Some people see the glass half full, others see it half empty, and a few see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be. It is said that life is ever too many perspectives welded together, it is the purpose of this article to provide you, dear reader, a peripheral perspective of the International Press Corps.
As the first of the three vibrant days, that I spent as a guest amidst the IPC, draws to a close, If I had to pick one word to describe the atmosphere behind the closed doors of the International Press Corps, it would be ‘authentic’
In all fairness, it is a fact that this entire conference is simulative in nature, and is based on a copy of a placeworthy example, but the experience of the International Press Corps is indeed one of a kind.
I have never seen a group of misfits akin to all of us here at The Link who could be completely random at times, but could also be so efficient as to print an entire newsletter within a single day.
The people at the IPC are extra weird, extra crazy, extra whacky and extra eccentric. But they are also extra nice, extra caring, extra efficient and extra special.
It has indeed been a privilege working with the IPC, the sixth session of Sri Lanka Model United Nations has indeed been the best I’ve ever had.
Chiranthi, Panchali, Tehani – you can’t kill me now because I’ve included your names in the article
Isuru, Kavindu, Sarah – you guys are the best at what you do, the most ‘efficient children’
Amber, Rishika – even though you guys don’t talk a lot, it has been an absolute adventure working with you guys
Kishin – Ive had known you for so long and written so many sketches of you, im just going to shut up.
Clifford – He’s bad with names, but hes an incredible addition to the IPC ( Saarah J )
Bulletins, Newsletters and Articles couldn’t get any better; The IPC 2013 is truly one of a kind.
Reported by – Clifford Issac
The second day of conference in GA2 began with a rather somber role call. The serious-looking delegates sat waiting for the resolutions to be discussed. The resolution debated in the morning was on the topic ‘Restructuring the IMF and WTO and evalution of the Dola Round of talks.’ The delegate of Bosnia, a sponsor of the first resolution debated today, explained about the BDB stating that it was not a replacement of the IMF but acts as another choice eliminates problems with the IMF though it is controversial with some nations and helps countries with their domestic industries. The subject of the formation of an observation body by the UN to look over the transactions carried by the IMF was brought up in an operative clause and delegate brought up the importance of this as it helps prevent fraud and corruption. The delegate of Greece, another sponsor of the said resolution, told the house ‘’the reason we are here is to make the world a better place and this resolution will help this. Therefore, I urge the house t vote for this resolution.’’ The delegate of Omanmbrought up the fact that under the agriculture agreement, the agricultural funds were aready been sybsidized and therefore the operative clause with relation to that was redundant. A sonsor retaliated saying that countries such as USA has employhed such measures with regard to their cotton production. The delegate of Chad brught up the fact that develoing countries were also involved and not just developed countries. This was followed by the delegate of USA statig that the delegates country provided subsidiaries to Brazil for agricultural matters. A sponsor brought up the fact that by providing subsidiaries for agriculture by counties such as USA, it is difficult for developing countries to provide subsidiaries and therefore that is why the clause discussed had been added to ive these devoplong a chance.
Reported by ~ Tehani Tissera
The United Nations Envionmental Program has certainly made Mother Nature proud. The resolution debated in the morning was on the topic ‘Discussing the possible use of amines which are chemical components that are said to release emissions.’ The delegates of the committee were all pumped up for th debate. The deleaget of Spain spoke of how the major MNCs are already established and they are now aiming at improving their brand images. Such MNCs move into eco friendly and such movements. Thus, the incorporation of an awarding mechanism will have a positive global effect on the emission of toxic substances. The delegate of USA brought up the point that the UN cleaning mechanisms fialed and it had a reward system too. However, a delegate mentioned that it was the auditors who were bribed in that particular situation and that it was not the fault of the awarding sysrem itself. The delegate of Zambia objected the passing of the amendent related to the above discussion on grounds that it did not ivolve all companies like Coal factories and that it should be more interntional. The delegate of the USA said that manufacturing sector emmsions are more easy to clear than the energy sectors. And clarified the fact that the delegate of Sain meant that it was more difficult to eradicate coal factory emissions than others. During the curse of the debate, upon the landing of a sea plane nerby, the chair calmly explained to the delegates that the sea plane was damaging the environment.
Reported by ~ Tehani Tissera
The day was Thursday the 26th of June 2013. The Executive Committee of SLMUN 2013 had gathered at Maharagama Youth centre for yet another one of their important meetings. But this was not just another ordinary meeting. This particular gathering was important as it was the day the final Chair positions were to be released. 4 months of hard work had all boiled down to this one nerve wracking moment. “Did I get it? Am I a chair?” was the question running through everybody’s mind. As the final chair positions were announced by Deputy SG Sithira, the entire Exco burst into joy as they celebrated the outcome of the hard work they had put in for the past few months.
Amidst all the cheering, a suggestion was made to head off to the Dominoes nearby. Several odd, but hilarious incidents, such as the using of Exco member Dushantha Wiresingha as a punching bag(nobody knows why) along with the occasional piggyback ride on Exco member Kavindu Indatissa and random races between a few members highlighted the journey undertaken by the Exco to Dominoes. It seemed fitting that the day ended on a very cheesy (pun intended) note, with everyone leaving dominoes a few ounces (or pounds) heavier, as they satisfied their hunger with some gooey-cheesy pizzas, BBQ chicken wings and whatnots.
Reported by- Kavindu Indatissa
The day I received my email that I was to be a member of the executive committee of SLMUN 2013 was a happy day. The thrill of being chosen to be a part of such a prestigious conference overwhelmed me and I couldn’t wait to begin. The first meeting was soon upon us and as I watched the other exco members flood into the room, I was sure we were bound to have a lot of fun. Little did I know just how much of work was required to organise a conference of this caliber.
Being an executive committee member of such a large conference is not only fun and joy. A major constituent of a conference, such as SLMUN, is hard work. My very first conference was SLMUN and I remember being in awe of the size of the conference and how well it had been done. When I found out that it was ‘student run’ I was amazed. And I’m proud to say, that is exactly what the executive committee members are, amazing. From the first day, I realized what a lot of hard work was going into this conference.
