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Youth Assemblies: A Gateway for the Future Generation

July 26, 2022 Featured Articles
by slmun admin

Youth Assemblies: A Gateway for the Future Generation

By Zaara Atho

While SLMUN prepares to return for its 15th session, we can’t help but find ourselves in deep turmoil. Starting from fuel shortages, food insecurity, public unrest, corruption, and a dying economy, our beautiful island nation has hit rock bottom. Responsibility for this crisis lies mainly in the hands of corruption and poor policy-making which has plagued the Sri Lankan government.

For years, SLMUN has been a platform where delegates can experience crisis management such as these and learn how to mitigate as well as avoid them. Our conferences thrive on  enabling participants to widen their understanding of the world to get a different perspective on it by working in the shoes of world leaders. This year, we don’t have to look far. The Sri Lanka Youth Assembly is a simulation that focuses entirely on Sri Lanka and its plight. It will encourage the future leaders of this country to discuss their views and provide solutions for the current crisis by working in the shoes of our leaders.  At SLMUN, we believe that the youth is a key component in saving Sri Lanka, thus, this new addition will be a gateway for them to prosper.

What should you expect?

In contrast to the normal committee structure, the Youth Assembly will include four separate bodies: The Main Youth Assembly, Economic Reforms Committee, Constitutional Reforms Committee, and the Independent Reforms Committee. All four of these committees will run parallel and debate will proceed as usual. On the 2nd half of the final day of the conference, we aim to have all the National Youth Assembly representatives from all the committees meet. Voting and resolutions will be finalised during this stage, once this is done we hope to present a final report to a government lobby authority. This means that the work done by delegates at the Assembly will not just be for show but instead, will go towards helping Sri Lanka.

What’s even more exciting is that delegates won’t be representing a specific nation or body but rather themselves. Therefore, the Youth assembly will provide a platform for the youth to effectively voice their thoughts and concerns on the current crisis, allowing them to show us and the rest of the world, their impressive potential as our future.

Economic Reforms Committee

This is one out of the three sub-committees that will work under the Main Youth Assembly. The Economic Reforms Committee will have an independent mandate when it comes to the final assent and primarily focuses on discussing ways out of the current economic crisis that is eating Sri Lanka alive. Delegates are free to suggest economic reforms that they believe will help our economy recover and prosper in the near future. In a country brimming with potential, the youth will be given the opportunity to use their economic knowledge to effectively deliver solutions and ideas that will utilise resources accordingly. In this regard, areas of discussion can include the changes required in fiscal policies and monetary policies, the importance of an independent Central Bank in Sri Lanka, and ways in which the economy can gain foreign currency as well as properly use it for productive investments. It is no secret that the current crisis was born from economic plight, a once prospering economy had been brought to its knees due to the poor decision-making of the government. This simulation will allow delegates to learn from the mistakes of the government and introduce new ways to avoid such crises and mitigate the current ones.

Constitutional Reforms Committee

This is the second sub-committee and similar to the Economics Reforms Committee, will have an independent mandate for the final assent. The Constitutional Reforms Committee will highlight the solutions and possible reforms required in the Sri Lankan legal system such as constitutional reforms and judiciary changes. When we discuss the current crisis Sri Lanka is in, one of the first things that come to mind is corruption. The corruption that has hooked onto our government for years, feeding into every nook and cranny of our legal system. Delegates in this committee are welcome to promote an independent justice system that is free of this corruption and works for the welfare of the citizens. Essentially allowing them to tackle an almost century-old system and encourage new change which is necessary for a better living environment.

Independent Commissions Reforms Committee

This is the final sub-committee of the Youth Assembly and perhaps the most interesting one that delegates will get to experience. The Independent Reforms Committee allows delegates to foster debate on existing and proposed commissions such as ones concerning education, the electoral system, and even the training of police. Ultimately, enabling them to challenge the independence of commissions. As aforementioned, independent commissions, policies, and decisions that are free of corruption are required to help Sri Lanka escape this current crisis and this commission tackles this directly.

SLMUN is thrilled to introduce this new addition to our committees and hopes that this will provide a useful learning experience for our youth even in such dire circumstances. It is not easy to tackle years of problems that have weakened our country almost beyond repair, however, the only way out is in. We are prepared to fight this crisis hands-on and we hope you are too. After all, an educated youth is necessary to make the changes we so desperately require.

