ACS hosts 8th annual LEBMUN conferences at AUB
The American Community School (ACS) hosted its 8th Annual Lebanese Model United Nations (LEBMUN) forums in four independent conference rooms at West Hall, AUB over a period of two days starting Friday, February 11 and ending Saturday, February 12. Participants attended from local schools such as ACS based in Beirut, Jesus and Mary School based in Rabieh, Sagesse High School based in Ain Saadeh and Hariri High School based in Saida as well as Al-Ahliyya international school for girls based in Jordan.
The Opening Ceremony was held at Bathish Auditorium in the West Hall on Friday, February 11 at 8:00 am where the keynote speaker was Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, head delegate of the European Union to Lebanon. Mrs. Eichhorst answered many questions mainly related to the political problems taking place in the Middle East providing students with a model for how fair and reasonable diplomats handle complex issues. Shortly after, at 9:30 ACS MUN Secretary General Yasmine Hallab announced the opening of the LEBMUN’11 Conference.
Students from the five schools were appointed as delegates and representatives of different countries. The delegates were assigned into the four forums of the LEBMUN conference, these forums being The General Assembly, The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), The Security Council and The International Court of Justice (ICJ). Between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, numerous debate sessions took place followed by a “lobbying and merging” session and a one-hour lunch break.
Each of the above forums assumed one President in addition to at least one deputy president. Having been appointed by LEBMUN Director Mrs. Rima Zein, these representatives headed the forums and were the people in charge of successively conducting and imitating each section of the United Nations.
As stated by the LEBMUN handbook:
The General Assembly “is a deliberative organ of the United Nations. It is the largest…and its resolutions represent the recommendations of the majority of the world’s nations.” The topics hosted by the LEBMUN’11 General Assembly were the nuclear situation in the Middle East and the status of child soldiers in the Geneva Convention.
The ECOSOC “serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues…It is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment…” Its main topics were America’s Embargo of Cuba and Incorporating Indigenous People into Society and the Global Mainstream while allowing them to preserve their cultures.
The Security Council, in short, “is one of the principal organs of the United Nations charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.” Topics discussed included reformation of UN policy towards the Burmese military Junta, addressing the situation in Afghanistan (the presence of NATO and/or Al Qaeda and the importance of UN peacekeeping in the region) and the Issue of responding to threats caused by non-state actors.
The fourth and last forum, the ICJ, “is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations…The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.” Its main topic, in short, was Armenia vs. Turkey.
The two day conferences ended with a modest reception at Bathish Auditorium, West Hall, where Daily Star keynote speaker Nadim Ladki commemorated this year’s LEBMUN’11 convention on all their dedication and commitment and, in conjunction with Zein, the presidents and Deputy Chairs of each council – Zeyd Tabbara, Talal Itani, and Shezza Dallal (General Assembly); Thomas Hewitt and Reem Chamseddine (The Security Council; Daniel Naim and Tanisha Singh (International Court of Justice), Lara Shabb and Sebastian Shehadeh (Economic and Social Council) - as well as the ACS MUN Secretary General Yasmine Hallab and the Deputy Secretary General Themis Elian, awarded Best Delegate and Most Diplomatic certificates to two deserving participants of The General Assembly – Best Delegate: Alice Hewitt (ACS) and Most Diplomatic Delegate: Tatiana Saba (Jesus and Mary School), ECOSOC - Best Delegate: Anna Eid (Sagesse High School) and Most Diplomatic Delegate: Fatimah Hijjawi (ACS) and The Security Council – Best Delegate: Hisham Hijjawi (ACS) and Most Diplomatic Delegate: Rana Asmar (Sagesse High School).
Regarding participants of the ICJ on the other hand, two deserving students were awarded certificates as Best Advocate: Jameel Showail (ACS) and Best Judge: Benson May (ACS). All participants including advisors were also awarded personalized certificates of participation.
In reflecting on the success of the forums, Zein voiced her hopes of expanding LEBMUN on an international scale in the future instead of remaining local and regional. The main obstacle as to achieving this transition she said was the political situation in Lebanon that prompted major problems when dealing with international schools. Zein ended saying that “AUB is always ready and here for us.”