By Matthew Milhuisen and Vishmika Suarez
What is SLMUN
Sri Lanka Model United Nations or SLMUN is the primary simulation of the United Nations conference and is the pioneer of any MUN related program in the country. Created to foster diplomacy, critical thinking and debating skills within the youth of Sri Lanka, SLMUN is one of Asia’s largest student run model United Nations with over 100 participating schools and 800+ delegates participating yearly for the annual conference.
At SLMUN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors of countries that are members of the UN; from Argentina to Zimbabwe. They debate on current issues on the organization’s vast mandate. They prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure – all in the interest of resolving problems that affect the world.
Throughout the years SLMUN has acted on the belief that a more capable and educated younger generation is the basis for a brighter future; thus, our core objective is to invest time and effort in our country’s youth to make an impact on the future.
History of SLMUN
The very first simulations were called “International Assembly” held at Oxford University which later evolved to the first MUN that was held at Swarthmore College Pennsylvania in 1947, and so on over the decades it has grown and spread to the east as well.
The Sri Lanka Model United Nations as we know today, was initiated in 2008 by Mr. Rohan Ellawala and the Model United Nations Club of Ananda College. Ever since then, a group of energetic teenagers known as the Executive Committee or EXCO take it upon themselves every year to continue the legacy of SLMUN with the aims of taking the UN to every corner of Sri Lanka.
It is the collective efforts of our Charge De Affairs, Mr. Ellawala and the EXCO that makes the conference proceedings happen smoothly each year.
What we do at SLMUN
SLMUN encourages young voices to rise and make a difference, irrelevant of their background and age by conducting workshops not only in Colombo but in Galle, Kandy, Gampaha, Kiribathgoda and Negombo as well. These measures are taken to cultivate our next generation of thinkers to be more knowledgeable of global issues.
In 2012 SLMUN broke new ground when 1,100 students from Sri Lanka Nepal, India, Malaysia and Maldives came together to be a part of conference making that a historic year for SLMUN.
Throughout the past years SLMUN conference has united the youth around the island and South Asia to tackle global issues in a diplomatic perspective.
Understanding the pivotal role our youth play in the future of this world, our aim is to train them to think out-of-the-box, defeat prejudice and engage together in an effort to formulate solutions to compete with the pressing global issues to create a safer world.
Through connecting the youth today, SLMUN hopes to create a better tomorrow.
Why join SLMUN
2020 will mark 13 years of SLMUN providing a platform for passionate individuals to tackle various global issues such as poverty, climate change, inequality and humanitarian crises that encompass the globe, giving them an opportunity to provide their insight regarding these issues while providing an equal chance to build and nurture fundamental skills such as leadership, analytical skills, public relations, complex problem solving and public speaking.
Furthermore, SLMUN promotes a process of training students to be fair solution-based leaders instead of theoretical debaters. For instance, in 2018 SLMUN took upon itself to aid the UNICEF in coming up with creative ideas to support the End Violence Campaign. More than 600 delegates committed to end any form of violence against children and to keep finding practical actions to solve this issue.
Here at SLMUN we like to instill one thing in the hearts of every student who joins us – Dream big. Dream big for our motherland, Dream big for our world.
Once you set your mind to something, if you really truly want it, you’ll go through heaven or hell to get to it. It doesn’t matter how old you are or if you’re in school or university, your age is not your limitation. In any case, it is your greatest strength. Don’t believe us? Have you ever met an adult who can match the fevered dedication in the eyes of a young child? Who can equal the determination of a fierce teenager?
We, the youth, complain about the world, about the state of affairs, about how the adults are handling the world’s problems, but the truth is, the future is not their world. It is ours. And we’re not doing enough. We are the ones that will deal with consequences of the action or inaction today. We are the inheritors of what exists today. What’s wrong eventually will snowball into our future’s demise if we don’t do something about it. If that’s not motivation enough, well we’re running out of ideas. If you want something done, you have to step up. Stop waiting for someone else to start the journey. Stop sitting and waiting and thinking, “this is bad”,” why isn’t anyone doing anything?” Well, why aren’t you? You can’t build Rome in a day and just like that you can’t change the world in one go.
