After months of preparation and excitement, 1,600 students from 20 countries and 16 U.S. states attended on May 15th and 16th, the high school conference of the Global Classroom International Model United Nations, in New York.

As the United Nations headquarters opened its doors for young diplomats, staff members, and esteemed guests, the Secretary-General of GCIMUN, Louis Kim, welcomed the attendees with pride and excitement as he reminded the audience that they are present for the sake of the values that the United Nations stand by.

‘Freedom of speech, gender equality, stability, peace’, enumerated Kim.

The Secretary-General explained the importance of the Model United Nations in raising awareness and creating united global citizens, striving for a better world.

The Deputy Secretary-General of the UN: An example to follow

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, assured that this leadership program is one of the most joyful projects of the United Nations and urged the young diplomats to build a good society where peace, development and hope are the main goals.

‘There is no peace without development. And there is no development without peace’, spoke Eliasson.

‘And none of the above exist without the respect of human rights’, he explained.

To conclude, Eliasson quoted the United Nations’ Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who said that: ‘the future is the horizon. It is the vision. But it is also the steps you take tomorrow’. Steps guided by moral values based on equality, tolerance, and acceptance.

TV Personality Marcel Ghanem: The face of freedom

Lebanese TV Personality and host of the famous show Kalam El-Nass also gave the delegates life lessons that he lives by, in order for them to dream more and do more.

‘Always dream big and work hard’, told Ghanem to the students. ‘Never give up’, he urged them.

Creating a better tomorrow

‘Good habits formed at youth make all the difference’. Aristotle said it all. In order to create a better tomorrow, delegates played the role of Ambassadors in United Nations Committees and discussed respective current topics.

It is crucial for the youth to be aware of what is happening around the world, for one does not live in their own bubble, but in a place that belongs to everyone.

UNA-USA Professional Staff member, Avik Chakravarty assured that the best thing about this year’s secretariat is the fact that they come from all over the world, with different mentalities, cultures, and traditions.

‘They each have a unique perspective and the best practices, which makes GCIMUN successful’, assured Chakravarty.

Although we might face obstacles, Conference Services staff member, Chemil Makhlouta belives that though, ‘it is hard to get everything together […] with perseverance in our team, we have managed and will continue to manage whatever comes our way’.

This conference is ‘organized, efficient, and fruitful’, said another staff member, Wadih Khnaizir.

As for the Senior Secretariat, it is extremely happy with the staff’s work. ‘Although we come from different places in the world, we are all working together to make this possible’, declared SS member Jesús Karlo Almaguer Flores.
Flores explained the importance of teamwork in order to make the best out of the conference. ‘Together, we accomplish better and more’, he insisted.  

LAU assumes responsibility of Model UN conference in New York

The Model United Nations is an academic competition in which students simulate the multilateral organization’s two main bodies: the General Assembly and the Security Council, as they learn about diplomacy, international relations, the United Nations, and critical skills such as public speaking, debate, leadership and teamwork, among others.

The Executive-Director of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) Chris Whatley, announced with pride that starting next year, the Lebanese American University would take on the responsibility of running two of its major programs: the Global Classrooms International High School Model UN Conference and the Global Classrooms International Middle School Model UN Conference.

In the same room where member states from 193 countries gather, every year, for the UN General Assembly meeting, LAU’s President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra assured that ‘the Lebanese American University is committed to excellence in everything it does’.