Most of us were schooling and many were in our Advanced Level Examinations but every single person pulled in their weight. Members were meeting deadlines in between exams and some came for meetings in school uniforms, looking tired, but with a smile on their faces ready to work hard. Every week details were being finalized, topics were debated upon, sleepless nights were spent discussing and working hard to prepare this conference. Work was constantly being delegated and members never hesitated to accept it. If one was unable to complete a delegated task, another member would willingly accept it and together, everyone worked as a family, with one goal in mind. Dedicated members would go, even in the rain, searching for sponsors.
Led by a talented and understanding secretariat, the members were always being encouraged to do their best and never give up. Even having meetings meant compromising everyone’s free time and even having to juggle classes and rush straight from school or work. But a lot of sacrifices, hard work and dedication have been put in by every single member and as I see it, that is reflected in a conference.
The foundation of this conference is built with commitment and dedication, cemented by hard work. Amidst all this hard work, the members still enjoyed themselves as work was done selflessly and willingly. The road to the conference has certainly not been a smooth one but “there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure”. As Vince Lombardi said, “the price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand”. This so called determination and dedication definitely can be seen in the executive committee of SLMUN 2013 and it has been a honour to be a part of it.
The latest General Meeting for the SLMUN Executive Committee 2013 that was held on the 23rd of June was one of a kind, enhanced in quality by the intense debate on the topic “The impact of religious fundamentalism on minority rights”.
After roll call and the setting of the agenda the first person to speak in the Speakers’ List was Chantal as the delegate of Spain. After her speech Points of Information directed at her included Amesh (France) asking her of LGBT rights in Spain while Navidu (Somalia) asked her of the contradiction in her speech and her reply to Keith’s (Australia) Point of Information. Second on the speaker’s list was the delegate of Russia, Chanu. She presented Russia’s take on the topic and received three Points of Information from Sonal, Delegate of Ethiopia, Senanee, Delegate of Syria and Navidu, Delegate of Somalia.
The next speech was made by Raaliya as the delegate of Africa on the role of media and politicisation in the portrayal of religious fundamentalism and emphasized the need to understand the difference between religious fundamentalism and religious extremism. On the other hand, Keshini (Kazakhstan), in her speech, highlighted her country’s stance as predominantly Islamic, non-fundamentalist state.
A moderated caucus topic “Ensuring women’s safety and rights despite religious fundamentalism” was introduced but it was decided that the “Relationship between Religious Fundamentalism and Religious Extremism” be discussed first. Speeches in this discussion were often interjected by Raaliya exclamation “Shame! Shame!”
Delegate of Canada, Zainab in her speech stated that Canada does not infringe on the rights of the minority and received a Point of Information from the delegate of Ivory Coast questioning tactics of the government on doing so. The delegate also received another Point of Information from the delegate of the United Kingdom asking whether this situation has led to bullying in schools or even suicide. Back to the speaker’s list, we had the delegate of Cuba, Roma who gave a speech on how there is no fundamentalism in Cuba and permission for a Point of Information was given to UK where the delegate asked about the fundamentalist movement in 2006. A speech was then given by the delegate of Madagascar, Avindu and a Point of Information was raised by the delegate of Iran, Tehani.
The next speech was made by Navidu, delegate of Somalia after which a new Moderated Caucus topic, quite controversial in its content, stated “The need to consider the possibility of fundamentalism being a mental illness and the usage of neuroscience as a possible cure”. There was intense debate on the sensibility of such a topic due to it being a disrespect to individuals and religions. It was discussed that mental illness was an excuse for fundamentalism which is a result of backward beliefs.
After a small Milo break, the Secretary General, Kemiya, spoke to the EXCO about sponsorships and invitations to outstation schools. The Deputy Secretary General, Sithira then spoke about the work being undertaken by the workshop committee in preparation for the SLMUN workshop on the 29th of June. Mr. Ellawala then asked everyone of their contribution to sponsor hunting successes.
The meeting then returned to Speakers’ List with Ornella, delegate of Japan speaking about her country’s stance on the topic. The delegate of DR Congo, Isuru received a Point of Information from the delegate of New Zealand, Kavindu inquiring the ways in which DR Congo is trying to reduce infringement of minority rights and a Point of Information was raised by Raaliya, delegate of South Africa regarding the indigenous people and what the government is doing towards their betterment. The delegate of Pakistan, Ashari then spoke about how the government is developing the educational structure in order to combat religious fundamentalism.
The delegate of China, Dushantha then gave a speech receiving two Points of Information; one from Sonal, the delegate of Ethiopia stating they are hypocrites and the second from the delegate of the Central African Republic, Archana questioning why it is mandatory that everyone in the communist party should be atheist. The delegate of USA, Tharindu also gave a speech receiving two Points of Information from the delegate of Germany, Hyshma, accusing them of carrying out extremist activities.
Finally a blame placing game was played by all delegates in which the delegate of the United States, Tharindu, was held accountable for numerous offences. Allegations were also made against Pakistan, Ashhari, for its attacks on India and Sri Lanka for war crimes against civilians.
The meeting ended on a positive note as everyone felt content with their performances and left the Board Room, hungry and in search of food.
Written by- Rishika Mendis and Amber Nomani-
Excited as we were to take part in the first ever Meet the RC programme the Executive Committee of SLMUN 2013 was all set. By 3.30pm on Tuesday (18th June 2013), the eager EXCO prepared for the encounter in the boardroom at the United Nations Headquarters, Colombo. After a delicious snack of muffins and coffee all the EXCO hustled up for the awaited meeting.
The Meet the RC is a youth engagement programme of the United Nations Communications Group. Targeting the building of a positive correlation between the youth and the UN, the Meet the RC programme is a key factor in the learning process of the functioning of the UN and also gauging the feedback.
We were honored by the presence of three very important people in the United Nations Development Programme in this first installment of the initiative:
Mr. Subinay Nandy, the UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka from May 5, 2011. He also serves as the United Nations Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator and as the Designated Official for Security.
