SG Sandev Ferdinando welcomes delegates to THIMUN Qatar 2018

Over the past few years, MUN has grown beyond the confines of an activity that simulates United Nations debate. Our generation has been the leading force behind the change in the definition of MUN to one that includes community outreach. We were able to do this because THIMUN Qatar taught an entire generation to walk and soon after run towards our goal of peace and social justice, because as an organisation, it understands that now more than ever we need to pave the way for humanity to fly.

Honourable Foreign Dignitaries, Guests, Directors, Delegates, Ladies and Gentleman,

This is what The Hague International Model United Nations Qatar is about, empowering leaders of the future, and I humbly welcome you to its 7th annual conference as the Secretary General and on behalf of the Executive Committee.

In MUN, we often overlook or undervalue our successes choosing to shine an unflattering light on the world instead. But 7 years on, I’d like to change this. To do this, we don’t have to look further than some delegates sitting in this theatre today – we have planted the seeds to change the future of Afghanistan thanks to a dedicated group of students fighting for their Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan. To do this, we look to the Sustainable Development Goals of today, where in just less than two years, a strong momentum towards gender equality has been achieved.

This movement is in part thanks to all of you present today, and for your support towards THIMUN Qatar in organising this conference themed on the Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Gender Equality and Women Empowerment. Even though the ending of all forms of discrimination against women has not yet been achieved worldwide, we find hope in the small stories to move us in this direction. Stories such as those of a Malawian Chief who annulled 330 child marriages in a country where over 50% of girls are married before the age of 18. Stories from my home country of Sri Lanka, when the government finally said that the Time’s Up after the creation of a Women and Child Abuse Prevention Bureau.

These stories are real, these stories are human, and it’s with this in mind that a project like MUN Impact came to be. We often talk of students engaging in MUN outside of the classroom, but how do they do this? What does it look like? How can a student possibly make a difference in the world? I urge you all to go to the MUN Impact Zone, the first of its kind for this conference, and speak to students and organisations and witness first-hand what real Impact through MUN looks like.

SDG5 is such a vital goal, as we need the full participation of women if we are to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The message we send to boys and girls today is that “men simply are who they are, but women have to construct who they are”. If we are to change this damaging social norm, we, men, also have to be a part of the conversation. We should not be trapped by our own masculinity. It isn’t emasculating to be champions of gender equality if we want all victims of domestic violence to stop questioning themselves “why me” ever again.

We run this conference in a background of regional political instability. We are saddened that our friends, long time debate partners, have not been able to come to this conference from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt. But do not be mistaken, though some of us have been made silent, our voices have never been louder.

When we can’t debate together physically in one room, we go to Online Model United Nations, a platform that has revolutionized the way we connect and debate. When we can’t listen to stories of impact and hope, we take our conversation to Twitter and Facebook where we can continue to be passionate advocates for the SDG’s. And when we can’t express our own opinions and fight for peace, and love, and hope, we become more united.

Everything I’ve mentioned is just a glimpse of what you can find and expect at this conference. Take the time to explore outside of your comfort zone, continue to ask questions and voice your own opinions, but most importantly, make memories that last a lifetime. Doing all of this has made my MUN journey so rewarding – so to those I’ve debated alongside with for years or to those I’m yet to meet at this conference, thank you for your support along the way. To my teachers and MUN directors, thank you for making me question the world around me, to my parents you’ve taught me a lot about compassion and perseverance; qualities which are needed in diplomacy today, and to the Executive Committee, thank you for our friendship over the years – Sanskriti for being my debate partner since day 1, Johann for your incredible sense of humour, and Aya for your need to have everything in pink – just to name a few people.

And lastly, to Mrs. Martin, as you move on from your position as the Head of THIMUN Qatar this year to seek new adventure, your presence will be greatly missed. Like so many of us, you’ve made me into a “foot soldier of the United Nations”. You are the reason I’m on this stage today. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t muster up the courage to speak to this tall lady at an MUN conferences years ago. But your vision for the future of MUN, which you’ve laid out for me on Whatsapp at 2am, tells me that we are only going to be working so much more together from now on.

And to you all I say have the “audacity of hope”, as Barak Obama said, because you can’t understand the preciousness of hope, the pricelessness of hope until hope doesn’t come. But hope only takes you so far. If we, our generation, want to create this new world, we have to be on the table and not on the menu where others dictate what our future is to be. Dare to dream bigger in the face of adversity. Dare to dream, because now more than ever, we need to pave the way for humanity to fly.

Thank you.

