremism with groups such as Boko Haram and ISIL. The threat of terrorist acts being committed have increased around the globe with one of the major causes towards the rise being increased funding to terrorist groups, especially from state sponsors, as in many cases terrorist groups while a threat to certain nations, can also provide strategic advantages for others. The Security Council works tirelessly to be able to create resolutions towards being able to hinder terrorist groups and eventually work towards the removal of all terrorist groups across the world.

Here’s Why your School Needs to be at QLC 2017

By Alya Al-Ammari

At the 2016 Qatar Leadership Conference, my fourth QLC experience, I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop on how to start a sustainable charity, as well as participating in some gripping seminars on topics such as women’s empowerment, growth in post-conflict areas, and youth-led initiatives. However, I did not attend with my school. I arrived alone under the generous banner of O-MUN Bahrain for the second year in a row. My only grievance was that my peers, all young and capable students, were missing out on an eye-opening and life-changing experience. I knew this was the case because I lived that experience every fall for the last four years. Once again, the familiar feeling of excitement and restlessness smoldered in my stomach as I ironed my best MUN outfits and nervously applied my makeup on the morning of October 20th 2016. I was well aware that the bus ride to the Qatar National Convention Centre from the Movenpick that day was the interlude between banality and inspiration. By no exaggeration, I knew that the sight of the near-iconic spider peeping over the edge of the escalators from the ground floor meant the beginning of another weekend of stimulus and educated, passionate dialogue. So here are my biggest takeaways from the conference throughout the years, to tell you why your own school needs to be at QLC 2017.

The Qatar Leadership Conference provides people from all walks of life an opportunity for quantitative growth. I arrived at QLC this year as a presenter, a youth leader, a student, and an excited member of Arab society. The conference brought out the best in these four identities. As a presenter, I was given a platform to express my ideas and share with like-minded and ambitious people my experiences in beginning a charity and working towards the goal of sustainability and humanity. I had the chance to open a dialogue between me and Qatari teenagers, a religious scholar, a US Peace Corps representative, and teachers from around the world, in order to elevate the potential of our ideas and make plans to deliver on them. As a youth leader, I was exposed to students who were younger than me, but had similar aspirations as I did at that age, and give them advice on how to approach seemingly unrealistic goals, all the while getting insight on the experiences of other ambitious, driven youth from as far as Taiwan and Malaysia. As a student, I learned from accomplished and engaging presenters a myriad of issues that have global importance while still relating to my life. As a member of Arab society, I was immensely and indescribably proud. However, another student at your own school may tailor their experience at QLC, so they are also learning in the same hands-on way that I did, but about how to flawlessly chair your first council, react in a crisis situation, or lead a Model United Nations conference with an emphasis on collaboration and shared growth. A teacher chaperoning this student is able to attend a Best Delegate Directors’ Workshop on MUN knowledge, debating skills, and organisation. I challenge any participant of the Qatar Leadership Conference to tell me one experience that they benefit from.

As a fourteen-year-old, coming to this conference ignited a sense of initiative in me that has not wavered since then. I believe that this is due to my exposure to the powerful, driven, young people that this conference celebrates. I had access to interesting and relevant presenters that promoted ambition and hard work in a way that was integral to my school life later on. These positive role models were relatable in a way that celebrities aren’t, where they have started in the same place as you, have grown up and made a name for themselves. I keep people like Salam Kaedan, Olaoluwa Abagun, Oliver Percovich, Khalid Al Ameri, and Ibrahim Kazzaz in mind when I feel overwhelmed and unmotivated by schoolwork. The examples that QLC presenters offer young students are exceptional and inspiring. They have personally touched my life in a way that cannot be replicated in a classroom, but is so integral to that particular environment. To be able to listen, meet, and converse with determined young people has been an invaluable contribution to my attitude towards school and work.

Walking into the Qatar Leadership Conference year after year only to be more excited, engaged, and roused every time is a strange experience. Although I am already a very diligent person, the level of motivation I feel after leaving these conferences surprises me. I return to school wishing that I had my friends with me learning about global conflicts and solutions, and my teachers to gush to about keynote speakers and presenters. The fuel the QLC can give its participants is incredibly rewarding and should be shared among peers and educators. We in the Gulf are lucky to have this conference pop up on our doorstep every year and schools have the opportunity to take full advantage of the resources it presents. From one seasoned QLC participant- and now presenter- to the next generation: urge your school to join, the gravity of the lessons you learn and the significance of its purpose will surprise you, then thrill you.

TQ Heroes: Ransom Pereira

THIMUN Qatar works with wonderful people in the community who go to great lengths to make our delegates and teachers feel welcome during the THIMUN Qatar conference. Mr Ransom Pereira is one of them!