This year, Sri Lanka Model United Nations 2019, wants to rouse the inner warrior in you. Conference will focus on the concepts of Youth Activism and Volunteerism, including the strength of the youth and what we can do; Discrimination, climate change, inequality, poverty, racism, and the list goes on. There are many topics available based off the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it’s just a matter of what interests you, what drives you forward and what lights a fire in your soul. It is the creativity, the hope, the endless ambition and daring of the youth that can make a difference tomorrow.
Malala Yousafzai, Emma Watson, Greta Thunberg , Kelvin Doe … We all know these names now. But once they were just kids that believed in something and didn’t give up until their voice was heard. They set their hearts and minds on something and poured their souls into it, even if everyone around them didn’t quite agree on what they had to say. SLMUN 2019 hopes to start the same fires within our delegates for the issues they care about.
But you don’t have to become famous to make a change. There are thousands of people who work without recognition or support, who struggle to help others, to make this world a little more bearable. And they are true heroes for their effort. You don’t have to save the entire world. Even if you only help one person in your entire life, if you can save one person in the entirety that you live, that’s a beautiful, powerful existence. It could be your neighbour, your society, your district or even your nation, but you can make a difference for the better in some way. . Even through participating in debate at SLMUN you are taking part in a massive movement of integrating the youth in bringing about the much needed change today.
This is our world now. We are the future. Think beyond 2050. Why not 2090? What kind of world do you want to show your great grand-children? What kind of world do you want to leave as your legacy? Take that one step towards it. Even if it’s the smallest change, the tiniest of baby steps, that’s still progress. You can’t change the world by staying still. And you most definitely don’t make a difference by doing nothing at all.
The first workshop of Sri Lankan Model United Nations (SLMUN) 2019 was hosted by St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia on 7th July 2019. The workshop commenced with an introductory session by the Secretary General, Dimuth Fernando. It quickly progressed with, Shaquille Balasooriya, getting the students and executive committee members warmed up with an interactive session
The topic debated was ‘Death penalty vs life imprisonment’. Many notable points were conveyed by many students such as: “Death penalty should be given to all murders however not to drug dealers because they deserve life imprisonment”, some stated that “Drug dealers should also be given death penalty as they are slowing killing people by selling drugs to them” and another stated that, “No! Drug dealers shouldn’t be sentenced to death penalty as it’s the buyers’ wish to purchase”.
This session proved two points, firstly that most of the students were already aware of the current situation or had a basic sense of what’s happening and secondly that the students were confident and strong enough to convey their message to a large group of people and this is essentially what SLMUN is.
The second regional workshop for Sri Lanka Model United Nations 2019 was held at Royal Institute, Havelock on the 20th of July from 8:30am onwards. After a brief introductory to SLMUN and code of conduct during session, the students present were divided into groups for a debate session.
The topic introduced to the students was “Should mandatory drug tests be conducted onstudents?” The assigned chairs firstly explained the laws and regulations pertaining to this topic and a few opening arguments that can be discussed through the course of the debate. While most Students agreed that this is definitely a step in the correct direction as it would largely reduce and discourage teenage drug use, some argued that this would be an invasion of privacy, a waste of resources and hinder or interrupt school programs.
Students that had attended the previous workshop spoke with more experience and knowledge on current issues. They were more confident and diplomatic when expressing their opinion. Their ability to express their ideas more effectively and diplomatically proved the success of these workshops.
In conversation with the Chargé d’affaires of Sri Lanka Model United Nations (SLMUN), Mr. Rohan Ellawala. Mr.Ellawala is the founder of SLMUN. His passion and intentions to bring international relations and diplomacy to the youth of Sri Lanka has led to the creation of this significant conference. Over the past decade SLMUN has created many of the proficient diplomats today
It was the period when English medium was introduced to government schools. The main objective was to create a platform for students to develop public speaking, writing, researching skills and teach the art of diplomacy.