Mr. Donglin Li took up his appointment as the Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives on 1 January 2011. He joined the ILO as a Special Adviser to the Regional Director, Asia Pacific in 2002 and subsequently served as the Country Director – ILO Office for Pakistan (2004-2010) where he was conferred the highest Presidential Award in recognition of his excellent services to the people of Pakistan.
Mr. Natal Donnaloia has worked in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe over the past 15 years. For the last 6 years, he entered the UN starting at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute [UNICRI]. He has been in the United Nations Volunteer programme in Sri Lanka since 2011.
After a brief introduction of the three distinguished persons by Mr. Fadhil Bakeer Makar of the UN Office Sri Lanka, we introduced ourselves. Mr. Nandy, spoke on behalf of the UN, welcoming us and impressing the necessity of the youth of a nation to coordinate with the UN in building a better future for all. Khemiya Kodituwakku, the Secretary General of SLMUN 2013 and Chiranthi Senanayake, Undersecretary-General of the IPC and Support Functions elaborated on the concept of SLMUN and its evident importance to the youth of Sri Lanka. This was followed by the key event of the juncture: The Question and Answer session, in which Mr. Nandy, Mr. Li and Mr. Donnaloia provided the United Nations viewpoint on multiple matters and answered the questions posed by the EXCO:
- How exactly does the ILO tackle the problem when it comes to the mismatch between education and creating an employable work force? What do you think of preparing syllabi for education?
The United Nations always cooperates with the governments of a nation when providing solutions to national problems. As we have observed, over education and over qualification are major problems in a country’s education. We at the ILO focus mainly on solving these two issues. In Sri Lanka, the ILO copes with the government and their policies on education. We have discussed matters with His Excellency the President Mr. Mahinda Rajapkse and are currently bringing into effect a more effective education system.
There are skill colleges but a main problem is over-education. Most people do regular working for the informal sector. Skills don’t come from only education and the environment but from what you do every day. Skills can be sold and are very valuable in the labour market. We intend to promote skill development in children which is vital in the building of a more diverse and educated community.
- What would be the role of the United Nations in paving way to religious and ethnic harmony? What have they done thus far?
When it comes to tolerance issues, tolerance seems to vary from country to country. In some it has taken a turn for the better, in some for the worse. It is a fundamental human right for people to be able to believe in anything they want. The UN is the custodian of the Convention on Culture and Political Rights working towards addressing human rights for all men, women and children. The action of the UN within a nation is dependent on the funding of the organization and on how much space the governments provide. There is always some dilemma between sovereignty and right to protect which leads to much misunderstanding. We make our way through all of that and have and will engage ourselves in maintaining global cultural unity and diversity.
- Will the UN vouch for a secular state?
Absolutely. The UN believes in anti discrimination. We do not interfere at any cost with the sovereignty of a nation. But we expect all member nations of the UN to oblige to the commandments they made when they signed up with any of the international committees. We believe in a concept of secularism that provides equal rights to all religions and races.
- What do you say about the state of LGBT rights in Sri Lanka?
As we speak, a global meeting for AIDS, Malaria and TB is being held in Sri Lanka. The current discussion raised such issues at the UNAIDS. People used to treat such people differently. The clergy, especially in the Asian sub continent were very much against it. However, now it’s changing. For example, China where such people were considered to be the most criminalized now treats them as people. And this is something we’re working on. We are showing international experience and secondly you can’t stop a person’s behavior. Most definitely you cannot discriminate them. The WHO is working on this matter. Currently, we are focusing on advocacy and the sharing of experience and information with regards to the matter.
- How do you pursue a career in the UN, what are the qualifications required and how do you progress in it?
Earlier there was a tough performance evaluation. There was a small gateway of entering the UN and a few made their way in. Now it’s different, you can apply and there is no necessity for a gateway. The UN is getting more dispersed: we are multinational and multiracial. Women have a much greater chance to make their way into the UN than 20 years ago. It is a different world within the UN. You need experience, experience and experience. You have to focus and apply. Being involved in the United Nations Volunteer programme and other humanitarian purposes, are yet another extra pathway for one to make way into the UN. Any individual, anywhere in the world can contact the UN Office nearest to them for information and assistance anytime.
- Has the UN considered adding an African nation as a P5 nation? If not, why?
There have been many discussions in the world regarding this matter. The General Assembly allows all member nations to have equal say on what happens. It isn’t the same with the Security Council. The G7 went on to become the G20, and then the G22. Similarly, the Security Council will consider entertaining a few more nations. Equations are changing. The SC would change so as to be more representative of the United Nations. Brazil, South Africa, Japan and India are nations that have been proposed by the international community as probable nations for permanent Security Council seats. There is a very high chance for change.
- Instead of choosing a domestic career, you chose to do an international career. What was the reason that you chose the international UN instead of serving your countrymen?
Being in the UN requires much skills and competency. Personally I detest being a political diplomat but more of an international civil servant. It is an entertaining position. Joining the UN we sign an oath of office and say that I will not receive instructions from any government or country. This is because we are an international community; unbiased and equal to all. The global development policy of the UN helps to reflect your voice internationally. We believe in helping people. We believe in the UN Mandate. That is our motivation.
This concluded the session. On behalf of the EXCO, the Deputy Secretary General, Sithira Gunasekara thanked the three distinguished persons and the staff of the UN who made the session a possibility. The convened members then dispersed ending the first ever Meet the RC session.
Reported by: Isuru Perera and Tehani Tissera
The 4th General meeting for the Executive Committee of SLMUN 2013 was held on the 6th of June at the Maharagama Youth center auditorium. This meeting was undoubtedly special due to the arrival of a previous exco member, Yohan Senarath. Yohan had been with SLMUN since its inception and had watched it grow into one of South Asia’s largest MUN conferences. He was called on to speak a few motivational words and thus encourage us to make this year’s conference the biggest and most successful SLMUN ever.