SLMUN Committees for 2022

Featured Articles
by slmun admin

SLMUN Committees for 2022

Sri Lanka Model United Nations is the primary simulation of the United Nations conference in Sri Lanka. 2022 marks 15 years of the SLMUN conference, providing a basis for young delegates to focus on combating global issues, with the aim of fostering a sense of diplomacy and negotiating skills within the minds of future leaders. This year, we hope to tackle many areas of importance in relation to the current state of affairs locally as well as internationally. As a result, the committees for this year’s conference have been introduced to ensure favourable debate and the creation of practical solutions.

 

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organisation of 190 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth. Established in 1944 under the authority of its 44 founding member states, the IMF builds a framework for international economic cooperation.

 

The United Nations Specialised General Assembly (UNSGA)

The United Nations Specialised General Assembly (UNSGA) acts as a special committee in which all member nations are given equal representation. It is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, serving as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN. This committee deals with situations of global threats to peace, security and the general well being of the international community, while seeking out effective solutions to overcome these issues.

 

World Health Organisation

The WHO is one of the vital components of the United Nations. With the aim of protecting the global population from various aspects of diseases, the WHO plays a huge role in controlling the spread of diseases including the COVID-19 Pandemic, by administering medical treatments, vaccines, relocation programs and focusing on their principle objective of providing universal health care, disregarding one’s race, religion, cultural background, economic status and age.

 

Futuristic Security Council

The United Nations Security council acts as the primary decision making body for most resolutions passed on by other UN arms. The UNSC comprises of 15 members; 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent members. This year, for the 15th session of SLMUN, the functioning of the UNSC will be beyond the standard procedure. The Futuristic Security Council will be the committee acting as the UNSC for SLMUN 2022, in which debate will be based on a simulated topic of interest.

 

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

The North Atlantic Treaty also known as the North Atlantic Alliance was established as a political and military alliance with the primary objective of providing defence to its member states against threats from external nations. It has contributed to providing a basis to promote democracy and peaceful resolution of conflicts by addressing security related issues within its territory. 

 

Youth Assembly

SLMUN 2022 introduces the Youth Assembly, a bi-annual event aiming to uphold conversation between delegates in relation to the current plight and future of Sri Lanka. Its objective is to provide students a platform to tackle issues that affect our own nation by directly addressing various stakeholders and providing improvements for possible solutions. The Youth Assembly consists of three sub committees, focusing on key areas of importance –  The Independent/ Individual Commission Reforms Committee, the Assembly on legal reforms and the Assembly on economic policy reforms.

 

United Nations High Commission on Refugees

The UNHCR is an agency of the United Nations, which focuses on aiding and protecting refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless individuals. On a non-political and humanitarian basis, the UNHCR aims to protect the rights of all refugees internationally by introducing permanent and effective solutions.

 

 International Press Corps

The International Press Corps (IPC) as the name suggests, is a “press” which can be introduced as a media group of journalists. The delegates in the IPC assume the roles of correspondents for a variety of international news agencies and organisations. They take responsibility in sharing information on current affairs by providing reports on major events that occur around the world. As the IPC acts as a vital source of information in today’s society, at SLMUN 2022, we hope to provide aspiring writers and journalists a platform for them to express their talent through paper.

A Crucial Part of MUN History – SLMUN

A Crucial Part of MUN History – SLMUN

By Michelle Abeyewardene

Model United Nations is defined by the United Nations Organization as a simulation to learn more about the UN. Long before the United Nations was founded, the League of Nations, which was its predecessor, was simulated by the scholars at Oxford University. This historic event occurred in the year 1921. Such simulations were called “International Assemblies.”

However, World War 2 proved the League’s inefficiency and in 1945 the United Nations was founded in its place. Two years later, the first-ever simulation of the United Nations took place at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. Such simulations were referred to as “Model United Nations.”

Topics related to the impact of nuclear weaponry, the crisis and post-war reconstruction were discussed at the 1st ever Model United Nations conference. Sri Lanka Model United Nations delegates and other MUN delegates can occasionally be seen engaging in heated debates over the same topics even today! There is a sense of nostalgia when such topics are discussed but they are extremely relevant as topics even today. The impact of Model United Nations has only grown over the 75 years of its existence. The founders of the 1st ever MUN conferences would be proud as today we harbor diplomacy and international relations through multiple MUN conferences.

