Teens gather in Dubai for world domination at UN summit
From left: Mitali Mirle, president of general assembly; Farhan Farooqui, deputy secretary general, Abhinav Menon, secretary general, Anvita Achar, deputy secretary general
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More than 700 teenagers who have been learning how to rule the world are gathering in the UAE this weekend.
Students from 42 schools across the globe will get a taste of power as they adopt the roles of diplomats at a UN conference at Dubai International Academy.
The youngsters will debate and propose resolutions on issues of regional and global concern, including arms sales, political unrest, the civil war in Syria and measures to implement an Arab security council.
Dubai International Academy (DIA) student Abhinav Menon, the 17-year-old secretary general of the conference, believes it will be of huge benefit for the participants to grasp these issues. He told 7DAYS: “These issues are extremely complicated and they aren’t being solved by diplomats in the world. In the future, we’re the ones who are going to have to address these very problems and have to deal with them.”
The teen said he would love an opportunity to get some advice from real UN diplomats.
“I’d like to ask a member of the G8 how they balance their personal compassions with the complex foreign policies they have to follow,” said Menon, adding that he wanted to study international relations at university as he hoped to work with the foreign services or run for political office in his home country, India. Deputy secretary general, Anvita Achar, 17, also from DIA, said being a part of the academic simulation of the UN had helped her look beyond the classroom.
“Every school should have it,” she said. “It’s really helped us understand how the world works and how everyone has to compromise on certain issues. Before this I was only focused on academics but now I’ve also started to network with a huge number of students from all over the world, which has been an invaluable experience.”
Farhan Farooqui, the deputy secretary general of the model UN Secretariat, added: “I think I’m so much more open minded now. The challenge has been to juggle academic life with this - it’s especially hard when you have a test the next day,” shared the 15-year-old.
“But that’s also part of the learning experience, especially if you want to run for office someday. I’m an American citizen and I have always aspired to get into office.” The opening ceremony of the conference was held on Wednesday at the American University of Dubai. The conference will run over the next three days under the theme ‘Education for the 21st Century’ and other issues tackled will include human rights, women’s rights and Arab economic development through the perspective of education.
Would the world be a better place if teenagers had a say? Or are they clueless about adult problems? Tell us what you think below.
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