2021 Mar 4
The primary goal of The International Model United Nations (TIMUN) is to empower today’s youth through intense diplomatic debate and active discussions at a solution-oriented simulation of the United Nations. TIMUN aims to create a generation of skillful delegates from around the world. This year’s conference saw an overwhelming participation of both local and international students alike. A conference known to inculcate and develop one’s writing, speaking and negotiation skills; TIMUN V Session took place from the 5th to the 7th of February and the executive committee, chairs and delegates alike would agree that once again TIMUN exceeded all expectations!
“The atmosphere created really helped to make this an enjoyable conference” -Hirupama Bandara of Royal College, Colombo
Due to the prevailing global pandemic, TIMUN V Session was hosted virtually via OCULUS, a platform designed to cater to virtual conferences such as TIMUN. Delegates were assembled in committee rooms and were able to exit and lobby with other delegates virtually. Features such as timers and voting were built into the system. The platform was equipped to host all delegates and participants of the conference in one room for the purpose of subsidiary conference events such as Keynote speeches. Further, if the delegates wanted to ease their minds OCULUS provided a selection of mini arcade games for the delegates to play and even had an Augmented Reality (AR) overview of some of the committees as seen at the United Nations headquarters located in New York.
This year seven committees were simulated ranging from committees such as the Third general assembly, the United Nations security council, the Economic and Social Council to the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the World Trade Organisation. Committee topics addressed contemporary issues such as ‘Systemic racism’, ‘Upholding Human Rights in light of the Covid-19 pandemic’, ‘The limitations of trade due to COVID-19’ and ‘Strengthening disaster response plans in the wake of climate change’.
“The chairs were also great and they were really supportive”- Treasa Adams (delegate of France, UNEP)
Apart from the intense debates, TIMUN hosted a diverse and imminent set of keynote speakers in between sessions. Notable diplomats such as Mr. Siripala Palihakkara, Chartered Environmental Professional Ms. Hemanthi Ranasinghe, Psychologist Mr. Nivendra Uduman, WHO Secretary General’s special envoy for COVID-19 in the South East Asia region Dr. Palitha Abeykoon were among the speakers who graced the conference with awe-inspiring presentations of their work. Their presentations/speeches imparted great insight and knowledge to delegates and chairs alike. Partner organisations of the conference such as Habitat for Humanity and Citizens were represented by the National Director, Mr. Yu Hwa Li and Mr. Janith Perera respectively.
In order to make this year’s conference debate of quality, TIMUN partnered with notable think tanks and organisations around Sri Lanka as knowledge partners. Representatives of organizations such as Verite Research, Institute of Policy Studies, Law and Society Trust, Helvetas Sri Lanka solicited specific committees and provided a presentation followed by a question and answer session to respective committees based on the conference topic.
A typical TIMUN conference would only be complete with its thought-provoking fictional crisis. This year’s theme; ‘Jumanji’ challenged delegates to work as a team, solving puzzles, deciphering anagrams and cracking codes to escape the jungle. Simulations such as this encourages delegates to rely on their imagination, wit and creativity and adds a special touch to the conference.
“TIMUN was a memorable experience especially because I was awarded. It was fun and not intimidating. I was not afraid to speak and felt relaxed as I felt no one would judge me based on what I said. I was also happy that everyone got an equal opportunity to speak” – Nehara Nanayakkara, Ladies’ College (UNSC)
Overall, TIMUN V Session was undoubtedly an amazing experience and once again proved to be an ideal platform for young, upcoming diplomats to debate current issues and to come up with creative and feasible solutions. TIMUN strives to create a community of talented leaders, pioneers and thinkers who wish to change the world for the better. The satisfactory feedback received from delegates and chairs alike stands as assurance that TIMUN V Session was successful in doing just that. The TIMUN conference for 2021 is set to take place this December. Further information will be provided via social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn of the International MUN.
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