Sri Lanka became a member state of the United Nations in 1955. However, it isn’t until 1994 that Sri Lanka hosted its first-ever Model United Nations conference. Shortly afterwards, Sri Lanka Model United Nations was established in 2008. It was an initiated due to the great efforts of Mr. Rohan Ellawala, who is the Charge D’ Affairs of the conference up to date.

The 3rd Sri Lanka Model United conference. It was held at Water’s Edge in 2010.
Image courtesy: https://younghistorians.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/slmun-2010/

It grew to become Sri Lanka’s largest and one of Asia’s largest Model United Nations conferences. Sri Lanka Model United Nations has been going strong for 15 years as it has hosted 14 successful conferences to date and will be hosting its 15th session on the 17th and 18th of September 2022. It was a historic moment for Model UN in Sri Lanka, when SLMUN and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) jointly looked for new solutions to the problem of children being subjected to physical violence in their own schools. That is not to say that the conference has faced its fair share of obstacles along the way. In 2020, Sri Lanka Model United Nations hosted the 13th conference virtually via the Zoom platform due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although SLMUN rose to the occasion and organized a successful virtual conference during a global crisis, it reverted to hosting physical conferences afterwards. This was mainly because the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Model United Nations wanted to preserve the culture and traditionalism of MUN.

SLMUN: A Conference like no other

October 10, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
by admin

SLMUN: A Conference like no other

Sri Lanka Model United Nations, is a platform where skills in leadership, negotiation, and diplomacy are identified, nurtured & developed in line with building a stronger and peaceful future for mankind worldwide. Founded by some of the individuals who serve, and have represented Model United Nations across the globe it aims to engage youth leaders from across the country and provide a platform to share perspectives and opinions in solving detrimental issues with no regional boundary.

Having engaged in international platforms across the world, the founders of SLMUN plan to bring forward a revolution to the Model United Nations movement in Sri Lanka by introducing most of the modern concepts of the MUN that are not currently present in the nation. Having identified potential talent across the island, SLMUN hopes to be the pinnacle of success to all aspiring MUNers from around the country and act as an incubator to jumpstart their thought processes, ideas, their career and help boost their soft skills with an emphasis in problem-solving and negotiations.

The SLMUN Institute is proud of its alumni, who go onto become leaders in their schools, colleges, communities, and their careers. Our alumni have won numerous awards at prestigious MUN conferences including Best Delegate awards at conferences hosted by both local and international institutions. And our alumni have gone on to be Presidents and Secretaries-General of their high school MUN teams, have run conferences, and have competed and held leadership positions in their university’s Model United Nations programmes.

“As a delegate of SLMUN I gained a lot of experience and confidence in relation to public speaking and analytical thinking.

As an EXCO member it’s gotten me to be more responsible and be able to multitask way more effectively when it comes to balancing my workload and to work under pressure and a strict timeline”

Himaya Perera

Under Secretary General of
PR and IT

Sri Lanka Model
United Nations 2021

 

Sri Lanka Model United Nations conferences give students the unique opportunity to represent different countries in simulations of different real UN (and Non- UN) committees discussing and debating a vast array of pressing topics and finally drawing solutions to issues that plague our world, all within the structure of the United Nations and following its procedures. The SLMUN conference is a great setting where people can try to face their fear of public speaking. This opportunity to overcome a fear of public speaking helps support delegates’ personal growth and increases self-confidence. Additionally, it will expand your knowledge about global issues because SLMUN requires every participant to understand the global issues and their opinion may contribute to solve the problems that affect our planet today.

Operating under the theme “Restless for change” the 14th Session of SLMUN strives to cultivate the next generation of thinkers and young leaders to be more aware and vocal of world issues that will impact them and their future. To do this the 14th Session of SLMUN will engage the next generation to be proactive in the fields of both activism and volunteering, we believe that this effort will help transition the youth of this generation into informed and caring citizens of the world.

Furthermore, at SLMUN we believe that to initiate the change we must go beyond just words and it is for this reason that we are actively engaged in community welfare initiatives through our endorsement from both UNESCO and the Foreign Ministry. Additionally, SLMUN constantly strives to develop MUN in Sri Lanka in addition to giving you the best experience at conference in the Island! And now, we have introduced our very own version of an Ambassador Programme to do just that. This not only has improved the conferences atmosphere every year but has also allowed many schools both in and outside Colombo to establish their own MUN clubs through workshops organised by the SLMUN organising committee.

