Ban Ki-moon delivers a keynote at the inaugural GEMS World Academy Model United Nations conference in Dubai
January 11, 2020
GEMS World Academy Model United Nations (GWAMUN) hosted its 1st conference in Dubai from January 9th to 11th, 2020. As Ambassador of the Model United Nations of the GEMS World Academy (GWA), Co-chair Ban Ki-moon inaugurated the 1st GWAMUN and delivered a keynote at the opening of the conference.
In his keynote address, Ban Ki-moon said:
“We have to be inspired to go out into the world and to work not only for the betterment of our own country but also for the betterment of humankind. It is critical that we all are global citizens first and act with passion and compassion.
Today’s youth must be empowered to talk about these issues. I am confident that together, we can make the world safer and more sustainable for today and for generations to come.”
The two-day conference was attended by more than 500 delegates from 34 GEMS Education schools including GWA Singapore and other schools in the UAE. The conference was also attended by world leaders, government officials, educators and students from around the region, including former UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who also serves as a Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, as well as CEO of the Centre Monika Froehler.
“I am delighted to attend the first conference where I had the privilege of meeting the GEMS World Academy students and thank the Secretariat team led by their Director-General Lihong Wang, and Deputy General Aditya Joshi for organizing the Model United Nations Conference. These students are passionate and committed to the MUN concept. They are our future as I look forward to seeing how they will deal with critical topics impacting our world,” Ban added.
The conference, under the theme of “Challenges of Intervention in a Complex World,” was organized by the GWAMUN Secretariat – a group of seven students from GWA, who Co-chair Ban had a meeting with before the opening of the conference. The MUN sessions concentrated on driving dialogue and sharping perceptions as well as gaining a critical understanding of the social, political, economic, and environmental challenges confronting the international community. Delegates discussed key aspects such as the difficulties of intervention in an increasingly complex, connected, and the multipolar world – one of the greatest challenges facing the global community.
The GEMS students also performed music pieces at the opening, some wearing Korean traditional clothes. GWAMUN’s ambition is not merely bringing simulation benefits to individuals but cultivating an ethic of service and a character of mindfulness. The conference aims to bring into closer contact the magnitude of the challenges confronting all of humanity and inspire each and everyone to match words with meaningful actions.
Dino Varkey, CEO of GEMS Education, said:
“We are delighted to be joined by our guest of honour – the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations – His Excellency Ban Ki-moon – our Ambassador for the Model United Nations at GEMS World Academy Schools worldwide. It is absolutely a privilege for us, and for the students from around the region who are attending the conference debating on real world issues from climate change to alleviating poverty. With the generous support of Ban Ki-moon, our students have already started receiving an unrivalled learning opportunity to take notes from such an inspirational personality. They can develop a stronger understanding of diplomacy and gain a clearer worldview on current issues, helping them become truly global citizens.”
GEMS World Academy Dubai, founded in 2008 as a member of the GEMS Education network of schools, has gone from strength to strength and now welcomes more than 1,500 students from 85 countries every day.