In 2004 we put together a delegation of senior students and went to India for a conference. There I saw young Indian students debating and actively participating to find solutions for ongoing world problems. So I thought to myself ‘Why shouldn’t I start something similar in Sri Lanka?’ Once I returned, the concept of MUN was introduced to grade 8 students and I encouraged them to learn. I too had to learn the procedures.
In 2005 I took a delegation to India consisting of the grade 9 students. They were not recognized during the sessions which led them to be very worried but I told them not to be disappointed in this matter and to do better in the future. As a result we started Simulation SAARC in December 2005. We had only 60 students from about 8 schools. We held this conference successfully again in 2006 and 2007 with more students and schools participating. During this period we attended many Oversees Conferences to gain much needed experience. In 2007 we received the best delegation award at the Indian MUN. In 2008 in USA we received two Best Delegate awards and 4 Higher Commendation awards.
Gradually Simulation SAARC grew from 60 students at the beginning to 250 students in 2007. We needed to expand this further. Since SAARC consists of only 8 countries we decided to use the UN system where we can take advantage of 193 countries and multiple committees. Thereby we were able to provide opportunities to a larger number of students. So in 2008 we held the first Sri Lanka Model United Nations conference. We had around 600 students that year and since then it has gradually increased in size and hence in impact.
Every conference is a challenge and it comes with a lot of pressure. It is a learning experience not only for the delegates but for me and the organizing committee as well. I take much pleasure working with each year’s 40-50 members of the executive committee. I divide tasks among them and merely guide them so they learn and understand the practical aspects in logistics, financing and public relation which leave them gaining a lot of experience on how to handle real world matters.
Every conference is a memorable one. In 2012 we had one of our biggest conferences. We had over 1000 delegates including 175 foreign delegates taking part from Maldives, Bangladesh and all parts of India.
To create a platform for students to work together and find a solid solution for the question, unlike in previous years where delegates debate and argue with one another to make few resolutions.
They must learn the art of diplomacy; How to negotiate, how to compromise and how to find solutions for the question. To excel at this they must do their research on subjects like history, geography and political science. They should possess general knowledge by reading newspapers, watching news bulletins and being up to date on current world affairs. I believe this to be the key in becoming a good delegate.
The plan is to finish this year’s conference, learn from our mistakes and experiences and then create a better, more meaningful conference with a greater impact next year.
It takes more than good grades and strong test scores to get into competitive colleges. School students today have to stand out by excelling in their extracurricular activities. Many do this through sports, science, or the arts, but others join activities such as speech and debate, mock trial, and Model United Nations. While not everyone who does SLMUN makes it their main activity, many invest a considerable amount of their time and energy into it. Model United Nations is a large part of their personal growth as a school student, and they can leverage their SLMUN experience to get into college. Model United Nations can be a vehicle for personal growth. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider including SLMUN in your school experience:
Sri Lanka Model United Nations will definitely help navigate the challenges you may face in college ; From feeling comfortable in a new environment, to making a class presentation to an audience of hundreds, to getting your internship and even your dream job. Writing the perfect college essay will be the first step in a long journey of utilizing Model UN skills in your everyday life. Whether or not you decide to pursue MUN in college the skills you gain though school MUN would assist you in life matters of all sorts.
When you think of SLMUN, you think of girls in colourful sarees and smart looking boys in suits and bowties, reporters scurrying around BMICH trying to get as much information as they can for their articles, admins walking around selling magazines and making sure everyone is doing ok and in the middle of it all you have the Executive Committee. But there’s not much that you know about the Executive Committee. As someone who has been part of the Executive Committee for almost 3 years, and believe me when I tell you this, I wouldn’t trade the EXCO experience for anything.
The Executive Committee usually meets up for the first time in January. It’s at this meeting that first impressions are made and people get to know each other. AS time goes by and we get closer and closer to conference you’ll realise that you can’t imagine a week going by without seeing them at least once.
The Executive Committee of SLMUN is the literal backbone of the Conference. Everything from Chairing committees to Logistics to News and Media is managed by members of the Exco. And once you’re a part of the Exco, you’re family because everyone has the same goal and that is to make their year the best year of SLMUN.