This conference gives the youth the opportunity to be actively involved in discussing and attempting to solve prevalent crises from around the world. Students will also learn the skills of leadership, negotiation, debate, and compromise in a practical and well-moderated environment We believe that a conference of this nature bares the potential to launch the careers of future diplomats, humanitarians, and advocates. Essentially – the leaders of tomorrow.

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 6th and 7th of November 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of October 2021.

For further details, head on over to our website on www.slmun.org , or please contact us via:

Email –
[email protected] / [email protected]

Telephone –
+94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 /
+94 76 898 9763

– Ashan Chandrasena
(News and Media Team 2021)

UNICEF Sri Lanka Child and Youth Consultations to inform the Country Programme Development Process

September 16, 2021 Featured Articles, News & Media
by admin

UNICEF Sri Lanka

Child and Youth Consultations to inform the Country Programme Development Process

SLMUN 15TH SESSION

July 18, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
by admin

SLMUN 15TH SESSION

By Anna Shearer (News and Media Team – SLMUN 2021)

The 14th session of Sri Lanka Model United Nations will take place at the BMICH on the 11th and 12th of September 2021. SLMUN is the largest MUN conference in Sri Lanka and the largest student–run UN simulation in Asia with over 100 schools and 1000 delegates joining annually. It is the first MUN conference in Sri Lanka to be endorsed by UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.

The theme for the conference this year is “Restless for Change” as we believe it is vital for the youth to speak out and voice their opinions to fight against the vast amount of discriminatory actions, injustices and social inequalities that we encounter in the world today. 

SLMUN will be one of the greatest experiences of your school years and there is a plethora of reasons why you should register. Our Conference will help you develop confidence, teamwork, diplomatic skills, leadership skills, analytical skills and negotiating skills. One could enhance their debating skills and become a better and more experienced public speaker while another could develop their writing skills by becoming an IPC delegate.

Moreover, SLMUN is an ideal place for delegates to learn and be more aware about current events and issues in the world and aim to find solutions to them. The conference is also an excellent platform for everyone, regardless of age, to voice their opinions. SLMUN is an amazing opportunity and will undoubtedly aid your future job opportunities. For example, participating in the International Press Corps is a good place to begin for budding journalists. SLMUN is known to be a great opportunity to meet new people and to create everlasting friendships, and has always provided an entertaining experience for the past 13 years.

Registrations for the conference are open from the 15th of March to the 15th of August 2021. Delegates may register with their school or privately while delegates hoping to join the International Press Corps and the administration staff must register privately. Foreign delegates are also welcome to join the conference virtually.

This year, the conference will take on global issues such as poverty, climate change and inequality through nine committees. These are the GA1, GA3, GA6, SC, UNHRC, WHA, ESCAP, UNEP along with the only non-UN Committee; the ICC. The IPC will also be a present body at the conference, and is open to all delegates who are interested in developing their writing skills and is a great way for those who are not confident in public speaking to express their opinions on paper.

Participants do not need to have MUN experience as our executive committee is carrying out multiple workshops to teach those who are unsure of how the conference works. The executive committee has taken up the challenge of spreading the word about the conference and to let more young diplomats across the country to take part in this one of a kind experience by conducting workshops for schools which does not have MUN clubs, upon their requests.

If you are an individual who strives restlessly for change here is your chance to send your message out to the world!

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of July 2021.

For further details, head on over to our website on www.slmun.org , or please contact us via:

Email – [email protected] / [email protected]

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763

X-Press Pearl: A disaster of yet unknown proportions

June 13, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
by admin

X-Press Pearl: A disaster of yet unknown proportions

By Ashan Chandrasena (News and Media Team 2021)

 On 20th of May 2021, the ship ‘X-Press Pearl’ , which was operated by ‘X-Press Feeders’, a company based in Singapore, was on its way back from the Middle East when it caught fire near the ports of Colombo, Sri Lanka.  Not only has this event polluted our environment, but it has also caused many other long term effects that may take years to reveal themselves. 

When the accident occurred, the ship was bound for Singapore from the Jebel Ali port in the UAE, and it carried 1486 containers containing 25 metric tons of concentrated nitric acid, Cosmetic items, low-density polyethylene LDPE pellets among many other items. The crew had identified an acid leak in the vessel shortly after their departure heading to Malaysia. Before entering the ports of Colombo, the crew had requested entry upon the ports of Hazira and Qatar to deploy the chemicals and other contents. But the respective ports had rejected the entry of the vessel, as the ports had ‘insufficient facilities or expertise to immediately deal with the acid leak’ according to the news sources. 