What is your name, job and how long have you worked in your current job? (required)

My name is Ransom Pereira, and I’m the Assistant Director of Sales at the Raddison Blu Hotel in Doha. I’ve worked in sales for 12 years.

What specific role have you played in supporting the THIMUN Qatar office/program? (required)

I’ve supported the THIMUN Qatar program by providing hotel accommodation for THIMUN Qatar delegates and other THIMUN participants who do not live in Qatar.

Have you ever been to a THIMUN Qatar event?  I have never been to a THIMUN Qatar event.  If no, would you like to?  Yes, I would.

When you think of THIMUN Qatar, what comes to mind?

When I think of THIMUN Qatar, I think of giving an opportunity to the new generation to get familiar with the process of international relations.

When you hear the words “Model United Nations”, what comes to mind?

I think of high school students experiencing the process of the United Nations in the form of a role-play.

Did you ever do MUN while you were in school? Do you know others that have done MUN as an after school activity?

No, I didn’t do MUN in school and I don’t know others who have done it as an after school activity.

THIMUN is a student-run program. What are your viewpoints on student run programs?

I think student run programs are good, as it is a process of educating the new generations to come to deal with the present international relations and provides students with leadership experience.

Is there anything about your current job that you are proud of and enjoy doing?

I enjoy meeting different individuals from various professions and backgrounds.

Tell us something about yourself and what motivates you in your work?

I have been working in the hospitality industry from the time I completed my High School. The thing that keeps me going is meeting different individual daily and working with a diverse team of individuals  who are working towards the one goal of providing the best hospitality experience in Doha.

If you could say one thing to young people (high school aged) today, what words of advice would you have for them?

I would tell them to identify your passion and work hard to achieve your goals.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani shares thoughts on #qlc16

1610_qlc_0359It was our great honor to have Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani speak at the fifth annual Qatar Leadership Conference. He made time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for our press team.

Have you participated in past QLCs and if so, how was this one different from past events?

This is the first time I have the privilege to participate at the QLC conference. QLC16 was informative and engaging and the volunteers were very helpful at all times.

What surprised you most about the Qatar Leadership Conference?

The excellent organization, the high level of the audience engagement and the proactivity of the students and volunteers who were, at all times, ready to assist in all tasks related to the workshop presentation and IT support in the Conference rooms.

What value is there in holding events like this for high school students?

To inspire them to discover what are their hidden passions that they may not be necessarily aware of by listening to the key speakers’ stories achievements aiming to bring about a positive impact on the society and the communities.

If the QLC could be improved or grown in new directions, what would that look like?

Focusing on practical applications and good practices in youth leadership education with a delivery that includes dynamic learning environments through simulation, group design activities, personal assessments and interactive learning sessions.

Placing High School students in summer internship programs to benefit the local and global communities in cooperation with non-profit organizations and/or Enterprises Corporate social responsibility programs and showcasing their projects at the QLC Conference with exchange programs scholarships and awards prices for the achievers.

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What is a favorite memory or two of this year’s QLC?

  1. Presenting my workshops at the QLC Theatre with the largest ever audience which I was subject to so far.
  2. Being impressed by the unforgettable resonance of the crowd’s positive energy vibes.


What value does a QLC event have for adults?

It engages them and gives them incentives to pursue their cooperation and continuous participation in QLC future projects to advance their personal development goals and those of the teams they may be working with aiming to benefit the local and global communities.

The Student Executive Team would like to thank Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani once again for attending #qlc16 and hope that he will join us for future events!

QLC 16′ – Peggy Flynn and Life in Botswana

By Ezekiel J

The Qatar Leadership Conference is fortunate to have Peggy Flynn who will be sharing her work and life in Botswana. Peggy Flynn is a Peace Corps volunteer from United States of America. She volunteered to help the less privilege in Botswana, and worked in a small town called Ghanzi, in the Kalahari Desert. She shares some insights into her work there.

1.You have spent the last three years in Botswana. What compelled you to leave your home in California and embark on this adventure?

I was accepted into the United States Peace Corps after an 11-month competitive e application process. I applied because I had always wanted to be a part of the Peace Corps, and deeply believe in the transformative power of community service, the ability of people, anywhere in the world, to come together and solve community problems.

2. What kind of work did you do in Botswana? Where did you live and did you make friends with local people?

I live in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, and work at the District AIDS office, focusing on strengthening the capacity of government staff and local community organizations, i.e., planning and project management skills, budgetary and financial reporting skills. Yes, all my friends here are Botswana.

3. What value do you think High school students get from thinking about doing a program like the Peace Corps or some other volunteer service program?

I think it’s important for all of us, whatever our age, to have a sense of community and believe in our responsibilities to be a part of creating solutions, helping to make our community members healthier, happier and empowered to solve problems.

