Bhubaneswar: SAI International, one of the leading educational Group of India with a commitment of purposeful education in the K-12 educational space of the country hosted the annual SAI Model United Nations eConference on July 30th & 31st, 2021. The conference was attended by 1000 global delegates from 20 countries including Australia, Japan, USA, UK, Uganda, South Africa, UAE, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Ukraine, Poland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco, Nepal and India.
SAIMUN is an attempt to create awareness among the young minds on the various pressing issues that affect mankind, resources, as well as our planet. It provides a stimulating environment to find probable solutions to many of the daunting real-world challenges. The eConference, also addressed as eSAIMUN 2021, had ten committees each for Classes IX-X and XI-XII, with interesting and stimulating agendas on global policies. This year the committees included United Nations General Assembly – Disarmament & International Security (UNGA-DISEC), United Nations Security Council (UNSC),World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL), International Labour Organization (ILO), Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM)United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). eSAIMUN 2021 is scrupulously designed to provide the best of the learning to the participants, with an amalgamation of innovative and enriching activities aided by technology.
The inaugural session was graced by the esteemed Chief Guest His Excellency Prof. Ganeshi Lal, Hon’ble Governor of Odisha. While addressing the delegates Prof. Ganeshi Lal said, “The great thinkers and philosophers have proved beyond doubt everything exist only through divinity, it is wonderful to see the involvement of students to connect to the world as a family. Divine light is bestowed upon all of us, let the SAIoneers and spread the light of wisdom as future leaders. The light you lend conceals the light you are. Children, you exist to be the super souls, that the divinity has brought you into existence to spread that light in our Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, one world one family”.
The inaugural session was also bedecked by distinguished Guest of Honour HE Dame Barbara Woodward, DCMG, OBE, United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative for the UN. In her address she said, “If the United Nations is going to make a real difference in the real world, the UN needs to be a place where everyone can come together to find solutions to the planet’s twenty-first century challenges: that means governments, businesses, community organisations, academia, and – most importantly of all – young people like yourselves”.
The esteemed guest Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Resident Representative – UNDP – India, during her interaction with the delegates said, “Gender equality on being stepped up, actions on, and every part of the world that will make progress towards sustainable development to empower women and have a multifocal impact within social structures. SAIMUN is an eye-opener for students to be able to connect with different people, really to have an interest in the world by venturing into a new world opening up spaces to engage with many more people. Wishing you all the very best”.
The Plenary Session was addressed by Prabhjot Sodhi – Former UNDP Head (Circular Economy) on the topic “Reducing your Carbon Footprint”. Questions were asked by students of different countries as Australia, Japan, Uganda, South Africa, UAE, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Ukraine, Poland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Nepal, USA, UK, Morocco, Egypt and India. A Going Global Club initiative “Planteers” was also inaugurated at the Planery session. “Planteers” is an initiative of SAI International for accountable minds with sustainable lives.
In the Global Village session President AIESEC, Bhubaneswar Ayush Jhunjhunwala said, “We as a species have to try to become world citizens at every step of our life. It’s necessary for our evolution. eSAIMUN Global Village creates a communication channel between you and the world. The interaction helps us to understand the perspective of others and develop our cognitive understanding of things which in a way helps in decision making and adds on to our leadership experience”. The Global Village was also attended by eminent guests Masako Ono, Cultural Ambassador to India who is a Japanese Odissi dancer from Japan, and Noboru Sano, NOH, Dance Artist Traditional Japanese Dance from Japan who displayed their Odissi dance performance and narrated a story to the delegates.
The valedictory session of the mega eSAIMUN was held on July 31, 2021. Esteemed Chief Guest Satyabrata Sahu, Principal Secretary, School and Mass Education Govt of Odisha, while addressing the delegates said, “A step towards making the world a family with dedication towards relation, debate, discussion and education eco-system of your country. SAIMUN is playing an active role in preparing students to become world citizens. What you can do for people across all countries, amidst the pandemic conducting the confluence connecting the world in a remarkable manner is an achievement in itself, hence I congratulate Chairperson Dr. Silpi Sahoo , the team and all the delegates”.
In the closing ceremony, Guest of Honour Kyewalabye Male David, Hon’ble Minister for Culture, Tourism and Palaces, Buganda Kingdom, Uganda, said, “The confluence paved the path for deliberations on world issues by the students across the horizon. It was noteworthy to hear students put forth their resolutions keeping in mind as a mankind only we world address issues through dialogue. It was a very knowledgeable and interactive confluence, our students have been active participants since the last seven years and we look forward to maintaining strong associations to bring change in our world”.
