Georgetown University in Qatar takes the Model United Nations to India

جامعة جورجتاون في قطر تنقل مؤتمر نموذج الأمم المتحدة إلى الهند

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22 July 2013

From July 22nd through the 24th, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) will host their first ever Model United Nations conference in Delhi, India, where over 250 high school students from 31 Delhi-area schools will take part in the long standing tradition of academic simulations of the United Nations, to gain insights into effective negotiation and global conflict resolution.


Earlier this year, GU-Q hosted their 8th annual MUN conference at the Qatar National Convention Center, where some 350 high school students representing 20 local and 40 international schools from at least 25 different countries, took part. However, the upcoming Delhi conference will be the first time that any campus of Georgetown University, which was founded in Washington D.C. in 1789, will host an MUN in India.


GU-Q dean, Dr. Gerd Nonneman, explains the move to India as a natural extension of the school’s global perspective. “Since the 2005 establishment of the Georgetown University campus in Qatar, we have embarked on the exciting journey of bringing an internationally ranked liberal arts and international affairs program to new communities and new students in Qatar and the region. As part of the fast-developing web of relations between countries across the globe, India's regional and global roles have also grown increasingly complex, which is why we particularly look forward to hosting an MUN in India for the first time, and to engaging future generations of global citizens from this dynamic country.”


The upcoming MUN will be focused on the issues and topics that will be covered by actual UN committees, such as transnational water resources and human rights, state-building, pollution and development, the debt crisis, and sectarian violence in Burma and Iraq.


But beyond the working sessions, the conference will also feature a Diplomatic Reception which will give participating students the opportunity to meet and interact with Delhi's diplomatic community, as well as an "Explore Georgetown" evening where participants can learn more about the history of Georgetown and about campus life for their students in Education City. Taking advantage of their India visit, the university is also organizing an Alumni event, with a reception for Georgetown graduates living in India.


“All of the programs at Georgetown strive to create well-rounded graduates who are uniquely poised to address complex global issues,” added Dean Nonneman. “Our MUN program has proven very successful in Doha: it presents an outstanding platform for high-school students to debate global questions and we are proud to bring it to India."

 

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Speech of Nengcha Lhouvum, Dean, Foreign Service Institute:

The challenge of Indian diplomacy

Dr. Gerd Nonneman, Dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Qatar, Mr. James Seevers, Director, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University, Washington D.C,
Boy and girls participating in the Model United Nations, Teachers,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I thank the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Qatar for this privilege of speaking to you today. I am here this morning as a member of the Indian Foreign Service and Dean of the Foreign Service Institute.

As the top 250 Indian high school students selected to represent your schools at the Model UN, you represent the talent and hopes of India at a time when India is at the threshold of becoming a major pole in international relations as a developing and emerging nation.

In this journey, the Indian Foreign Service is the diplomatic arm of India. It is the interface of India with the international community when it comes to negotiating a better deal for India - in politics, economics, finance, culture or technology.

Friends, in the Model UN in which you are participating, you will represent individually or in groups, the whole world. Ancient Indian thought views the world as “Vasudhaivam Katumbakam” : "All the world is a family". The Model UN would prepare you for that view of the world that is intrinsic to our thinking, of a vision of universalism that we should strive for ceaselessly.

Yet, in the real world, you will be governed by your birth, your upbringing, your domicile, your jobs, borders, passports and visas. And for that, most of you will always be Indian. Despite technologies that have shrunk the world, that world is not yet borderless; and our thinking is not yet universalistic. This is still a world of nations and national interests. That is where the Indian Foreign Service comes in: to defend and promote India’s national interests abroad. This sounds a bit abstract. What is it that we do? And how do we do it?

Put simply, the role of the Indian Foreign Service is to represent India abroad. At one level, a country of 1.2 billion people, one-sixth of humanity; a democracy, the world's biggest; an emerging economy until recently growing at 8%, now slowed down to 6%, but growing nevertheless with companies like the Tatas, Mahindras, Infosys and the like leading the charge; one of the sources of world civilization, especially Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, metaphysics, music and dance, and folk culture; a one-million army; a space power, a nuclear power. At another level, a country with almost sub-Saharan levels of poverty, malnutrition, disease and illiteracy. You have to represent both: the interests of the India that is at the cutting edge, and the interests of the India that is at the edge of survival. It is a complex 'brand', far more complex than representing a company or a product be it coca cola or aircraft carriers. No one but you can have the privilege of representing 'Brand India' in the fullest sense of the term, with all its complexities.

How do we do it? Well, to some extent, the Model UN provides part of the answer, the multilateral part. Diplomacy can be divided into two parts: the bilateral and the multilateral. Bilateral diplomacy is the part where you are posted to a country, let us say, the United States or Qatar or any other country, where you have to protect and promote your interests in more or less restrictive environments. Multilateral diplomacy on the other hand, is a global market-place of negotiations on every subject under the sun. Your influence is limited by the need for consensus among all the countries of the world. At the same time, what you negotiate represents the state of art of what the world can agree to, and has global relevance.

In that intersection of national interest and global consensus, lies the value of the United Nations, a value that you will realize over the next two days as you debate important issues facing the world today such as human rights, the rise of Islamism, pollution and development, the debt crisis, sectarian violence, etc. The Model UN provides you the opportunity, just for that moment, to step outside your national shoes and get into someone else's; to look at an issue of vital importance to you from the eyes of others, even adversaries. It is an opportunity to empathize with others and understand that in most cases, there is nothing intrinsically evil about our enemy, that many of our problems are problems of location, where we are in the world, geographically, historically and culturally. And if only we could temper those national interests with the empathy that we can gain from looking at the world from another country's point of view, we would be that much closer to a peaceful world. If only that were the case....