4. Have you ever presented at an event like a youth leadership conference?

Yes, I have!


5. If you could share one message from the youth of Botswana to the 
youth of Qatar, What would it be?

From the HV+ youth of Botswana: “We may have a virus, but that does not define who we are in this world.”

An Interview with THIMUN co-chair Alain Meidinger

by Rayan El Amine

Alan Meidinger is currently acting as the co-chair in THIMUN Foundation. His passion and consistent participation in conferences around the world have put him in quite the unique position. His perspective into a conference such as QLC may be unmatched. Speaking on his role in THIMUN Foundation, as well as some moments from QLC that resonate with him, he is providing incredible insight into this conference.

  1.       Tell us a little about your role within THIMUN Foundation

I am of the 2 co-chairs of the THIMUN Foundation. The first term was from 2012-2016. I am starting my second term with Fran Laughlin, my co-chair. My role, I should write our role, with the help of the other Board members and the THIMUN Office is to organise MUN conferences in The Hague, Singapore and Montevideo. The organisational aspects include finding a theme to these conferences, as well as writing the issues on their agenda. Personally, I am in charge of the Tuesday Cinema Evening in The Hague and the World Photo Exhibition [2nd edition in 2017]. Assessing MUN conferences [for myself in English and in French. I did two in Spanish as well], organising workshops for new MUN directors. Thinking of the future of the MUN programme. Which parts of the world should we outreach? How to make MUN a real and better platform for High School students? How also to make the MUN conferences closer to the real UN?

  1.       How many QLCs have you attended?

I have attended two QLCs. 2012 and 2013. I checked. One led by Cameron Janzen, one by Lisa Martin. Both of them were and are our THIMUN representatives in the Middle East.

  1.       What is your most memorable QLC moment?

Two things I do remember the most from these two QLCs were the exchange of knowledge from people, young and less young, experienced in their own field and wanting to share their experience with others during these three amazing days. I also remember especially a young Palestinian talking about her daily life in Israel. She gave us a message of tolerance and hope.

  1.       Why are events like the QLC important to the THIMUN Foundation?

In my opinion, QLCs are a fundamental part of the outreach programme of the THIMUN Foundation. Let me give you an example. Thanks to QLC 2016, Francophone/French students from the Middle East will be present. With the help, of Lisa Martin, and Gaspard Launet, teacher at Lycée français Bonaparte in Doha, we are going to train these students and organise for them a mock debate. The final aim is to prepare them for THIMUN Qatar 2017 where, for the first time, a French forum will be held.

Furthermore, in a world where everyone seems to be connected by Internet, where skyping might be the new way of communicate, coming to Doha allows all the participants to meet, exchange in a formal way but also in an informal way.

  1.       Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to at THIS QLC?

I am looking forward to meeting old friends from Doha and people I know from other places such as the Netherlands, present at QLC 2016, to attending as much workshops as possible such as the ones of the ambassadors of Sweden and the Netherlands in Doha, of Matthew French or of Winand Staring, and finally to being captivated by the new generation of leaders of the world, especially from the Middle East.

  1.       Quick Answer: your favorite place to eat or favorite food in while in Qatar?

I didn’t go to too many places, but I do like the Italian restaurant of the Four Seasons, the Syrian restaurant where Cameron Janzen brought me in the Souk. I love Lebanese mezze.

 

QLC 16′ – Kudzai Mukaratirwa

Kudzai Mukaratirwa Interview – MUN’s Online Persona

by Ralf Yap

The internet is an indispensable utility. Its ability to be whatever we need it to be – a video streamer or an instant messenger – makes it an incredibly useful tool. But what is so uniquely powerful about the internet is that it is global. The scale and reach of the internet makes it the perfect channel for communicating and forming connections between people. This characteristic is embedded in its name – “inter-” meaning “between” or “together” and “-net” meaning “networks.” It is then the most logical move to bring MUN, which is the embodiment of universality, and the internet together in a marriage known as Online MUN (OMUN). After all, what better way to push change than through the most global medium.

At the forefront of OMUN is Kudzai Mukaratirwa, a Law and French student based in South Africa. Kudzai is the director of THIMUN OMUN, and I asked him a few questions about himself as well as the inner workings of OMUN.

Why did you feel it important to come to Doha to present at this year’s QLC?
This year has been a great and transformative year for OMUN. We have had recently been on cloud 9 after our big success of winning a World Youth Summit Award at the end of 2014 which was presented to one of our members at the Summit Award ceremony held in Brazil in early 2015. However, soon after this, we transitioned leadership teams and the program was not quite the same and did struggle. Earlier this year we changed a lot of our policies and structure and brought in the most impressive team of staff I’ve seen over my last few years at OMUN. They have been innovative, creative and most of all tenacious in their dedication to OMUN and their duties. Showcasing what they have managed to do in such in a short space of time and the exciting new direction OMUN is going as it branches out into more than just an online debate program is why I felt it important to present at QLC this year. To shine a light on the new and improved OMUN and its vibrant young team.