Sithira read out a few of Yohan’s many achievements, which included winning the “Best Delegate” award in several conferences such as CO-MUN, SLMUN, Indian Model UN and Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) MUN in India and also winning three consecutive awards at Harvard National MUN which is the most competitive MUN in the world. The endless list left him practically out of breath
The moment he took over from Sithira, there was pin drop silence in the room. All eyes were focused on the MUN God who commenced his speech by thanking Mr. Ellawala, for his guidance, advice and support which helped him to mould his character into what it is today. (It was at this moment that Mr Ellawala, who had been very serious up until then, began to smile)
After giving his thanks to his mentor, Yohan expressed that he would like to get to know each and every Executive member and asked each person to say a little something about themselves; like their favourite sport or hobby. This exercise was beneficial for the other members of the Executive committee as they found a little something that they have in common to bond over.
Though some likings would fall into the category of unusual, he motivated each and every member to do what they do best; be who they are and do what they love because at the end of the day that’s what makes us unique individuals. This, according to him, was the secret to his success as an accomplished speaker. Whenever he feels stressed out, he would take some time to think to himself, be alone, and connect with the inner being. He analysed that this way of thinking enables us as humans to change our way of thinking when associating ourselves with others in society. This also makes us more outgoing persons, and gives us the time to ponder over the little mysteries of life while we’re at it. Thinking to himself was, according to Yohan Senarath, a small hobby of his.
After this anecdote on life Yohan moved onto talking about the essence of a good chair as requested by the secretariat of SLMUN 2013. Under this he identified a few key characteristics of a good chair, namely, being unbiased, controlling your temperament and always, always being prepared.
These simple diamonds of advise conveyed to the Executive Committee of SLMUN 2013 by the MUN God, will not just guide us in making this year’s conference the most successful one yet, but will also help us in life to see things from a different perspective and finally, to think outside the box.
The most recent SLMUN 2013 meeting took place at the Maharagama National Youth Council on the 6th of June. The main focal point of this meeting was to evaluate and assess the progress made by the executive committee.
Secretary General Kemiya Kodituwakku commenced things on a serious note by emphasizing the amount of work there is left to do. He bore many concerns with the financial aspect of conference as well as the scope of the entire conference with regards to the participation of outstation schools. He encouraged us to work harder so that we can share the MUN experience with the entire country. He also clarified things about the OBT and exco workshops which are to be held soon. Overall, Kemiya was adamant that the executive committee works hard in order to pull off a successful conference.
After roll call was taken, all Under Secretary Generals took turns in discussing the progress and short comings of each of their departments. USG of Finance; Shakya Wickramanayake started things off by commending a few exco members for their hard work and dedication in relation to sponsor hunting. In terms of finance, she said that we have a long way to go. A few of the issues encountered by other departments she said could be solved, if the executive committee worked harder towards finding sponsors..
This was closely followed up by Deputy Secretary General Sithira Gunasekara who adviced the executive committee to take charge and be accountable for the conference. He spoke of the importance of Ownership and told us to use this concept as an incentive for motivation and success.
The USG of logistics Hamza Alibhoy told us about the work the logistics department has completed so far. He reminded everyone that SLMUN is one of Asia’s largest conferences and stressed on the importance of financial backing even to complete certain logistical tasks. He highlighted the fact that it’s never too late to start working harder.
The USG of International Press Corps; Chiranthi Senanayake updated everyone on the progress of her department. She said that four newsletters have successfully been released so far and that three more are yet to come. She briefed everyone on the content of the SLMUN magazine which is something new at this year’s conference .Moreover, she spoke about the tasks completed by the support functions group. She concluded by stating the importance of financial resources since it could potentially set limitations on the work of all other departments.
USG of IT; Hisham Samsudeen too emphasized on the importance of finance as he plans to include many new technological aspects such as 3D mapping into this year’s conference. This year they are focusing on creating an SLMUN app which would be a guide and resource material for delegates. In addition, they are working on a teaser which will be presented at the press conference.
Afterwards the Charge D’ Affairs Mr. Rohan Ellawala reiterated the importance of expanding the scope of conference and obtaining sponsorships. He also stressed on the importance of attendance as it is an integral part of being an exco member. He urged everyone to work much harder in order to make the conference a memorable one.
Jithen Silva; the USG of Public relations stated that his department has been working hard. However he sees a lack of overall coordination and commitment. Up to now only 600 delegates have registered.
Therefore he stated that a lot more effort has to be put in if we plan on upholding the quality of SLMUN.
Director of the executive committee; Avishka Perera identified a lack of overall energy and adviced everyone to start contributing more towards conference.
Latterly a special guest named Yohan Senarath arrived to engage the exco in an interactive and stimulating speech. His achievements and experiences were so overwhelming and admirable to listen to. He spoke about the importance of MUN, its purpose and even gave us tips on how to be successful chairs. He ended with a question and answer session and left us with some very valuable advice. This marked the end of the Fourth General Meeting.
As someone who was instantly convinced that I could make everything l see look better, I often tried to do so, however failing a few too many times as I tried drawing on canvas. The original form of art was not something within my grasp, far from it; it was never something I could do. However, I didn’t give up, I used to constantly tell everyone that whatever form of art I saw lacked something; lacked what i could possibly do, but expressing my imagination was at a standstill until I was given access to my Dads old computer. We don’t always feel the change of events in life, like we do in the end. Hence, these were the unnoticed moments of my life that I recall were the beginning of my chapter to now being referred to, as an IT designer.
Unfortunately I couldn’t quite allocate a recurring time space of my weekly schedule to go for tuition on how to design using a computer. I never found sitting at one place and learning from an I-know-it-all that reads off a coursework book appealing. I never went to anyone for help on how to design. Instead I chose to work things out on my own, having failed miserably a million times trying to replicate complex art I had seen. I realized that there was no pleasure for me in replication and I understood that simplicity was the key to standing out in my own way.
Having done small time artwork for events for my friends, I was called on an opening that was available at the SLMUN 2013 executive committee. Having applied three weeks past the deadline, not expecting to make it, I received a formal, yet exciting call from an unknown Hisham, who later introduced me to Chiranthi. Working with the executive committee of SLMUN 2013 has taught me the act of providing for custom requirements and working for given deadlines. Not only have I had the friendliest experience in my short time at the executive committee but the most professional. Designing various things from newsletters of the IPC to the delegate certificates has taught me that there is no design without discipline and there is no discipline without intelligence.
