Programme at Doha Academy Girls’ Secondary School

“In our increasingly globalised world, courageous and conscientious leadership is needed as never before. Organisations such as MUN play a vital role in preparing today’s young people to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Kofi Annan May 2011, ex -Secretary General of the United Nations.

Six students from Doha Academy Secondary Girls’ School attended the first annual session of The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Qatar Conference from 16th-18th November 2011. The theme was “Crime and Punishment“. The event was held at the Qatar National Convention Centre and involved 1,300 students who attended from 71 different countries.THIMUN conferences are held all over the world, the largest being in the Hague, (The Hague International MUN Conference) the 2ndlargest being held in Singapore and the third largest is in Qatar. Some of the committees the Doha Academy students attended were:

  • The General Assembly
  • Economic and Social ( ECOSOC)
  • Security Council
  • Disarmament Commission
  • Environment Commission
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Special conference on Crime and Punishment
  • Advisory Panel on the Question of the Middle East

The objective of THIMUN is to seek, through discussion, negotiation and debate, solutions to the various problems of the world. The conferences aim to replicate the United Nations itself therefore students are assigned a country or countries, to which they must act as a delegate or Ambassador. The girls who attended from Doha Academy represented Belize.

This proved to be a challenge, as the girls did not possess any information on the country to begin with, but took it upon themselves to independently research the country with great enthusiasm and success. By the time the conference began, all 6 girls were suitably prepared and ready to participate as expert delegates and Ambassadors for their country.

The students enjoyed it so much that they could hardly wait to attend the second conference – held at Georgetown University from 1st-4th February 2012. Further MUN conferences attended by DOHA ACADEMY students during the 2011-2012 academic year were:

  1. The Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar MUN Conference was held at the Marriott hotel 1st-4th February 2012.The theme was “The Arab Awakening“. There were students from 38 countries attending from 69 schools. Six Doha Academy students attended.
  2. DIAMUN DUBAI 21st March -24thMarch 2012 was held at Dubai International Academy and 10 students attended. The theme was “Sustainability through Development
  3. DOHA COLLEGE – 1 day training conference 16th March – 15 Doha Academy students attended.
  4. 1st DESMUN at Dukhan International School Friday April 27th – 12 students attended.

The highlight of the MUN season was of course the DIAMUN conference in Dubai. DIAMUN conference in Dubai

This was hosted by Dubai International Academy and 10 students attended, along with 4 Doha Academy staff and 2 mothers.

The theme was “Sustainability through Development600 students from 45 schools in 15 different countries attended the conference. Students came from as far away as Singapore, Cambodia, Mali, Zimbabwe, the UK and the Netherlands.

DIAMUN conference in Dubai

Despite initial nerves, the students grew in confidence at each conference and were able to debate key issues of crime and punishment with international delegates from other countries.

A number of girls actually had amendments to resolutions passed by their assemblies – a great achievement.

Some examples are opposite of the huge range of issues discussed, covering a very wide spectrum of topics. These included:All of the students who attended reaped huge benefits from the conference – they made new friends, were able to learn about vital world issues and increased their self confidence enormously.

  • Protecting the rights of
  • civilians to participate in peaceful protest
  • Addressing the exploitation of migrant workers
  • The question of the admission of Kosovo and Palestine as United Nations members
  •  Measures to deglamorize the role of crime and violence in society
  • Improving the independence of the Judiciary
  • Eliminate arms sales to areas of social and political unrest
  • Promotions of Biodiversity  and ecosystems
  • The impact of national debt and global development
  • The role of sport for peace and development
  • The question of immunity from prosecution for state officials and heads of state
  • The question of small arms trafficking
  • The question of human trafficking

As one delegate declared at the end of his opening speech at one MUN conference:

“We are not developing nations, we are not developed nations, we are United Nations.”

This is the way the Doha Academy students certainly felt at the end of this very busy conference season, after they had met, mingled and exchanged ideas with so many international students from all four corners of the globe.