The pandemic is a challenge thrown to the humanity to re-think and rediscover
SAI International School, one of the leading schools of India with a commitment of purposeful education in the K-12 educational space of the country, hosted eSAI Model United Nations 2020 (eSAIMUN 2020), the annual Model United Nations (MUN) Conference adopting the digital route, the first ever such Conference being organised virtually at SAI International. Around 750 delegates 20 committees and 10 countries from Australia, Japan, UAE, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, USA, Uganda and India along with 34 Schools, participated in eSAIMUN 2020.
The inaugural session of eSAIMUN 2020 was attended by Ambassador Kelly Craft, Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to the United Nations at New York, Mr Joel Reifman, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad, Mr Daniel Sim, Deputy Consul General, Australian Consulate Kolkata, Mr Nick Low, Deputy High Commissioner United Kingdom, Kolkata, and Dr Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, Founder and Mentor SAI International Education Group & Advisor and Working President of Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan, Government of Odisha as the key note speakers.
Dr. Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, Founder and Mentor - SAI International Education Group & Advisor and Working President of Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan, Government of Odisha said “The pandemic is a challenge thrown to the humanity to re-think and rediscover that is yet untouched and unexplored, to make learning more meaningful. Across the globe, the pandemic has sparked uncertainties of an unparalleled magnitude, not only on the economy of the countries but also on the education sector. eSAIMUN has given us an opportunity to connect with luminaries across the globe who will provide a great input on the working of the UN, insight on the contemporary global challenges and stimulate the young minds to ideate and come out with rational solutions”.
The first ever eSAIMUN was more dynamic and intellectually stimulating event and will brought about a prolific change in the learning horizon of all the participants. Apart from the enriching debates and interesting agendas, a lot of global interaction took place during the two-day Conference which would complement the learning experiences of the delegates. For easy monitoring and better interaction, two different groups were formed, one for Classes IX and X and another for Classes XI and XII. Each group had ten different Committees with interesting and contemporary agendas and was be chaired by extremely competent Executive Board.
This year, the students discussed, delved and deliberated on global issues in twenty different committees including United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), United Nations General Assembly - Disarmament & International Security (UNGA-DISEC), United Nations Security Council (UNSC), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM),United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL), United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) and International Labour Organization (ILO).
Kelly Craft, Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to the United Nations at New York congratulated SAI International School for holding Model United Nation during the pandemic. “It’s heartening to see 750 delegates assembled for a common cause of bringing peace and harmony globally through debates and deliberations, said Ambassador Kelly Craft.
Mr Joel Reifman Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad, greeted the delegates with a warm and friendly namaskar and said SAI International Model United Nations conference is an outstanding opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the nuances of Public Policy and International Relations that are key to solving problems across cultures and ideologies. Here you will improve your communication and collaborative skills. You also will improve your negotiation and persuasive skills and further discover your fundamental value set. While speaking to the delegates Mr Reifman quoted Mahatma Gandhi and said “All compromise is based on give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on fundamental is surrender for it is all give and take.”
Mr Daniel Sim, Deputy Consul General, Australian Consulate Kolkata, while addressing the delegates said the SAI International Model United nation is a good platform where the students will learn to amplify and add weight to their arguments. Mr. Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata said: “I congratulate SAI International School and its partners for showing international leadership in organising and hosting the Model United Nations. The great global issues of our time – the pandemic, climate change, returning the world to sustainable growth, eradicating poverty – need common purpose and global solutions. The United Kingdom is proud to play a leading role on the global stage and to work with India as a force for good. I am honoured to participate in this event and look forward to returning to Bhubaneswar in the future to visit SAI International. I wish you very well indeed.”
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of United Nations and to strengthen the eight years of partnership with UNIC, a special plenary session was organised at eSAIMUN 2020. The session was facilitated by Shri Rajiv Chandran, National Information Officer (and currently Officer-in-Charge) at the United Nations Office in India and Bhutan.
Shri Rajiv Chandran congratulated SAI International School and said by quoting Nelson Mandela, “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” Thorough Model United Nations our quest for a better future, dignity, opportunity and prosperity for all on a healthy planet seems to be fulfilled in the near future.
eSAIMUN 2020 also witnessed a special Global Village session, wherein students from Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, USA, Australia, Uganda, UAE and India participated in exchange of culture activities. A panel discussion on COVID and post COVID situation was held. In the AIESEC Culture Sharing Activities, the students discussed and shared their favourite part of country, country wise cuisine, dance, art & craft, music & songs amongst other topics. The event also had an inspiring video message by Secretary-General to the United Nations, H.E. António Guterres. Going further the participants were encouraged to discuss four key questions ‘What kind of future do we want to create?’, ‘Are we on track?’, ‘ What action is needed to bridge the gap?’ and ‘ How can we Build Back Better.
In the Valedictory Ceremony, Head Girl Shivangi Vikas Mishra welcomed the delegates. Dr.Sahoo congratulated all the delegates from across the globe for a wonderful MUNning and said that SAIMUN will leave an everlasting impact on their learning horizon and unite them for achieving global peace and harmony.
Ms. Barbara Wickham, OBE, Director, British Council India in her address to the young delegates stressed that the problem being faced in the planet are mostly pan-international and requires International effort more than ever before now. She inspired the students to become globally aware.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Palaces Buganda Kingdom , Uganda, H.E. Kyewalabye Male David appreciated the effort of SAI International School in bringing together young people to work towards making the world a better place. He fondly recalled his earlier visit to SAI International during SAIMUN 2016 and 2017.
Climate Activist & UN Youth Advisor on Climate Change, Ms. Archana Soreng advised the students to develop a willingness to render their contribution for a better world. She inspired them to think innovatively and support each other to tackle climate change.
Proposing the vote of thanks, Secretary General Anurag Patnaik said that eSAIMUN was an insightful experience where students may be physically apart but united by hearts and minds, for a common cause. The event culminated with a musical evening by Bollywood Singer Ms. Lisa Mishra.
SAI Model United Nations (SAIMUN) Conference is considered as one of India’s largest MUN.SAIMUN is a duly accredited registered event of United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan (UNIC), under the aegis of the United Nations (UN) and follows the UN4MUN procedures. Initiated in the year 2013, the maiden event of SAIMUN was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik. The objective of SAIMUN is to seek, through discussion, negotiation and debate solutions to the various problems of the world, enabling the participating students learn to adopt views and attitudes, other than their own and break away from the confined self-interest and develop international cooperation and tolerance. SAIMUN is held every year to build leadership skills, increase global literacy and expand critical thinking in students by exposing them to the working of the UN. The theme of SAIMUN is "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam"- One world one family, which inspires the participants to work collaboratively and come out with innovative solutions to the various challenges outlined in the agenda.