The head of the Exco is the Secretary General. This esteemed individual has full authority over his or her minions (as the rest of the Exco are usually called) and basically has to keep checking whether everyone is doing their job and that everything is running smoothly. From figuring out Conference Protocol to making sure the Exco turns up for Conference on time – it’s all this individuals job!
Then we have the Under Secretary Generals or the USGs as they’re more commonly called. This set of individuals act as the support system for the SG. They make sure that every part of the Exco and Conference goes smoothly. The USGs each have a section of the Exco to manage. It’s usually divided into Administration, Conference Protocol, Finance and News and Media. Since it’s impossible for the SG to look into every tiny minor detail the USGs take on that responsibility. The SG and the USGs have a special bond as they basically ‘run’ the Exco together as a unit.
The Head and Directors of the Exco are members who have authority over a specific part of conference. Be it being the Editor in Chief, Head of Outreach, Head of The International Press Corps or even taking care of the Administrative Staff, these individuals act as support for the USGs.
The members of the Exco that run committees are some of the most important members of the Exco. I mean you can’t have a conference without chairs. So these individuals have some of the hardest jobs because these individuals have to come up with topics, mark delegate paper and also run the committee debates at Conference and Practice Debates. You can’t have a MUN Conference without the Chairs so they’re really important to the Exco.
The News and Media is the team that handles all the PR and Media for SLMUN. From the articles you read on Facebook to the posts that come up on our Instagram page, it’s all done by the News and Media. The writers of the team work overtime to perfect each and every article, caption or even the annual Magazine (The MUNer) that is published by SLMUN. Even the videos and the photography is done by members of the N&M. The IPC is also run by this team by the Head of the IPC and with the help of the rest of N&M. It’s no easy task being part of the N&M but it’s definitely one of the best teams to be part of as a member of the Executive Committee.
Next up is the Logistics team. This team is made up of many talented individuals that work hard to make sure every aspect of Conference runs smoothly. From making sure delegates have food to eat to orchestrating the opening and closing ceremonies they do it all! The logistics team handles Outreach, Finance, the Administrative Staff and so much more. Logistics is an essential part of the Conference as nothing would get done without this team. The individuals of this team literally work overtime to make sure everything goes smoothly. They’re basically the most underappreciated part of the Exco since they mostly work behind the scenes. But we love them nonetheless because we know how hard they work for SLMUN.
Being part of the Executive Committee means that you have to be ready to do anything. You might have been assigned a certain role but as Conference gets closer everyone just pitches in to help everyone else. Chairs for Logistics work, N&M starts running to Pettah and around Colombo for various reasons and Logistics helps with marking articles and editing videos. It’s a great experience but you must be ready to go through with it as well as a family. You’ll never want the experience to end because by the end of the 9 months you’ll miss the various meetings and outings, midnight calls and spamming done by various people, the sudden emergencies that’ll need sorting out and most of all you’ll miss the people who you’ve worked with for almost a year. These memories that you’ll make as a member of the Executive Committee will last forever. Believe me.
Sri Lanka Model United Nations, best known as SLMUN, is a simulation of the United Nations. In 2008, Sri Lanka Model United Nations was born and in 2019 it stands as the largest student run Model United Nations in the whole of South Asia , accompanying over 10 committees ,100 schools and 1000 delegates.
The IPC was initiated in 2008 and since then it has succeeded in providing all ambitious writers firsthand experience of international journalism. In 2018 , the IPC recorded the highest delegate count with 50 journalists. This was a result of the guidance of the Under Secretary General of News and Media Muqaddasa Wahid and Editor-in-chief Amana Iflal along with the assistance of the News and Media Team of 2018. The IPC will be headed by Shenali Perera for SLMUN 2019 with the assistance of the Director of News and Media Amana Iflal and Editor in chief Chethasi Kudagamage.
As an IPC Delegate one will be allocated to one of the news agencies present at SLMUN and they will be given the chance to be a part of a mock UN committees hosted by SLMUN.
