Windhoek-Jules van de Port, a learner from St Paul’s College, representing ‘South Africa’, was judged the best delegate during the Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) High Schools Conference at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre last week.
This is the second year that Van de Port has won the award the first time being last year when he first attended the conference. He says each year is a great experience as every year is different with much of the discussion depending on the topics at hand.
“The conference was really educative because we learnt how to think outside the box, tackle complex issues to do with the world, public speaking and thinking on our feet,” he says.
Van de Port adds that the whole principle is not really something one can add to or change since the event is literally a simulation of a United Nations General Assembly.
Other learners who attended the conference are echoing Van de Port’s sentiments about how great an experience the conference was. They say the two-day conference provided them with insight and exposed them to the workings of an extremely important international organisation.
The 6th conference this year brought together 75 learners from the regions of Khomas, Erongo and Oshikoto representing various countries as delegates discussing various topics such as harnessing the green economy to eradicate poverty; and improving coordination in humanitarian response to natural disasters and other emergencies.
Van de Port says the conference is a unique opportunity for learners from different schools to together confront the world’s problems under the United Nations organisation.
Cythia Alexander from Windhoek Gymnasium says the conference was a riveting experience offering insightful topics. “The topics were rather thought provoking and they compelled delegates to think outside the box about possible solutions. I learnt a lot from this conference,” she adds.
She says the conferences act as a platform for the youth to interact and challenge one another while harnessing their knowledge about the world at large.
“Apart from learning about the global state of affairs in terms of the green economy and humanitarian response to natural and man-made disasters, I learnt that the Namibian youth is a force to be reckoned with and they are more than capable of being the leaders of today and tomorrow,” Alexander says.
Delta Secondary School’s Thelma Mackinza says MUNNAM is a very good platform for intellectual debate providing them with insight on how foreign relations regarding the UN and procedures actually take place.
“One gets to experience a bit of diplomacy and learns world relations to a certain extent,” she notes.
Mackinza adds that as always one learns a lot from these conferences.
“I represented a country I never knew existed. Azerbaijan is not the most popular place, and I also learnt a lot about the two topics regarding the green economy and also international cooperation. I didn’t know much about them.” .
Mackinza says the conference is a good exposure and great motivation to leaners that are interested in a political career and international relations.
“This is an exceptional platform and I would absolutely recommend that more scholars are availed to participate in these conferences to learn how to articulate diplomatically and how to engage in meaningful debate.”