How would you connect leadership to Online Model UN?
The link between online Model UN and leadership is not obvious at first glance. This is another reason I felt it important to present at QLC this year. Our leadership team consists of 28 high school and university students from 5 continents, 15 countries and 6 timezones. Which makes our conference call meeting sometimes occasionally nightmarish. This group of students are all uniquely talented individuals with differing strengths and weaknesses. We have our Assistant Directors who are the university students – they work within smaller subdivisions the teams running our 4 debate programs, public relations, moderating, website and technology and the secretariat as a whole. Each subdivision team is made up of Deputy Secretary Generals (DSGs) and Executive Administrative Officers (EAO) as well was other positions in the public relations and moderating teams. These are all talented high school students who ensure the day to day running of the program is consistently kept up. They have a wide range of duties from updating debate cycles to planning national OMUN recruitment plans and running monthly training workshops.
I would struggle to find the words to do justice to the leadership skills my team has or how quickly they learn to adapt and work as a team in a very short space of time. They have displayed impressive interpersonal skills, teamwork and most importantly innovation. Although I haven’t answered the question in the most direct manner I hope the responsibilities on the shoulders of those who run OMUN illustrates how OMUN is connected to leadership.

Your sessions talk a lot about community: why is building a community an important leadership characteristic?
Building a community is an important leadership characteristic because it is a very telling sign of empathy. With empathy comes understanding and with understanding eventually comes peace through collaboration. In building our community we bring together a multitude of nationalities into a common space where they can speak as freely and imaginatively as they please as long as they remain respectful. Even when we do encounter some trouble and culture clash we have so far been able to resolve them much to the benefit of the student and program. Some of my most cherished OMUN memories are the ones of the delegates who didn’t fit in our program at first and required one on one dialogue to figure out the best way to integrate them into our community. Once we figure this out they often take like ducks to water as they grow from strength to strength and become some of the most active and passionate community members.

If a student wanted to be an online MUN leader, what would they need to do?
This is a great question as our recruitment process has transformed over the last year. Firstly they must participate in a minimum of 3 debates within the program and show that they have been active members of the OMUN program within our other non-debate programs. Essentially they must have an interest and basic understanding of the program. After this they must reach out to us and let us know why they would like to be a leader on our team and what they would intend to achieve in that position. What this year has taught us is that we don’t necessarily look for the most experienced leaders – experience can be taught and comes over time. What we look for in our leaders are a sense of self-responsibility, accountability and reliability. Those characteristics mixed with passion and a willingness to learn create the best leaders and that is what a student who wanted to be an OMUN leader would have to display.

You’ve been to THIMUN Qatar before: what is your favorite thing about the QNCC?
I love everything about QLC! It’s hands down my favourite conference venue I can’t decide between the spider and the food both of which are spectacular and sensational. Beyond pure aesthetics I love the fact that QNCC is so easy to navigate I never feel lost there which is a very comforting feeling. I look forward to being there again once again.

THIMUN Qatar Leadership Conference—Taking the World by Storm!

Rahema Velmi

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The THIMUN Qatar Leadership Conference is right around the corner, keeping everyone anticipating for another remarkable and spectacular conference! The bustling of preparations has long begun as QLC once again, holds the epitome of expectations for all it has to offer. Known to be a truly insightful and stimulating experience, this year’s conference will not be short from being the best. From real activists empowering and voicing for change to accidental social entrepreneurs and even girls’ rights advocates – QLC16 has a much diverse range of workshops for everyone and anyone.

Inspiration is often hard to find without exposure, without leaving our own nutshell of a comfort zone. The problems which lie beyond our very limited daily-routines are either too far to reach or not affecting ourselves in any way for us to make a difference. This conference proves to be the innovative and inspirational platform for leaders big or small, to join hands in being the hope for our tomorrow.  All of the distinct workshops, those driven by ambitious individuals and students, provide scope for personal growth and knowledge. QLC brings those powerful voices together, allowing interactions between leaders and leaders-to-be with the purpose of instilling an inner message far beyond and to carry on with life: you are never too late to make a positive impact in this world.

For budding MUN delegates or filmography enthusiasts and likewise aspiring journalists, this conference will help you build new connections and give a taster for the vast adventures to come. With over 600 participants, and a truly international experience – it’s a step forward towards the future.

Will you be attending QLC16? Thoughts?