Reporters of the IPC will not merely report the council proceedings. It is not an agenda reporting but more of a debate analysis. IPC delegates will listen and analyze the debates in their respective committees and present articles at the end of each day. The delegates are given access to use their laptops, cameras and recorders to aid their article. What is expected of an IPC delegate is to deliver an article comprising these debates from any angle they have chosen within the mandate of their news agency. This may sound simple yet practically it could be quite tricky. As an inherit journalist, when reporting on these international politics to the general public, the greatest challenge is to stay unbiased of one’s personal opinions . What journalists actually do is distorting the information at their disposal in favor of the biases of their news agency. E.g.: Al Jazeera journalists will compose their articles in favor of Middle Eastern nations.
The aim of introducing the International Press Corps to SLMUN was to encourage and develop the skills of those who look to pursue a career in journalism or even just to sharpen their skills as writers. The articles of the delegates are marked and graded by the experienced panel of the News and Media Team using a standard marking scheme. The delegates are entitled to many awards such as the Most Outstanding News Agency and Best Journalist.
Overall, the IPC has the effect of creating an environment where the main intent lies in optimizing one’s gathering, assessing and presenting news. The IPC not only enables delegates to weave information into a newsworthy sensation but also allows it to be conveyed in such transparency that it helps delegates understand people’s sense of justice.
Sri Lanka Model United Nations (SLMUN) is the largest youth simulation of the United Nations in South Asia. At SLMUN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors of countries that are members of the UN, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. The students, better known as delegates, debate on current issues on the organization’s vast mandate. They prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure – all in the interest of resolving problems that affect the world.
At SLMUN one would witness a range of different skills displayed by both novice and senior delegates. Such success displayed is a collective effort of a variety of skills, tactics and preparation.
Firstly, to be successful as a delegate it is vital that one realizes why they are taking part as a delegate. A fundamental aim of SLMUN is to create a platform for the younger generation to foster diplomacy, critical thinking and debating skills and this is achieved through debate centralized around problems drawn from current global headlines. MUN is not merely debating on a given topic. To highlight your voice, it is important that you project significant passion towards such global issues. Lack of passion is merely a public addressing, and such would not be recognized as a good delegate within the MUN arena.
Prior to the Conference, it is customary that the delegates engage in research. Once notified of the respective committee topic and country, it is mandatory that proper research is carried out. Research, by definition is the investigation and study of sources in order to establish facts and reach conclusions. Some delegates tend to just print out volumes of unnecessary content and this is a common malpractice that is seen in the present times. To bring oneself to perform quality factual debate it is advisable to first research on the committee topic to obtain a more generalized meaning ; this can be achieved through researching on the specific key or tactical terms expressed in the topic. Once a common understanding is achieved, one can research on the stance one’s country has on the topic. This can be achieved through seeking answers for 3 basic questions as “Does this country support this topic?” , “What is this country doing regarding this topic?” and “What is this country planning on doing regarding this topic?”. Answers to these questions can be found by reading up on government websites and publications, Country’s history and social statistics, Treaties signed, Constitutions passed as well as active NGOs. A tactic used by many experienced delegates is, rather than merely researching on one’s country also researching on the happenings of other countries as well. This capable one not only to engage in debate at all times during session but also device tactical loopholes to question rival country’s stances. This shows that one has valuable input to the debate thus raising their chances of getting recognized.
If asked from any senior delegate a prominent advice given to novice delegates would be “Raise your placard”. Many delegates tend to complain about not getting recognized. To achieve this it is vital that one raises their placard at all suitable times. With appropriate research backup and charismatic speaking skills one should be able to participate in debate at any given time than just when session is focused on one’s country. The more the placard is raised, the higher the probability of getting recognized. This also labels one as active, informed and worthy of being recognized. It also allows the delegate to be attentive to what the other delegates have to say and avoids one from zoning out during session. The more one speaks the more points that are gained and also improves one’s speech. Imposing oneself as a threat is not a crime in the MUN arena but a way to success. When a delegate keeps up their momentum of speech this allows them to mark their presence within the committee and also to drive the debate to suit their facts, conclusions and resolutions.
