Towards an Awakened India
Model United Nations (MUN) 2020
The Next Chapter: PWS MUN 2020: On the morning of 18th January 2020, an entirely different pedagogics and ambience was created by the teenagers of Victorious Kidss Educares, at Kharadi, Pune. These were students from, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School with its philosophy of teaching and learning coupled with Vedanta. In a pursuit to dive down deeper and deeper in the search of truth, the whole atmosphere oozed of passion, zeal and enthusiasm as over 80 delegates from over 12 schools looked forward to deliberate, discuss, dispute and debate over threatening, significant and portentous problems that the world faces today.
The conference was divided into different councils, which focussed on different topics of discussion. This year’s theme, ‘Unearthing Reality’, explored eminent world issues in dire need of unravelling. Discussions ensued in four committees, Special, Political and Decolonisation Committee (SPECPOL), United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Model Lok Sabha (MLS) and the United Nations Committee for Scientific and Technological Development (UNCSTD) about consequential global and national issues with the goal of exploring the theme of ‘Unearthing Reality’.
A delightful assortment of both first-timers and experienced MUN-ners flooded the hallways of Victorious Kidss Educares, both with equivalent keenness to engage in fruitful discussions, discuss energetic questions and draw reasonable conclusions. The opening ceremony commenced with great vigour from both the delegates and organising committee alike. The President of VKE Sir Robbin Ghosh, talked about the importance of discovering the power from within. The Secretary-General Gayatri Sahaay tapped the mallet, to declare the conference open, to an uproar of cheers.
UNSC: United Nations Security Council
Agenda: Combatting Terror Financing – Eradicating Organised Crime
The delegates of the UNSC discussed an array of topics during formal debate such as terrorist requirements for money, illicit sources of funding and links to criminal gangs alongside ‘Money laundering’, ‘Drug trafficking’, and ‘Cryptocurrency’ as mediums of terrorist financing with admirable diplomacy and tact.
In an interview with the press, the Delegate of Saudi Arabia asserts that, “The issue being discussed in committee is of utmost significance for reducing the magnitude of terrorist attacks”. The committee was successful in their goal of framing a unified resolution with poignant and realistic measures against terror financing, some of which were, but not limited to, the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Unit that monitors large monetary transactions between parties. They also recommended mechanisms for law enforcement cooperation to reduce incidents that could be misunderstood as hostile state actions and that affect international security. However, due to intense competition amongst blocs, the resolution failed to pass.
MLS: Model Lok Sabha
Agenda: Cultural Traditions demeaning towards women
In the MLS, delegates responded to the sensitive issue of demeaning cultural traditions with surprising finesse. Moderated Caucus topics such as unjust and non-consensual sex, illicit sex-trafficking and dowry were treated with sophistication and sensitivity. However, some delegates showed a much more aggressive approach, openly accusing other party members of inaction and ignorance. One of the more belligerent instances of the committee was the two versus two challenge amongst the Bharat Janta Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC).
Ironically, by the end of the two days, the two formed an unlikely alliance, much to the amusement of the rest of the MLS. The draft resolution was a comprehensive summation of the discussions that ensued concerning polygamy, forced ghoonghat (headscarf meant to cover the face of married Hindu, Jain or Sikh women), forced Hijab (veil worn by Muslim women to cover the head and upper body), acid attacks and virginity tests.
UNCSTD: United Nations Committee for Scientific and Technological Development
Agenda: Development AI and Big Data as threats to Cyber Security. Peculiar agreements emerged from the UNCSTD as reportedly “USA suggested co-operation with China to create a council to regulate Artificial Intelligence, excusing all existing conflicts for the sake of cooperation”. Furthermore, in the face of a surprise crisis (a hypothetical situation) designed by the chair, the delegates responded with staggering adroitness, cleverly facing the press, and coming up with realistic solutions.
The united front that they presented in committee shattered, as the delegates of the committee aggressively backed out of peace agreements in lieu of their countries own interests. The press conference threw into focus some important ethical dilemmas such as Facebook’s ability to militarize AI as a private corporation with the goal of maximising profits.
Students called for each nation to give their full support to the UN and all the nations fighting cyber crime to develop cutting-edge technology to counter these acts. They recommended every nation to exchange views and information on national policies, best practices and decision-making processes with regard to cybersecurity.
SPECPOL: Special, Political and Decolonisation Committee
Agenda: Hostility stemming from the Hong Kong – Mainland China Conflict
Lastly, the SPECPOL committee saw delegates inventively finding solutions to tackle the concurrent issue of the hostilities stemming from the Mainland China-Hong Kong conflict, and the various aspects that have influenced it. Discussions concerned topics ranging from the convoluted history between the two countries to the application of the extradition bill. The delegates radiated confidence and decisiveness especially in times of crisis. The surprise crisis situation given by the chair was the death of 30% of Hong Kong protestors by the army forces. The hilarious impersonation of Xi Jinping and Donald Trump by the International Press set off a cacophonous debate. The gravity of the situation gave birth to radical moves by countries like Pakistan going as far to settle the Kashmir conflict in order to ally with India against China. Towards the end, two diametrically opposite draft resolutions were written, one providing aid to the protestors in retaliation to China’s control over Hong Kong, and the other recommending the increase in China’s influence. However, the committee passed the resolution authored by Hong Kong, India and France which called for a reduction of Chinese control over Hong Kong.
In interviews with the International Press of the Conference, the Executive Board of the UNCSTD were dumbfounded by the ‘quality of the organisation, the dynamism of the first-timer delegates and the elegance of the draft resolutions’.
The event culminated with a closing ceremony. An enthralling traditional dance performance performed by VKE’s very own Gayatri Sahaay and Sarah Chawala marked the end of the enriching two days. The Chairpersons of each committee and the deputy-Secretary-General Neeraja Chavan addressed the audience, before awarding the most promising delegates with their awards for excellence. The organising committee, headed by Kshitij Palekar, reminisced the planning of this wondrous event, thanking Skill sphere and VKE management for their invaluable contributions to the PWS. With that, the best of wishes, bitter and sweet goodbyes were expressed before the closing of the resounding success that was PWS MUN 2020.
The World’s biggest power are the youth of the Nation. Such skilled youth will take India ahead…