Earlier this month, 50 young people from across Libya took part in a Model UN simulation organised by the Dialogue and Debate Association of Libya and supported by UNSMIL.
Participants built their debating and leadership skills and learnt about how the UN and its various mechanisms work.
UNSMIL officers, the Ambassador of the Netherlands and the UN Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif via video address, joined 25 young women and 25 young men during the four-day event held from 9-12 December, where they discussed current foreign policy and human rights challenges.
“This experience provided me with a deeper appreciation for the complexities of international diplomacy and the significance of collaborative efforts in addressing global challenges,” said Eman Alforjani, a 21-year-old law student from the University of Misrata, who engaged in simulated Security Council and Human Rights Council discussions. “I was particularly fascinated by the diplomatic interactions and discussions with other delegates on various issues, which varied based on the foreign policies of the countries we represented.”
In her video address, the Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights reaffirmed the critical role of youth in safeguarding the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She highlighted that the values of multilateralism, international standards, and universal human rights are more needed than ever today.
“The simulation strongly reinforced the notion that the real political landscape often demands some sacrifices in order to achieve significant progress,” said Abdelrahman Alnsir, 20, from Al-Zawia who was one of the successful applicants among the 110 young people who sought to take part in the event.
Many participants highlighted their frustrations with the veto power given to the five permanent member states of the UN Security Council through Article 27 of the UN Charter, and acknowledged how hard it was to find consensus among different countries.
“The way we discuss and debate is crucial to improving the way we engage with the UN and innovate together in the future,” said Pema Doornenbal, Human Rights Officer at UNSMIL who attended the final day of the simulation.
“We recognize the significance of model UN conferences as an invaluable educational tool that empowers students to engage with global issues and cultivate their understanding of diplomacy, cooperation, debate, and global priorities,” said Mohamed Abu Snaina, 30, CEO of the Debate and Dialogue Association. He added that they plan to expand model UN simulations across Libya to provide opportunities for youth from all backgrounds to participate and share skills and knowledge in future simulations.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).