Like any other event one cannot perfect themselves for awards overnight or through just a single conference. The final tip guiding one to be the best delegate would be; keep practicing. Specially as a novice delegate it is important one keeps up the momentum of speaking. MUN is an art that can be perfected through practice. Engage in every single possible practice session; be it at school or just among your friends. The more one puts themselves out there and speak the better and more comfortable one gets in public speaking, self-confidence and innovations. Through practice one learns to be creative and practical in creating resolution. Through practice one gains self-confidence and skill to succeed speaking in front of a large audience. One may have witnessed delegates winning outstanding awards at conference that is a result of perfection through practice.
To help delegates with this, the Outreach Team of SLMUN organizes a variety of workshops around the nation. At these workshops one is able to clarify any doubt on procedure and research, sharpen public speaking skills and resolution writing with direct exposure from the best MUNers in Sri Lanka. Through such activities, the Executive Committee of SLMUN 2019 hopes to uplift every single delegate and guide them to the path of becoming the best possible delegate.
Sri Lanka Model United Nations is a platform created to foster diplomacy, critical thinking and debate skills within the youth. In 2008 Sri Lanka Model United Nations was born, and in 2019 it stands as the largest student run Model United Nations in the entirety of South Asia. At SLMUN, the core objective is to nurture a sense of diplomacy and negotiating skills within the youth to create true, fair and solution-based leaders. Throughout the year, the Executive Committee organizes a variety of workshops around the island to prepare students to excel at the conference. Visits are made to schools to provide training in MUN research, public speaking, resolution writing, leadership and conference management. These workshops have been a fun, easy and effective way to get started in MUN. The committee members have travelled from Moratuwa to Negombo and all the way to Galle to help students prepare a step by step process to become an efficient delegate. This year SLMUN adapts the theme, “Youth Activism and Volunteering” and all workshops will be aimed at promoting this theme.
SLMUN is a great experience that every student must experience. It allows students of many backgrounds to represent different nationalities and learn about their culture and broaden their knowledge . The workshops will train the delegates with strategies that will help personal growth and trigger self-confidence. It is an opportunity to interact with like minded individuals and become acquainted with global issues.
The Outreach team succeeds in hosting numerous outstation workshops in regions such as Negombo, Kiribathgoda, Kandy, Gampaha, Galle to show students what SLMUN is and the purpose it serves. In light of this year’s theme, Youth Activism and Volunteering, SLMUN plans to initiate MUN in schools which do not yet offer this facility to their students.
The most anticipated of all workshops is the Main Workshop during which the delegates will be given the opportunity to get briefed on committee topics and clarify their inquiries with their respective chairpersons. This workshop would be the platform to meet the entire Executive Committee and meet your specific chairpersons for the very first time. This is a powerful insight for the young delegates to come together to listen, negotiate, collaborate and then offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues. Moreover, delegates will be educated on the procedures of MUN alongside an improvised committee session. The improvised practice debate will be invaluable to understand the momentum of expected debate before the Practice Debate and conference.
The International Press Corps (IPC) workshop will also be held parallel to the Main Workshop, enlightening aspiring journalists to explore the fundamentals of journalism. The workshop will be conducted by veteran journalists and IPC delegates will be able to address their queries to either the IPC head table or to the journalists themselves.
Furthermore, the delegates attending the workshop will get an insight of what Sri Lanka Model United Nations is. By the end of the session they are aware of the rules and regulations, the terms and conditions, the protocols and the proceedings of the conference. Students get knowledgeable on the conference and the practice debate topics, as it is explained by their respective chairs allowing debate on the practice sessions and conference to be efficient and productive. It is an ideal opportunity for novice delegates to get familiarized with both committee proceeding as well as other fellow delegates with whom they will be debating alongside at conference.