This is my first experience as an official photographer for an event as big as this. I have taken many pictures of things and people, but never for an event like this. I would definitely say it’s a new experience for me, a challenging one at that. Usually I have very long deadlines for pictures and I can give them in a week or two weeks after. But this is an on-the-day situation and requires much time. Photography itself is a talent or a skill you need to master over some years.
It takes skill and patience to achieve the ‘perfect shot’. My personal point on photography is that, you get to capture the moment. Little things in life are captured and then printed to keep forever. You can relate, write or talk about certain incidents, but it’s the pictures that really grasp the true emotion of the people in the photograph.
Since the conference spans over two days, there will be intense debate and anxious delegates. I want to be able to capture these moments, especially if there’s a Point Of Entertainment. You can see the look of intense concentration on the delegate’s faces and how they work so hard in order to get their points across to the Chairs. And the Chairs, the way they handle the situations and how they listen to all the delegates. The emotion in these rooms can only be felt by those who understand. I am so honored to be able to seize these moments and show them to everyone.
Being a photographer in SLMUN is a lot of hard work. We all belong to the International Press Corps (IPC) and there we cover press conferences, Executive Committee shoots and many more things. I would never say that photography is easy, not in the IPC anyway! But I enjoy it and since it’s a hobby and a passion, I wish to work extremely hard to make this conference a success.
Being one of the official photographer’s in SLMUN 2013 will be a challenging and exciting experience. I will look forward to my tasks and I hope to make this conference a memorable one. I honestly hope everyone enjoys this conference!
And don’t forget to smile for the camera!
Art has always been the best method of expressing myself. I have always hoped for a chance to take my love for art to a whole new level and SLMUN has given me the opportunity to be a part of something great. It is well known that being a part of the Executive Committee of SLMUN is an honorable opportunity in every capacity. I have had initial experience of being a part of SLMUN as I was a member of the administrative staff last year and it was indeed rewarding. Since the last conference, I wished to further this experience and reach greater heights by being a member of the IPC. After a crucial interview where I was challenged by Mr. Ellawalla to draw him under 10 minutes I received an email confirming my place as the official cartoonist of the Executive Committee of SLMUN 2013.
MUN is a great platform for delegates to experience the true feeling of international relations and diplomatic discussions. They also gain the opportunity to boost their confidence levels by facing their fears of public speaking. It is important for the delegates to cherish these life-changing, interesting and funny moments of the conference. My job as a cartoonist is to bring these moments to life through art. By this I hope to contribute to a successful newsletter in order for the delegates to keep a record of these memorable events in their lives which I believe will also be a timeless contribution to each and every individual of SLMUN 2013.
Being the official Cartoonist (so far) has been stressful as it has involved drawing caricatures of over 50 Exco members. Yet it is also rewarding, seeing as the art I have produced has been exposed to a wider audience. This year’s conference is truly going to be interesting. This will result in amusing, humour-filled cartoons which I hope will be thoroughly enjoyed by everybody. I am thankful for Mr. Ellawalla for giving me this responsibility. The next few months leading up to the conference is going to be stressful, but I will execute the task of a cartoonist to the best of my ability!
It’s completely ironic how I’m supposed to write an article about writing articles for the IPC. However, writing in the IPC deserves a certain quote that says “If you love what you’re doing, it’s effortless”. Not that it’s actually effortless (converting date into information cannot be called effortless) but it is certainly something I would do without my usual whining and grumbling. It’s that feeling you get when the pen reaches the paper – or in my case, my fingers meet the keyboard – and you write a piece of 500 words and you smile and think “HEY! I wrote that!” It’s that feeling you get when you see people reading your words and the smug smile that crosses your face. It’s a feeling of self accomplishment and pride.
Being in the IPC is as fun as it could get. We tend to meet in mysterious places and work in mysterious ways while gobbling up spicy food and drinking Pepsi as we work out the details. And while Chiranthi (our beautifully gorgeous Under Secretary General of the IPC) tends to give us strict deadlines and instructions to write articles that make you think “huh?” (like this one). She’s the most considerate, kind, and patient head of the IPC one could have. Only she has the ability to smile and laugh along with us when we deviate from what we really came to do (and trust me, this happens a lot) and at the same time accomplish what we came to do. She works in amazing ways and she works us to the bone just so that we aren’t a bunch of fumbling idiots who do nothing. She makes writing for IPC a whole lot of fun when she gives you complete authority to relentlessly interrogate the USG’s for an interview.
The IPC says what cannot be said and witnesses what others can’t. We are the connection from your committee to the others. We are the ones that give you the highlights of what’s around you and what you missed. Often underestimated, IPC is what connects delegates, on- lookers to the conference, making sure that you are a part of any committee, anywhere.
So in short, writing for IPC is one of the best parts of being in the EXCO. I get to interview (what I really mean is interrogate) people, hang out in different divisions and write about it, to get you involved in everything. So it’s pretty awesome knowing that we get to act as the link that connects you to us, bringing you a further step close to this year’s amazing conference.
1) Name of the committee: Security Council.
2) Number of Countries in the Committee: 15 members.
3) Mandate of the committee: Under Chapter Six of the Charter, “Pacific Settlement of Disputes”, the Security Council “may investigate any dispute or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute”. The Council may “recommend appropriate procedures or methods of adjustment” if it determines that the situation might endanger international peace and security. These recommendations are not binding on UN members.
Under Chapter Seven, the Council has broader power to decide what measures are to be taken in situations involving “threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, or acts of aggression”. In such situations, the Council is not limited to recommendations but may take action, including the use of armed force “to maintain or restore international peace and security”.