DSG Sanskriti Tandon Closes out THIMUN Qatar 2018

Honored guests, chairs, delegates, ladies and gentlemen, and mom, my name is Sanskriti Tandon and it is an honor to welcome you to the closing ceremony of my very last high school MUN conference.

A Russian painter once said that everything starts with a dot. Similarly, our stories start with a dot. A small gesture towards a person can make a friend for a life. The smallest compliment can make someone’s day. A small step into a committee as a delegate can turn into a life changing experience as I hope it did for most of you. The history of the human race and the challenges we have faced all together, only goes to show our resilience and our ability to take one small dot, and turn it into a painting.

Despite this however we are not humans. Or at least not yet. We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us, and wealth classified us. In a world claiming to be united, we are unconsciously putting up barriers, unrealistic expectations and a sense of detachment from those around us.

I consider myself to be a fairly average person. I constantly think ‘if I can do this, so can everyone else’. Growing up in India I had very little exposure to the English language. As a 4 year old, my mom tried to teach me the alphabets so I could get accepted into kindergarten. Although I wasn’t fluent in English, my very first sentence in English was ‘I love you’. I didn’t know what it meant but it seemed natural to say it to my grandmother right before she dropped me on the school bus. But today I wonder, if a 4 year old could muster enough love and care at such an early age, why can’t we? Why is it that as we get older, our sense of compassion diminishes?

As an 18 year old standing in front of you today, I never thought I would have the opportunity but more importantly, I never thought I would have the confidence to speak in front of the 30 delegates in my committee at my very first conference.

However, imagine if we lived in early 1900s. I would not stand here today. Nor would any female in this room. Or any female in the world for that matter. Although it is minor, this conference stands as a testament that the scar of gender inequality is healing. But we can do so much more. We are fortunate in our seats of privilege hence it is why we should do something. Be it taking an initiative to make a refugee feel more welcomed, be it helping to sustain the lives of the elderly in your community or be it as simple as educating a child.

But is not a journey you can take alone and neither did I. For this I want to thank my parents for being the pillars on which I stand here today. Your guidance, vision and endless criticism has never failed to push me past my next hurdles. Thank you to the THIMUN Office for giving me these opportunities to become a different person. To my executive team. Seo Hee, my kimchi and korean BBQ dealer, Juntae to be honest you looked better in that man bun, Aya I wish we got those pink executive badges. Zoe you’re the only person I have been on 2 executive team with and it’s been a pleasure both times. Johann my respect for you went down exponentially this conference but you can’t hate on the Bambino’s. Umm where’s Jeeve? And Sandev for being my day one since debate one. I also want to thank Sanju, Acacia, Sara Ibrahim and Grace for constantly being my support system. And before I forget, Yara, you are still the butter to my chicken.

I know the theme we set for this conference was gender equality but really, there’s only one word in there that you should focus on. If we forget gender, forget race, socioeconomic backgrounds, what do we have left? Equality. But even in a perfect world, we’re all going to have our differences. But those differences can become one of our similarities. Religion, wealth, political structures, these aren’t the problems. The problem is us. We blindly follow in the paths of the generations before us. We blindly put up walls to those who are different to us. Have you ever asked yourself why? Why do you not like that girl just because she has a different skin color? Why do you not like her because she has a different belief?

So I want to leave you with this. The sustainable development goals are just the colors. Gender equality is just a dot. This is what we need to use to create our own painting. Because ultimately, that dot can only ever become a Michelangelo piece if we – each and every individual – moves the brush to create the masterpiece our world can be.

 

SDG5 – Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality

We are living in a country that has experienced three decades of war, where no one has equal rights and where women are considered slaves for men. They don’t have the right to raise their voice, or to work shoulder-to-shoulder with men for their community, their people and for peace. Their only rights are to sit in their homes, do house chores, keep their mouths shut all of the time, and tolerate all the bad things that happen to them; if not then they will be beaten by men or will be killed.

The world has witnessed what happened to Farkhunda; a talented young woman who was passionate about her country and dreamt to take action for peace, but she was shut out. No, she was cruelty killed by hundreds of men on the street, her body run over, dragged, and burned. While we all know of things that men can do well, women can also do same and even better than men. If men are dreaming bigger, women should do so. If men are working for their society, women should accompany them. Women should be involved in big decisions, because they have that talent!

 

This is why the HELA (Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan) organization is focusing on SDG5 – Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. We are promoting Women through MUN, to become the future leaders of Afghanistan, to be able to raise their voice in front of thousands of people without any fear, and to be able to find solutions for the tough situations of their country. We are also promoting women through another project of ours, which aims to create the future business women of Afghanistan. And the reason that we do this is: because we believe that what women could do, sometimes even men can’t.

