By Olimatou Coker
With a mission to develop and establish a working understanding of the political, economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems of the world, the Model United Nations Gambia (MUNG) held its first ever simulation conference in the country.
The objective of the conference is to simulate what happens at the United Nations.
Foday Yarbou, Secretary-General, said MUNG conference is not just an academic simulation program as it serves as a platform to nurture and develop future leaders.
“It simulates the United Nations functions, policies, and programs and helps equip young future leaders diplomatically.
“This National Model United Nations conference aims to educate participants about global issues and challenges and also promote peace and the work of the United Nations through cooperation and diplomacy. The United Nations, an intergovernmental organization, is the apex and epitome of all diplomatic relations. The simulation of the institution is a popular exercise for those interested in learning and knowing more things about the organization.”
SG Yarbou added that the conference will benefit participants in many ways. “It will help delegates develop deeper knowledge and understanding of foreign policies of countries across the globe and improve their critical thinking, it will broaden their horizons in expository and persuasive writing, debating, and negotiation which are important for personal development and future success.”
He said having had the privilege of attending numerous Model United Nations conferences around the world, and also working with various Gambian diplomatic missions and embassies, “I can attest to the invaluable experiences gained and the positive impact these diplomatic conferences and work experiences have had on my professional career and that this conference will produce similar experiences for our participants and delegates. My fellow Gambian youth need to be well-trained in diplomacy and the country’s foreign policy in order to be able to represent the country effectively and efficiently in the diplomatic arena.”
“In an increasingly complex world, where crime rates are soaring, climate change is posing formidable challenges, migration issues are becoming more pressing, and health emergencies are on the rise, it is evident that we need global cooperation and partnerships to find feasible solutions.
“It is my firm belief that diplomatic negotiations and international dialogue are essential in tackling these issues effectively. Through this conference, we aim to encourage open discussions and create an environment conducive to constructive debates, seeking innovative and diplomatic approaches to address these global problems.”
Dr. Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, a former foreign minister and career diplomat, who spoke on combating poverty and inequality through international cooperation, said: “Our survival depends a lot upon the power of the diplomacy of this country. It is a tiny country surrounded by Senegal, and we try to do everything in order to see to it that we have a solid Senegambian relationship all in the interest of peace. So the title that you have given to what I should mention is both very inspiring and at the same time challenging but it is one fundamental reason why the ground work should be done”.
Mr Jobe said for us to be able to alleviate poverty, there should be a real structured plan. “When you look into the streets and see the amount of school boys and girls, you ask yourself, what is being done for these people to be able to get a job when they leave school? And it is in that desire to see that we expand and we stop rural migration that people leave the interior of the country and come into the capital to get jobs,” he noted.
Abdoulie Sawo, lecturer at the University of The Gambia, spoke on the role of youths in peace building and conflict resolution. “The world today is even more dangerous than so many years ago. Why? Because there are so many conflicts that are ongoing. If you are not in the geography of these conflicts, they are affecting you in one way or the other. Around the world, we have more than 100 armed conflicts that are ongoing. Some of these conflicts have been ongoing for more than 30 years. That means some of the conflicts around the world, some of these armed and violent conflicts around the world are older than me, and some of you. They are still ongoing and we have the United Nations and we have other international organizations that will be responsible for maintaining global peace. But why are we still living in such a dangerous world? Well, there are so many factors.”
Dr. Isatou Jobe , a counsellor at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke on women’s employment in diplomacy and promoting female representation in diplomatic roles.