The UN’s role in international collective security is defined by the UN Charter, which gives the Security Council the power to:
- Investigate any situation threatening international peace;
- Recommend procedures for peaceful resolution of a dispute;
- Call upon other member nations to completely or partially interrupt economic relations as well as sea, air, postal, and radio communications, or to sever diplomatic relations;
- Enforce its decisions militarily, or by any means necessary;
- Avoid conflict and maintain focus on cooperation.
4)List of issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation:
The Security Council has focused on many nation and regional specific issues such as
5)Why it is part of SLMUN 2013? The Security Council is the most powerful committee in the United Nations that is essential for the functioning of this international organisation. Therefore the Security Council is a mandatory requirement in any UN simulation as it teaches the delegates the importance of responsible decision making in positions of power when changing the face of the earth for good.
1) Name-African Union
2) Flag of Committee:
3) Number of countries in the Committee: 53 countries
4) Mandate of the Committee:
The mandate of the African Union is contained in the constitutive act of the AU where it states that the purpose of the AU is to a create a united and strong Africa and address
the need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of
Civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector, in order
to strengthen solidarity and cohesion among the people of Africa.
5) List of issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation:
The African Union discusses many issues ranging from
a) health issues such as combating malaria and the AIDS/HIV epidemic;
b) political issues such as confronting undemocratic regimes and mediating in the many civil wars;
c) economic issues such as improving the standard of living of millions of impoverished, uneducated Africans;
Why it is part of SLMUN 2013? The continent of Africa and the surrounding nations have constantly been featured in world news with relation to many political, social, economic issues prevalent in the region. Despite this situation African nations are foreseen to be the future superpowers due to their abundant sources of natural resources. The AU is included in SLMUN 2013 to give delegates a chance to understand their own rights by contemplating on the situation of the their African brothers and sisters as well as come up with possible solutions for the conditions in Africa and hopefully be able to implement them in later years as future leaders.
1) Name- ECOSOC
2)Flag of Committee
3)Number of countries in the Committee: 54 members.
4)Mandate of the Committee
According to Chapter X of the United Nations Charter, The Economic and Social Council makes or initiates studies and reports with respect to international economic, social, cultural, educational, health, and related matters. It also has the power to assist the preparations and organization of major international conferences in the economic and social and related fields and to facilitate a coordinated follow-up to these conferences. With its broad mandate the Council’s purview extends to over 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system.
5) List of issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation
- The role of the United Nations system in implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to education.
- Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations.
- United Nations system-wide coherence on tobacco control.
- Assessment of the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.
- Social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
- Poverty eradication.
- Strategy for the period 2012-2015 for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
- Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
- Strengthening the rule of law and the reform of criminal justice institutions, particularly in the areas related to the United Nations system-wide approach to fighting transnational organized crime and drug trafficking.
- · Promoting efforts to eliminate violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families.
- · Strengthening international cooperation in combating transnational organized crime in all its forms and manifestations.
- Genetic privacy and non-discrimination.
- Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan.
- Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women.
- Human settlements.
6)Why it is part of SLMUN 2013?
To provide delegates a chance to truly understand the meaning of respect and human rights in international economic, social, cultural, educational, and health issues and solve them through first hand involvement in the process of resolving such issues.
1) Name of the Committee:The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
2) Flag of the Committee:
1) Mandate of the Committee: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is an international institution (a programme, rather than an agency of the UN) that coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972.
Its activities cover a wide range of issues regarding the atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, environmental governance and green economy. It has played a significant role in developing international environmental conventions, promoting environmental science and information and illustrating the way those can be implemented in conjunction with policy, working on the development and implementation of policy with national governments, regional institutions in conjunction with environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). UNEP has also been active in funding and implementing environment related development projects.
UNEP has aided in the formulation of guidelines and treaties on issues such as the international trade in potentially harmful chemicals, Trans boundary air pollution, and contamination of international waterways.
The World Meteorological Organization and UNEP established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. UNEP is also one of several Implementing Agencies for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, and it is also a member of the United Nations Development Group. . The Sixth Committee can initiate studies and make recommendations in relation to environmental aspects dealt by the UN.
5) List of Issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation:
UNEP’s main activities are related to:
- climate change; including the Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC), disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, environment under review, harmful substances; and resource efficiency.
- It has also focused on the melting glaciers and the use of “electric vehicles”
6) Why it is part of SLMUN 2013?
Environmental issues and climate change is something that does not affect someone individually – everyone in the entire world is affected by it at the same time. Delegates will now have the opportunity to unleash the inner “environmental activist” within them by debating about some of the world’s most serious environmental issues and coming up with resolutions to solve them.
1) Name of the Committee (Full Name):
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
2) Flag of the Committee:
3) Number of Countries in the Committee: 47 States
4) Mandate of the Committee:
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 States responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
One year after holding its first meeting, on 18 June 2007, the Council adopted its “Institution-building package” providing elements to guide it in its future work. Among the elements is the new Universal mechanism which will assess the human rights situations in all 192 UN Member States. Other features include a new Advisory Committee which serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues and the revised Complaints Procedure mechanism which allows individuals and organizations to bring complaints about human rights violations to the attention of the Council. The Human Rights Council also continues to work closely with the UN Special Procedures established by the former Commission on Human Rights and assumed by the Council.
5) List of Issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation:
1) The Israeli – Palestine issue
2) 2006 Lebanon conflict
3) “Defamation of religion”
4) Syrian candidacy in the UNHRC
5) Sudan & Ethiopian candidacy
6) Why it is part of SLMUN 2013 : To integrate delegates into the true meaning of what Human Rights really entail while teaching them the importance of protecting human rights and to give them a chance to voice their opinions on the resolution of certain pertaining issues.
1. Curbing illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in conflict zones
2. Prevention of an arms race in outer space.
3. Creation of an international framework for the regulation of dual-use technology
1. The issue of cyber terrorism with regard to the protection of states’ infrastructure as well as state secrets
2. Creation of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East.
1) Evaluation and Assessment of regional bodies such as the EU and NAFTA.
2) Assessing and improving Debt management schemes.
3) Discussing the issue of Hyper Inflation, its triggers and how to prevent and overcome it.