So, last but not least, I would say this: this world is incomplete without consideration for every single person. But look at us- we are not considering an entire gender. So we can’t say that we are complete; we would- and can only- be complete if we give equal rights to women!

 

By: Rahmatullah Hamdard, HELA Organization CEO & Founder

SDG5-Thoughts from TQ DSG Johann Bambino

My name is Johann Bambino – first name German, last name Italian, born in UAE, raised in Qatar, and yet still an Indian citizen. I have been a part of my school’s Model United Nations program for roughly 4 years now, attending more than ten conferences, serving as a delegate, chair, ICJ advocate and even on the executive team of my school’s MUN conference.  More recently I have been tasked as a Deputy Secretary General for THIMUN 2018 and I hope that our team can make it an event to remember. Through the years, like most people, I began to realize the flaws the UN harbors, but still I continue to have hope for the organization even if there are those who have considered it has failed.

I think before we proceed with this article, I have to make it abundantly clear that I am a male. Thus, this article should be seen from a male perspective. That does not mean, however, that I am necessarily sexist. Instead I wish to give those who are reading this a chance to consider a new notion: a world free from the superiority of one gender over another. On a superficial level SDG 5 means that we must achieve gender equality, we must remove those roles and stereotypes we commonly associate with a specific gender. Yet, to me this ultimately seems a bit strange as societies and people generally function based on their particular gender and the roles they associate with it. So can gender equality truly be achieved?

I think it’s important to achieve gender equality, but I also believe there are certain circumstances which readily prevent men and women from achieving this dream. While to a person like me achieving gender equality is a sensible goal and one worth fighting for, to another person in another part of the world gender equality may not be held in such high regard (and yes there are women who do not wish to be empowered).

Hence, on a personal level, SDG 5 is not simply just giving women the same rights as men, but rather convincing entire societies that this is the right thing to do. In my home country, India, the issue of women’s rights is prominent as the diversity in religion and cultural values create disputes regarding the treatment of women. The lack of education on the matter in lesser developed states in India has led many men to ill-treat women and see it as the right thing to do. The UN may do all it can to empower women, but without educating the entire world about its goodness, the world will simply remain as it is.

The UN, as well respected as it might be, is led by a generation which grew up, for the most part, in an environment where the thought of women empowerment was still in its infancy. Through Model United Nations we can plant new seeds of thought, to allow our current generation to realize the importance of SDG 5. In the Gettysburg address Lincoln said the US constitution is “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. Nearly 230 years later and there is not one mention of women on that prestigious document, signed on September 17, 1787.

Thus, the barrier which my nation, the United Nations or for that matter, any nation faces is not that people do not wish to change, but rather that we have not done much to allow people to change. The current generation must be educated on the importance of gender equality through MUN as they are the one who are still changing and learning the how the world works. To ensure SDG 5 is implemented we must become a body which unites both halves of the human race.

By Johann Bambino, President of MISMUN 2016 and Senior Advisor for MISMUN 2017

Agenda for THIMUN Qatar 2018 Announced

THIMUN Qatar is pleased to announce its 2018 conference agenda.The theme of THIMUN Qatar 2018 is Sustainable Development Goal 5-Gender Equality and Empowerment for Women and Girls. All committees have one issue that ties to the conference theme.

THIMUN Qatar is also proud to support the work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and to incorporate many UNODC mandate issues into our 2018 Conference. Mandate topics are noted with an asterisk (*).

The art of topic selection is fairly specific. All topics must be current, under discussion at the United Nations, and linked directly to UN sources. (The Student Officer Background Reports will help guide delegates to those resources.). Each Committee/Commission has one topic related to the conference theme, one to a specific region or country, and two that more broadly relate to the specific committee. UNODC mandates have been spread widely into the conference agenda, and in some cases have been selected to overlap with the conference theme. Again, Student Officer Reports will link UNODC mandate and materials developed through their Education 4 Justice (E4J) initiative back to the topic and shared so that delegates will have the best and most up to date materials available for their research.

Note that Arabic and French committees had been expanded for 2018, and will run parallel committees to their GA3 and HRC 1 English counterparts.  This year THIMUN Qatar will also reintroduce the Advisory Panel Question (APQ), which is a UNODC-themed panel focusing on Crime and Gender. The APQ President will share their findings with the UNODC through a joint communique at the end of the conference.

