Israel held its largest virtual Model UN conference ever, as 150 students from over a dozen schools competed at Young Ambassadors Model UN 2020. The conference was held as part of UN75, with a summary report being submitted to the UN75 office following the event. Students represented a variety of countries and international actors, as they discussed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the point of view of youth, as the world may face them in 2050, and even recreated the UN in a historical 1945 committee.
UN75, the UN’s initiative to more broadly engage civil society in the trajectory of our world, and Model UN, which empowers youth, fit together naturally. Thus as the end of 2020 approaches, and with in person conferences not yet viable, the Chen Young Ambassadors School of Petah Tiqva, led by Mrs. Rachel Amrani, held Israel’s first UN75 Model UN as a virtual conference on Sunday, November 22, 2020. More than 150 students grades 4-12 participated from all over Israel, as well as several other countries.
In keeping with the UN75 goals, the conference challenged participating youth to really engage with the SDGs and the direction they see the world heading in. In one committee beginning students discussed how the SDGs might be modified to better reflect the perspectives of youth. Several committees were futuristic, asking students to imagine the world in 2050 and what new challenges and realities might be facing the UN then. In these committees, in addition to member states, students represented companies like Amazon or Google, and entities like the “International Robot Union” and the “Mars Science Colony”.
At the closing ceremony, Mrs. Rachel Amrani and the principal of the Ramon Comprehensive School in Petah Tiqva, Ms. Liza Reches, addressed the students. Ms. Stephanie Baric, a consultant on Child Protection for UNICEF, with experience addressing poverty and social injustice in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, spoke as a guest of the US Embassy. Mr. Jonathan Eshpar, Political Affairs officer at the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process spoke as well. All of the speakers emphasized how proud they were of the students for all they had achieved, in their very first MUN, and the importance of dealing with global challenges like the SDGs, and in using critical thinking and negotiation to try to solve problems big and small, global and local.
After the speeches it was time for the awards. In the Hebrew committees, Hili Hershcberg (Bialik school), Noy Meshita (Yitshak Navon), Gaia Gol (Devora Omer), Gaya Harush (Natan Yonatan), Shachar Nadav (Ein Ganim), Maya Battat (Natan Yonatan), Itay Yariv (Natan Yonatan), and Yali Ben-shmuel (Natan Yonatan) received Outstanding Delegate awards. The Best Delegates were Liya Roitman (Bar Lev), Yaniv Herwig (Bialik), Kfir Levita (Ein Ganim), Yuval Hakim (Yitshak Navon), and Rotem Getraide (Paul Kor). In the 5-7th grade committee, Raz Gigi (Ramon school), Itzhar Tamim (Ramon) and Harel Serruya (Shifer) were Outstanding delegates, while Bar Swift (Ein Ganim) and Lior Amram (Ramon) were Best Delegates. In the Youth and SDGs committee, Aiman Namouz (Greek Catholic), and May Kaplan (Ramon) won Outstanding Delegate, and Amir Kashani (Young Ambassadors) was Best Delegate. In the intermediate level UN2050 committee, Yonatan Oren (Ein Ganim), Yaniv Becker (Young Ambassadors) and RH (Debate for Peace) won Outstanding Delegate, while MA was Best Delegate (Debate for Peace. In the 1945 committee (Advanced), Rawan Wajeeh(Iksal high school) and Ansam Darawshi (Iksal high school) were the Outstanding Delegates, while Idan Avni (Debate for Peace) was Best Delegate. Congratulations to all over the participants!
Photo Chen Young Ambassadors School