The esteemed Keynote Speaker, David Moyer, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate in Hyderabad, addressed the delegates and said, “Increase in the number of foreign dignitaries only confirms the success of SAIMUN, it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and level of involvement in the MUN”. With his experience in handling complex assignments the multilateral diplomacy that the UN employed has left a lasting impression. He also stated that without multilateralism, peace keeping and protecting lives and maintaining security is unimaginable without an internal body as the UN.
Dr. Silpi Sahoo, Co-Founder and Chairperson, SAI International Education Group said, ”SAIMUN is a thoughtfully designed Model United Nations that provides an ideal platform for students to get a deeper understanding on international challenges, policies, lobbying, and negotiations. At the same time, they will meet students from across the globe, build confidence and hone their 21st century learning skills. Owing to the ongoing pandemic since the last year and half the event is being conducted virtually as ‘eSAIMUN 2021”. Students will have a wonderful exposure being part of high-quality deliberations on contemporary global issues, which will have an everlasting impact on their learning horizon. The impetus provided by the resourceful leaders will make the sessions more informative, engaging, and thought-provoking, giving the delegates a tremendous understanding of international affairs and diplomacy”.
The 2 Day eSAIMUN was concluded by a musical evening session by “Antarish” musical band for all the delegates to unwind after 2 days of an invigorating session.
SAI Model United Nations (SAIMUN) Conference is considered as one of India’s largest MUN.SAIMUN is a duly accredited registered event of United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan (UNIC), under the aegis of the United Nations (UN) and follows the UN4MUN procedures. The objective of SAIMUN is to seek solutions to the various problems of the world, through discussion, negotiation and debates enabling the participating students learn to adopt views and attitudes, other than their own and break away from the confined self-interest and develop international cooperation and tolerance. SAIMUN is held every year to build leadership skills, increase global literacy and expand critical thinking in students by exposing them to the working of the UN. The theme of SAIMUN is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”- One world one family, which inspires the participants to work collaboratively and come out with innovative solutions to the various challenges outlined in the agenda.
Views of the students
Imoto Hitomi, from Jr. & Sr. High School Kogakuin University Japan, said, “ The delegates in our committees were also constantly adapting to the new state of our world: adapting to new geopolitical circumstances, to new problems such as COVID19, climate change and food insecurity, and conflict resolution. It was an open forum, an exchange of ideas for introducing small measures that eventually impacts the world around us”.
Aseem Muhammed Salim from Al Khozama International School from Saudi Arabia said, “My real interest developed when the concept was introduced to me in my school. Since I had a slight idea about Model UNs, it was easier for me to pick up from there. My committee prepared the background materials and we got excellent mentors for all delegates. The mega event helped students learn about diplomacy, international relations, the United Nations and peaceful conflict resolution, as they represent different countries”.
Fadeelah Mahmood, Chittagong Grammar School National Curriculum from Bangladesh said, “The topics were challenging and it helped me to get out of our mundane routine during the pandemic. I couldn’t really understand initially how to be part of SAIMUN,. As the days got closer the preparation for the MUN went in to much detail, writing, drafting, researching that helped me enhance my knowledge- who doesn’t like to learn something extra, in fact it felt quite different, I was thrilled to be part of the eConference.”
Namutebi Esther Kyanjo, from St.Andrew Kaggwa Gombe High School,Uganda, said, ”I personally start my preparation first with brainstorming with regards to deciding on the theme for a newsletter followed by working with my colleagues, as delegates it was our first experience, and the learning to be of being able to deliberate and contribute to world issues definitely , felt good that we had got a an international forum to voice our concerns”.
Thomas Arbour from The Rockhampton Grammar School, Australia, said, “SAIMUN came with the aspect of writing well, it was an eye-opener to know how drafting made a difference after we arrived at resolutions with our committees.
The most important aspect as being a part of a event as the SAIMUN is that you have be correct with your grammar and also have a good hold over the vocabulary.Also we were indoctrinated with the habit of reading a lot and in MUNs you have to read a lot about the agenda you deal with and then by writing it in the form of a report, that enhances the understanding of the agenda”
.Orissa Patnaik from SAI International School, Bhubaneswar, said “, Every minute of SAIMUN proved to be full of excitement and bursting with ideas.The delegates grew by coming up with innovative solutions and developing the courage to voice their opinions. The executive board and other participants grew by experience and by learning different approaches to problems being discussed on a global scale.SAIMUN successfully provided a platform for expression and deliberation over the course of the two days”.