All background reports will be linked to the website on/around October 31.

GA 1 Disarmament and International Security
Measures to combat sexual violence in conflict zones
Measures to limit the use of the internet for terrorist purposes
Developing strategies to curb incitement and recruitment of young people to extremist causes
Curtailing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects *

GA 2 Economic and Financial
The question of gender inequality and its impact on poverty eradication
Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory over their natural resources
Promotion of international cooperation to curb and recover illicit financial flows *
Protection of global climate for present and future generations

GA3 Social, Humanitarian and Cultural
Improving the situation of women in rural areas
Strengthening international cooperation to combat cybercrime *
Enhancing protection of child migrants and refugees
Preventing corruption and financial crime in sports *

GA4 Special Political and Decolonization
The question of illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory
Protecting the interests of the peoples of non-self governing territories
Improving Special Political Missions
Towards a united Cyprus

GA5 Administrative and Budgetary
Inclusion of women in peacekeeping operations
Improving the financial situation of the United Nations
Legal measures to reduce tax avoidance by transnational corporations (TNCs) *
Financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali

GA6 Legal
Measures to enhance the protection and safety of diplomatic missions
The question of Universal Jurisdiction and national sovereignty and the role of the International Criminal Court
Effects of armed conflicts on treaties
Measures to eliminate international terrorism *

Security Council
The situation in Somalia and Eritrea
The question of Libyan sanctions
The question of DPRK
Measures to curtail all forms of human trafficking and migrant smuggling *

ECOSOC
Reducing vulnerability and building resilience resulting from extreme weather
Addressing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen
Measures to close the economic gender gap
The protection of human rights in the context of terrorism and counter-terrorism *

Disarmament Commission
The question of women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control
Strengthening the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
Preventing the acquisition by terrorists of radioactive materials
Full implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

Environment Commission
Promoting sustainable lifestyles in carbon-intensive countries
Promoting urgent measures to promote green energy
Measures to address the increase in zoonotic diseases
Ocean acidification and its impact on ecosystems

Human Rights Commission 1
Strengthening reproductive rights for women
Reviewing the Human Rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Measures to combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief
Mental health and human rights

Human Rights Commission 2
Strengthening legal protections for Women and Girls
Reviewing the Human Rights situation in Myanmar
Ensuring the right to education for persons with disabilities
Ensuring the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities

Special Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
Closing the social, political and economic gender gap of Sub-Saharan Africa
Protecting and enhancing the rights of women in Palestine
Improving women’s access to ownership and control of land and other property
Promoting women’s empowerment through information and communication technology

Advisory Panel Question on Crime and Gender *
The Question of human trafficking
The Question of discriminatory penal legislation and policies

GA3-Arabic
Improving the situation of women in rural areas
Strengthening international cooperation to combat cybercrime
Enhancing protection of child migrants and refugees
Preventing corruption and financial crime in sports

تحسين وضع المراة في المناطق النئة
تقوية التعاون الدولي لمحاربة الجريمة الالكترونية
ايجاد طريقة فعالة لحماية الطفولة المهاجرة واللاجئن
منع الفساد والجراءم المالية في عالم الرياضة

HRC 1- Arabic

Strengthening reproductive rights for women
Reviewing the Human Rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Measures to combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief
Mental health and human rights

دعم قوانين حماية النساء والبنات
اعادة النظر في مسالة حقوق الانسان في ميانمار
ضمان حقوق الاقليات من الجنسيات والعرقيات واتباع الديانات واللغات المختلفة
تقوية وتثبيت حقوق القدرة الانتاجية لدى النساء

GA3-French
Improving the situation of women in rural areas
Strengthening international cooperation to combat cybercrime
Enhancing protection of child migrants and refugees
Preventing corruption and financial crime in sports

Améliorer la situation des femmes dans les zones rurales
Consolider les coopérations internationales afin de combattre contre le cyber crime
Renforcer la protection des enfants des migrants et des réfugiés
Entraver les corruptions et les crimes financiers dans le domaine du sport

HRC1-French
Measures to combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief
Ensuring the right to education for persons with disabilities
Reviewing the Human Rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Mental health and human rights

Mesures pour combattre les intolérances, les discriminations et les violences basées sur des convictions religieuses
Assurer le droit à l’education pour des personnes handicapées
Revoir la situation des Droits de l’Homme dans la Republique démocratique de la Corée
Maladies psychologiques et droits de l’Homme

International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Nauru vs. Australia
Ecuador vs. Colombia