1) Restructuring the IMF and WTO and evaluation of the Doha Round of talks.
2) Questioning post 2015 measurements and goals of development with respect to the MDGs and the HDI.
1.Ensuring prevention, protection and prosecution with regards to sexual abuse
2.The establishment of a follow-up framework in order to successfully achieve the Millennium Development Goals
3. Strengthening the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance in the United Nations
1.The social impact of Religious Fundamentalism on minority rights
2.The Dual-use of Internet based Technologies in light of Privacy Rights and Freedom of Expression
1. Assessing the issue and impact of Ocean Acidification due to Coastal development and increasing Carbon Dioxide emissions.
2. Addressing the need to develop new effective methods of soil recovery mechanisms to halter and recover areas affected by desertification.
3. Genetically Modified Organisms and their viability.
1.The need to minimize trans-boundary air pollution through Carbon taxing and new scientific methods with reference to the Convention on Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollution.
2.The development of new and the assessment of existing mitigation mechanisms to be enacted in pre and post disaster situations.
1. Development of appropriate technology to enable the provision of clean water in all environments.
2. Combating Cyber-terrorism through enhanced Cyber Security and global solidarity.
3.The need for a Global Early Warning System (GEWS) to mitigate the adverse effects of Natural Disasters.
1. Exploring Stem Cell Research as a means of finding cures to diseases and a source for organ replication.
2.Discussing the implications of advancements in Nanotechnology and the limits of its applicability in life.
1) The impact of cultural norms on human rights with special emphasis on corrective rape and honour killings.
2) Protecting the Right to self determination of minorities
3) Assessing the freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and its limitations
1) Analysing the issue of religious defamation with regards to freedom of speech
2) Deliberating the impact of internet censorship on human rights
1) Empowering women in the spheres of science, military, and political affairs.
2)Addressing the opportunities and challenges of sustainable farming methods in the development of the African continent.
3)The role of the African community in confronting and eradicating piracy in the horn of Africa
1. Failed states; Creation of a framework of good practice for transition from fragility to resilience.
2. Reaching the grassroots: the role of aid in poverty alleviation
1. Ameliorating the situation in Syria considering it’s potential to severely destabilize the Central Asian region.
2. Ensuring the protection of civilians during armed conflict and the involvement and consideration of women and children in post conflict
3. Resource scarcity and its impact on international peace and stability.
1)Defining the parameters of the authority and accountability of non-state military organizations in conflict and post conflict scenarios.
2)Addressing the rising trend of Ethno-Nationalist terrorism and it’s impact on international peace and security.
1)Reviewing the effects of constant usage of Genetically Modified Foods
2)The need for efficient coordination of humanitarian Assistance and Relief With respect to the reformation of the CERF (Central Emergency Response Fund)
3)Evaluating the creation and effectiveness of Free trade zones
1)Mitigating the threat of corruption and the issue transparency in the developing world
2)Recognizing adequate measures for the upliftment of the standards of living in disputed territories
1)Questioning the efficacy of the UN Convention of the Sea in light of maritime piracy
2)Discussing the applicability of the Geneva and Hague Conventions, with special respect to the situation in Myanmar.
3)Questioning the necessity and validity of Universal Jurisdiction with respect to combatting international crimes.
1)Discussion and review of the existing resolutions on terrorism in order to facilitate the formulation of a comprehensive convention on terrorism, with special respect to the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
2)Establishment of a universally accepted convention on the protection of intellectual property rights.
General Assembly 6
2) Flag of the committee
3) Number of Countries – 193
4) Mandate of the committee
The sixth Committee of the General Assembly is one of the primary United Nations organs for the consideration of legal issues. It is a forum allowing discussion on legal questions and adoption of resolutions concerning international law. Article 13 of the United Nations charter defines as one of the roles of this committee to “initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of: (…) encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification.”
Most delegates on this committee are experienced international lawyers, who make recommendations on the legal principles of cooperation for maintaining international peace and security, including disarmament, and can also address specific security question, in cases where a dispute or situation is not currently being discussed by the Security Council. The Sixth Committee can initiate studies and make recommendations to promote the development and codification of international law, the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
5) List of Issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation
- The 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
- The 1995 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel
- The 1994 Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism
- The 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (Terrorist Bombing Convention)
- The 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Terrorist Financing Convention)
- The 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (Nuclear Terrorism Convention)
- The 2005 United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning
- Measures to eliminate international terrorism.
- Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property
- Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its thirtieth session.
- Establishment of an International Criminal Court.
6) Why it is part of SLMUN 2013?
Human beings are disciplined by rules and regulations. Laws are created to form an environment where individuals can co-exist equally while enjoying rights and privileges that have been granted to them by the state. Therefore the law plays a very important part in our lives. GA6 deals with the judicial aspect of the UN. It is therefore included in SLMUN 2013 so as to give an understanding to the delegates of the judicial proceedings of the world and to provide them with the oppourtunity of resolving issues that rise in relation to the law of a nation, which are the most complex of all and govern other issues, by exercising skills of debate, discussion and understanding.
1) Name of Committee:
General Assembly Third Committee (SOCHUM)
2) Number of Countries in the Committee: 193
(3) Mandate of the Committee:
The Third Committee derives its mandate from Chapter IV, Article 13 of the UN Charter, which commissions the General Assembly to prepare informed recommendations for members of the international community to address human rights issues and work together to promote common development goals. The Third Committee represents a unique plenary level forum for the discussion of social development and human rights. The Committee draws upon established international norms found in major instruments which include but are not limited to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the Declaration on the Right to Development (A/RES/41/128).
(4) List of Issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation:
1) Social development, including questions relating to the world social situation and to youth,
ageing, disabled persons and the family.
3. Crime prevention and criminal justice.
4. International drug control.
5. Advancement of women.
(a) Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
6. Questions relating to refugees
and displaced persons and humanitarian questions.