There is one more dimension to diplomacy - the domestic dimension that is not often realized. As a representative of your country abroad, there is perhaps no one in a better position than you to see your weaknesses. Foremost among them (for us Indians) is our failure to eliminate poverty, illiteracy and lack of civic sense. If India is growing at 6% today, this is mainly the work of the most productive segment of its population, some 200-300 million at the most, whose productivity can lift a population of 1.2 billion to 6% GDP growth. Imagine what India could be if it could lift that 300-400 million that live between the edge of survival and the 2+% growth of our agriculture sector! Imagine the geo-political impact of these 300-400 million producing at 6%! From that point of view, the elimination of poverty should, ironically be India’s top most foreign policy priority. In other words, a foreign service officer can also be a force of domestic change, a reformer. That then is the full scope of an Indian diplomat: representative of your country abroad, defender and promoter of your interests, and a potential reformer and force for change at home.

Friends, your grand parents’ generation and my parents’ generation came to their youth and productive life in independent India. Though their generation may have missed some buses and some turns in their lifetime, they brought us to where we are today. We were fortunate to have had leaders and visionaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel, B.R. Ambedkar, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and a galaxy of others before and after them, who had a stature well beyond India. Their contribution to political morality and idealism, thought and action, culture and intellect, religion and scientific temper, mass mobilization and constitutionalism, and institution and nation-building placed them on the front ranks of thought leaders of the world in their time.

Boys and girls, India needs a new generation of leaders for the world today. That leadership must now come from you. Whichever career your choose, and I hope some of you will choose the Indian Foreign Service, you will play a role in this New India. Destiny beckons you, but destiny is not given; it is made. It is made by each of us but the burden of the future will fall most of all on you, the new generation. If you succeed, India will succeed. Are you ready for the challenge?

 

 

 

١٨ يوليو ٢٠١٣

تستضيف كلية الشؤون الدولية بجامعة جورجتاون في قطر خلال الفترة 22-24 يوليو الجاري، ولأول مرة، فعاليات مؤتمر نموذج الأمم المتحدة في مدينة دلهي بالهند، بمشاركة أكثر من 250 من طلاب المرحلة الثانوية من 31 مدرسة محلية من منطقة دلهي. ويقدم المؤتمر محاكاة أكاديمية للجان الأمم المتحدة وجلساتها، حيث سيدخل طلاب المدارس الثانوية في مناقشات وتداولات ومشاورات بغرض إطلاعهم على كيفية إيجاد حلول لأبرز القضايا الشائكة في العالم، وذلك في محاكاة حقيقية لعمل المنظمة ومؤسساتها المختلفة.


وخلال وقت سابق من العام الجاري، التقى في الدوحة وعلى مدى أربعة أيام أكثر من 350 من طلاب المرحلة الثانوية من 20 مدرسة محلية و40 مدرسة دولية تمثل ما يزيد عن 25 دولة، للمشاركة في أعمال مؤتمر نموذج الأمم المتحدة السنوي الثامن الذي استضافه مركز قطر الوطني للمؤتمرات. وسيشكل مؤتمر دلهي القادم المرة الأولى التي يستضيف فيها أحد فروع جامعة جورجتاون العريقة، التي تأسست في واشنطن عام 1789، مؤتمر نموذج الأمم المتحدة في الهند.


وتعليقاً على نقل المؤتمر إلى الهند في إطار الرؤية العالمية للجامعة، قال الدكتور غيرد نونيمان، عميد كلية الشؤون الدولية بجامعة جورجتاون في قطر: "منذ تأسيس الحرم الجامعي لجامعة جورجتاون في قطر عام 2005، نواصل تقديم منهاج أكاديمي عالمي المستوى في مجال الشؤون الدولية لطلاب من مختلف الجنسيات من داخل قطر والمنطقة بأكملها. وفي ظل تنامي الأدوار الإقليمية والعالمية للهند بصورة متزايدة التعقيد، قررنا استضافة مؤتمر نموذج الأمم المتحدة في هذه البلد لأول مرة بهدف تعريف الأجيال القادمة من مواطنيها بما يدور في العالم من حولهم".


وسيركز مؤتمر نموذج الأمم المتحدة القادم على مجموعة من القضايا والمواضيع التي ستتناولها لجان الأمم المتحدة الفعلية، مثل موارد المياه العابرة للحدود الوطنية، وحقوق الإنسان، وبناء الدولة، والتلوث، والتنمية، وأزمة الديون، والعنف الطائفي في كل من بورما والعراق.


وبعيدًا عن جلسات العمل التي سيتم عقدها، سوف يتضمن المؤتمر حفل استقبال دبلوماسي يُتيح للطلاب المشاركين فرصة الالتقاء والتفاعل مع المجتمع الدبلوماسي في دلهي، إضافة إلى أمسية "التعرف على جورجتاون"؛ حيث سيتعرف المشاركون بشكل أكبر على تاريخ جامعة جورجتاون وحياة طلاب الجامعة داخل المدينة الجامعية. وبمناسبة زيارتها للهند، سوف تنظم الجامعة أيضًا حفلاً خاصاً بخريجي جامعة جورجتاون الذين يعيشون في الهند.


وأضاف غيرد نونيمان قائلاً: "نهدف من خلال البرامج المتنوعة التي نقدمها في جامعة جورجتاون إلى تخريج طلاب على دراية واسعة بمختلف المشكلات والتحديات العالمية المعقدة وطرق حلها. وإننا فخورون بنقل برنامج نموذج الأمم المتحدة إلى الهند بعد النجاح الباهر الذي حققه في الدوحة، حيث سيوفر منصة توعية رئيسية لطلاب المدارس الثانوية لمناقشة أبرز القضايا العالمية".