The underlying objective of conducting these workshops is to guide students from different regional, cultural and social backgrounds to sharpen their public speaking skills and infuse a sense of diplomacy to their resolutions in solving global issues. This year the ultimate goal is maximising youth involvement and uplifting them to the realisation of the root level problems the world is facing currently and persuading them to find solutions by negotiating with other delegates for the sustainable progression in future.
Sri Lanka Model United Nations is the best platform for students to showcase their talents through debating and creating resolutions for the betterment of the future. It is a guarantee that post-conference each and every delegate feels a sense of achievement and intellectual growth. If you’re a first time MUNer do not let fear overtake your capabilities, our workshops will train and guide you to bring out the best delegate within you. Hesitate not to speak up and participate in debate or inquire your doubts at our workshops.
Many of you might have heard of Sri Lanka Model United Nations or as many people call it SLMUN, but what is SLMUN? What does this student run simulation of the UN actually do?
SLMUN has been in the Model United Nations arena for over a decade now. A constant series of questions that are asked about it are, ‘What is our aim?’, ‘What are we trying to achieve through SLMUN?’, ‘How is SLMUN different to any other MUN related programs?’, and most importantly, ‘How are we making a difference in the world?’.
A fundamental aim of SLMUN is to create a platform for the younger generation to foster diplomacy, critical thinking and debating skills. SLMUN, throughout the years has acted on the belief that a more capable and educated younger generation is the basis for a brighter future. Therefore, at SLMUN, the core objective is to nurture a sense of diplomacy and negotiating skills within the youth to create true, fair and solution-based leaders.
In 2008, Sri Lanka Model United Nations was initiated by Mr.Rohan Ellawala and the Model United Nations Club of Ananda College, and in 2019 it stands as the largest student run Model United Nations in the entirety of South Asia. Every year an energetic group of teenagers, known as the Executive Committee of SLMUN, take it upon themselves to keep the legacy of SLMUN going. It is the collective efforts of our Charge D’ Affairs, Mr.Ellawala and the Executive Committee that makes sure that the Conference proceeds smoothly every year. This is a result of the clear-cut aim of SLMUN; investing time and effort on our younger generation to move forward as a society. Many people around the world serving the country or their workplaces in high capacity are a testament to the impact SLMUN has had on their lives.
At SLMUN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors of countries that are members of the UN, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. The students, better known as delegates, debate on current issues on the organization’s vast mandate. They prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure – all in the interest of resolving problems that affect the world.
Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in Model UN, students research the particular global problem to be addressed. The problems are drawn from current global headlines. Model UN delegates learn how the international community acts on its concerns about peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and water, economic development and globalization.
SLMUN encourages young voices to rise to make a difference, irrelevant of background and age. Past Executive Committee members and past delegates alike take pride in pushing the delegates to dream big. Dream big for themselves. Dream big for their motherland. At SLMUN, social status, financial status, family background is completely irrelevant and equal opportunity is given to everyone.
Apart from consistently being successful in providing a unique and innovative experience of diplomacy and debate to delegates, SLMUN has managed to harness and channel the energy within the conference into tangible social work through CSR projects – ‘One World’ and ‘Diplomatic Sri Lanka Initiative’, as a mean of creating future diplomats in the rural and urban areas of the Island. In addition to this SLMUN conducts many workshops around the island.
How is SLMUN different to any other MUN related program?
Firstly, SLMUN is the pioneer of any MUN related program in the country. SLMUN is in the process of training their delegates and members to become more of solution-based leaders rather than debating about just the theory. For instance, SLMUN 2018 took it upon themselves to aid UNICEF to come up with creative and out of the box ideas of how to stop violence against children in schools. Delegates not only came up with solutions but also agreed to maintain discussion about issues like this and guide these solutions to action.
When asked from many students what they want to do with their lives, a considerable amount of them will say they want to change the world. What does this mean? Can we really change the world? Or is it a cliché that everyone says but does nothing about? For SLMUN as an organization, this idea is a concept we hold dear to. One may ask how exactly is this organization achieving this? It is for all the reasons mentioned above.
Fundamentally, SLMUN believes that if we raise righteous, educated and capable young leaders we will truly be able to change the world.