8. Promotion and protection of the rights of children.
9. Programme of activities of the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.
10. Elimination of racism and racial discrimination.
11. Right of peoples to self-determination.
12. Human rights questions:
(a) Implementation of human rights instruments;
(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective
enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
13. Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives;
(a) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme
(b) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
(5)Why it is part of SLMUN 2013:
The General Assembly Third Committee is a part of SLMUN 2013 because it defines the theme for this year’s conference; equality, tolerance and unity. Delegates discuss issues ranging from the advancement and security of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, the right to self- determination, LGBT rights, the role and execution of the MDGs and so many other issues that are faced by the world today. The understanding and consideration of these social issues now, will lead our generation forward into a more accepting future, thus being an essential part of SLMUN 2013.
General Assembly Second Committee (ECOFIN)
2) Number of Countries: 193
3) Mandate of Committee:
The issues addressed by the GA2 (also referred to as ECOFIN) range from macroeconomic policy questions such as public debt sustainability and financial regulation to issues concerning globalization and interdependence, human settlements, poverty eradication, and the financing for development. Its main purpose is to improve global economic development and welfare, and to maintain the international financial and trade network.
4) List of Issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation:
1) Macroeconomic policy question:
(a) Trade and development;
(b) Financing of development, including net transfer of resources between developing and
(d) External debt crisis and development.
2) Sectoral policy questions:
Business and development;
Industrial development cooperation.
3) Sustainable development and international economic cooperation:
(A) (a) Implementation of and follow-up to major consensus agreements on development:
(b) Implementation of the commitments and policies agreed upon in the Declaration on
International Economic Cooperation, in particular the Revitalization of the Economic
Growth and Development of the Developing Countries;
(B) (a) Implementation of the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations
(b) Integration of the economies in transition into the world economy;
(c) Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
(d) Renewal of the dialogue on strengthening international economic cooperation for development
(e) Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the 1990s;
(f) Implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population
(g) Cultural development.
(C) Environment and sustainable development:
(a) Implementation of and follow-up to the outcome of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, including the outcome of the nineteenth special session
of the General Assembly for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the
implementation of Agenda 21;
(b) Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind;
(c) Implementation of the outcome of the Global Conference on the Sustainable (a) Development
of Small Island Developing States;
(d) Convention on Biological Diversity;
(e) Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those
Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa.
6. Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including
Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources
9. Implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006).
5) Why it is part of SLMUN 2013:
This committee is a part of SLMUN 2013 because it broadens the delegates perception on economic and financial situations which is going to be, or is a great part of today’s world. Thus this Committee is preparing delegates for their future.
General Assembly First Committee
2) Flag of the Committee
3) Number of countries- 193
4) Mandate of the Committee
General Assembly 1, also known as the committee for Disarmament and International Security, deals with threats to global peace that affect the international community and seeks out solutions to those challenges.
It considers all disarmament and international security matters within the scope of the Charter and believes in overcoming the problem through promotion of cooperative arrangements and measures aimed at strengthening stability through lower levels of armaments.
5) List of Issues that the Committee has focused on since its initiation.
1. Maintenance of international security – prevention of the violent disintegration of States.
2. Reduction of military budgets: (a) Reduction of military budgets; (b) Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures. 3. Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament. 5. Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East. 6. Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in South Asia. 7. Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. 8. Prevention of an arms race in outer space.
9. The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
10. Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. 11. Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (item 76). 12. Consolidation of the regime established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco). 13. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction.
14. Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
6) Why it is part of SLMUN 2013?
GA1 is a part of SLMUN 2013 in order to provide an oppourtunity to the delegates of this year’s conference to debate out issues in relation to the question of international peace and security such as Nuclear proliferation, the usage of chemical weaponry etc. and come up with feasible solutions that would ensure the fundamental right of man which is the right to security.
We live in a world where humanity is progressively moving towards a more computerized, electronic age. This is a result of the example set forward by few individuals. A person of this caliber is Rohan Jayaweera.
Rohan Jayaweera is no stranger to us. A product of Royal College; he graduated from the University of Moratuwa and furthered his education at the University of New South Wales. He currently works as the Country Coordinator of Sri Lanka for Google Incorporated. With the aim of defining SLMUN 2013 as a “high tech” conference the secretariat along with the I.T department met up with Mr. Jayaweera to discuss the prospects of a partnership between SLMUN and Google. The meeting was in every sense “casual”.
Sitting in the cushioned chairs at Coffee Bean the meeting was initiated with an introductory session where everyone introduced themselves for the purpose of creating acquaintances. Mr. Jayaweera’s friendly and jovial nature took away any strand of tension creating an atmosphere for open discussion. The SLMUN crew then provided a brief introduction into the concept of MUN in Sri Lanka after which they talked about SLMUN 2013. Mr. Jayaweera who firmly believed in the possibility of creating lasting change in the world questioned on what SLMUN could bring to the table in this regard. This led to the discussion of the symbiotic relationship that SLMUN had with One World Volunteers.
The meeting then focused on how Google would fit into the equation of the conference. In this discussion our Under Secretary General of IT and Technical Affairs, Hisham Samsudeen spoke about the aims of SLMUN 2013 which was to create a unique MUN experience by using the miracles of networking and online applications. Mr. Jayaweera then questioned us on our potential sponsors and provided the executive committee members present there with advice in relation to sponsor hunting and creating lasting deals with them.
This was followed by a discussion between the Under Secretary General of Administration, Practice Debates and Conference matters Nayanthara Balapatabendi, the Deputy Secretary General Sithira Gunasekara and Mr.Jayaweera on the discrepancies in the current international system which SLMUN 2013 was planning to highlight through debate topics, such as the question of whether the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is actually followed in the Middle East where women are not allowed to drive. In relation to this Mr. Jayaweera commented that by creating universality you blanket every culture, religion which is very different to one another in nature.
Mr.Jayaweera ended the meeting with a few words of wisdom. He stated that the difficult thing is to find passion. He also stated that proposals and ideas will always be given without hesitation but the problem is finding someone to carry it out without procrastinating. He also talked about the importance of the division of labour and the necessity of each of these labour units to be synchronized. Mr.Jayaweera requested one final thing. He requested perfection and excellence which SLMUN 2013 plans to deliver.