Academy Metro MUN 2018 exhibits student agency | Aga Khan Academies

Academy Metro MUN 2018 exhibits student agency

20 December 2018

The three-day Academy Metro MUN 2018 conference took place at AKA Hyderabad's beautiful 100-acre campus between 8th and 10th December 2018. This was the second edition of the inter-school MUN conference, aimed at bringing together students from various schools in Hyderabad to identify, discuss and debate on critical global issues that affect all of us.

Dr. Undurti & Priyodarshini DasThe opening ceremony was graced by Dr. Vindhya Undurti, Professor of Psychology in the Gender Studies department at Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Her powerful words definitely encouraged our young delegates to discuss issues of tremendous importance. The conference witnessed participation of about 200 students from some of the most prominent schools of Hyderabad such as Chirec International School, Meluha International School, Oakridge International School, Delhi School of Excellence, Army Public School (APS) Bolaram, Sreenidhi International School, Chaitanya Vidyalaya, and Diamond Jubilee High School.

The Academy hosted the conference as part of our mission to graduate students who are ‘reflective, compassionate, adventurous and creative citizens empowered as stewards to make a positive contribution in a changing world.’  In a world coloured by conflict, pollution and resource limitations, Academy Metro MUN provides an opportunity for emerging leaders from all schools to discuss and design solutions for a better tomorrow. The committees that featured in the conference were: Security Council, Disarmament and International Security (DISEC), Human Rights Council (HRC), Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Joint Crisis Committee (JCC), International Court of Justice (ICJ), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN) and the International Press. Some of the issues tackled at the conference were sexual violence against women in the CSW with special emphasis on female genital mutilation in the Middle East & North Africa, and the question of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Security Council.

Every committee was moderated by experienced and popular chairpersons who were either based in Hyderabad or who flew down from various cities in India. They made it a point that all delegates derived the best out of their time at the committees and Alyque Farishta, grade 10left with a substantial understanding of MUN proceedings as well as memories to cherish all their lives. Alyque Farishta, our Grade 10 student who participated as the Chief of Armed Forces in the Indian cabinet of the JCC, debated on the agenda ‘Indo-Pak War of 1971’ and won the best delegate award. In a candid interview post conference, he said, ‘It was the first time that I took part in such a committee and it was an intriguing experience. I did not expect to win the award as I learned and evolved as a delegate in Kalyan Raygalla, leftthe course of three days."

Kalyan Raygalla, executive board member from Woxsen School of Arts and Design, commented, “It was indeed a great pleasure to be on-board as the Chief of International Press. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to every single individual who was associated with the conference in making it a memorable one. Hospitality was top-notch. At any given point of time, when help was needed, it was delivered with utmost professionalism and respect.” He was glad to meet some young, aspiring journalists and photojournalists at the conference who worked rigorously and showed immense improvement during the course of the three days. At the conference winning an award was never a goal; instead, learning and exploring was the prime focus. However, the closing ceremony became a fantastic affair with participants from the Academy, Chirec, Oakridge, Sreenidhi, Meluha and APS winning some of the awards for best delegate, high Fatema Tapia, rightcommendation and even for exemplary accomplishments as journalists and photojournalists. 

“I had a great time at the conference," said Fatema Tapia from Oakridge. "The way the organizing committee and secretariat put it together was amazing, also the food on all three days was excellent! The chairs were the best executive board members that I have ever had, they were very experienced and they explained several concepts around the agenda."

Tanish Panjwani with Ms. PriyoThe conference justly exhibited student agency and the qualities of emergent leaders as the secretariat team worked relentlessly for six months prior towards making the conference a success. Tanish Panjwani, Chargé D'affaires, left no stone unturned in ensuring that the event was impeccably run. In the words of our Secretary General, Aryan Srivastava, “It was an endeavour that required a lot of commitment, passion and hard work. It was more like a journey for the student team of organisers where we not only learned how to collaborate with all the different departments in the school but also how to manage participants from other schools.” He added that the Academy Metro MUN truly demonstrated the benefit of organizing our intra-school AKAHMUN conference every year, which is a breeding ground for budding delegates. 

Academy Metro MUN 2018 was successful in promoting a culture of collaboration in Hyderabad and in encouraging all participants to be socially conscious leaders with a keen awareness of today’s global issues. We hope to see continued participation of young students in such conferences not only organized by the Academy but by other schools that believe in the power of change and change makers!

Written by Priyodarshini Das, Academy MUN coordinator