A Debate for Peace delegation participated in the Model UN of Malmo for the first time in November 2019. Six students, from four cities around Israel and representing three religions, traveled to Malmo for the MUN conference, interfaith and intercultural programming in Malmo, and a day of briefings and study sessions in Stockholm.
The students represented Pakistan and Sweden in a variety of committees, dealing with topics ranging from women’s empowerment to combating narcotics cultivation, to the conflict in the Kashmir region. They spent several days debating and negotiating with students from dozens of ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds at MUN of Malmo, hosted by the Malmö Borgarskola.
During the conference, the delegation joined several local interfaith initiatives as well, including a discussion on Promoting pluralism and tolerance in a democracy, with speakers from the Buddhist, Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim communities, hosted by the Mahmood Ahmadiyya mosque in Malmo; a text-based discussion about “The Chosen People” through the Jewish-Muslim Amanah project, and an interfaith shabbat dinner with Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim participants. The delegation also participated in an interreligious dialogue workshop run by the religious social-democrats in Skane-Blekinge.
Following the conference, the delegation traveled to Stockholm. There they met with John Robbins at the US Embassy in Stockholm; Ambassador Sotos A. Liassides at the Embassy of Cyprus; Anna Henderson Young at the Foreign Ministry of Sweden; Otto Widmark at the Olof Palme International Center for a discussion on international aid and development, and Dr. Mark Klamberg, professor of international law at Stockholm University, to learn about international humanitarian, human rights, and criminal law.
Yuval Cohen participated in the delegation from Kadima High School, and he told Diplomacy that this was “A great experience that I will never forget”, which “exposed me to different cultures and people all around the globe...an experience that every teen should experience!” Yara Katish, from Maghar High School,called the delegation a “once in a lifetime opportunity with unforgettable memories”, adding that the most interesting part of the trip for her was meeting different people in different positions in the political and educational fields, and “hearing advice and important things that will help us in our near/far future.”
Debate for Peace Director Steven Aiello expressed special gratitude to the Embassy of Sweden in Tel Aviv to the MUNOM organizers and hosts, to Imam Riwan Ahmad Afzal, and to Adrian Kaba and Peter Vig from the Interreligious Dialogue workshop, for their assistance in the delegation.
Photo Credit :MUNOM and Debate for Peace