The ship proceeded according to its plan despite the prevailing acid leak. As the ship entered the port of Colombo on the 19th of May it did not disclose the acid leak within the vessel to the authorities. But on the 20th of May the ship had requested a re-working of the cargo containers to the port authorities. The harbor master of the Colombo port mentioned that, with Colombo being a maritime hub it had the expertise and facilities to carry out the request. 

On the 20th of May the ship issued its first report of a fire which the crew had contained using the in-built emergency systems within the vessel. The crew, along with the authorities of the Colombo port investigated the cause of the fire, and they concluded that the fire was caused by the leaking of acid in the stacked up containers of the vessel. 

After the fire had continued for days, on 25th May, a large explosion took place inside the vessel of the X-Press Pearl and all 25 crew members on board were evacuated safely and 2 members who were injured were admitted into the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Along with the explosion, the fire had spread further within the vessel. Late in the afternoon of the day the explosion occurred, containers started to become unhinged and fell into the sea, in addition, the fire had also resulted in an oil leak. Within a few hours, the Maritime Environmental Protection Authority of Sri Lanka (MEPA) declared a tier II spill. 

After days of tireless effort, the Sri Lankan forces, with the help of the maritime forces of India, were able to put out the fire by the 29th of May. However, the impact from the oceanbound containers is still unclear; the oil spill has decimated the coral reefs found near the Colombo-Negombo coastline. This level of damage is expected to extend to as far as Indonesia and Somalia. The oil sits on top of the water cutting off valuable sunlight and oxygen needed for the coral to thrive, while aquatic life also has more difficulty regulating body temperature as a result of the oil spill. 

 In an attempt to save the oceanic ecosystems, the salvagers tried to pull the ship out into deep water but were unsuccessful as it began to break and sink. The ship reaching the bottom of the ocean has caused further damage to the reefs in the region and the damage can already be seen in the marine life washing western and south-western seaboard..

Endangered turtles, many species of fish, dolphins and manta rays are among hundreds of aquatic organisms showing up dead, floating on the waters or washed up along the beaches.  All of the nearby towns and villages whose main source of income was from the ocean, have now been instructed to stay home and have been denied their livelihood due to the high levels of pollution in the sea. The regional chief of the fishing community stated that 4300 families relying on fishing will be affected economically because of this disaster. A disaster of this scale has not been seen in our lifetime, the scale of which we are only beginning to comprehend.  The explosion and subsequent sinking of this ship has polluted our seas, contaminated our beaches, killed our coral reefs and with it, our marine diversity. 

Will compensation by the authorities of X-Press Feeders ever be able to rectify the known and as yet unknown effects of this disaster? And how will our administrators put that compensation to use? These are the questions on everyone’s minds as we hope for the best. 

Adapting to a New World: SLMUN Takes Steps to Enrich the Delegate Experience 

May 30, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
by admin

Adapting to a New World: SLMUN Takes Steps to Enrich the Delegate Experience 

By Umaama Hussein

The Sri Lanka Model United Nations Conference is the main simulation of a United Nations conference in Sri Lanka. More than 800 delegates from over 100 schools take part in this event each year, making it one the most anticipated events by students across Sri Lanka and the world, alike.

The upcoming conference marks 14 transformational years of SLMUN, during this period the organization has grown into the largest student run United Nations simulation in Asia. Hence, this is a well-established and recognized platform that aids youth in tackling global issues ranging from poverty and inequality to climate change and humanitarian crises. In addition, many delegates view SLMUN An opportunity that allows them the space to develop vital skills in leadership, teamwork, analytical skills, complex problem solving, public relations, and public speaking.

The theme for this year’s conference is, “Restless for Change”. While many of us have been stuck in isolation, the many injustices and pitfalls in the global community have become more apparent; and as a result we are more driven than ever before. Therefore, we believe this to be an extremely relevant and timely topic, especially for the youth of today, who are breaking barriers and defining this age of transformation.

This year we will be simulating committees: First General Assembly (GA1); Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM), commonly known as GA3; Sixth General Assembly (GA6); United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC); Security Council (SC); World Health Assembly (WHA); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); and our new introduction, International Cricket Council (ICC). Additionally, the International Press Corps will also be simulated with 6 six news agencies. The conference and practice debate topics for each committee will be out very soon, so make sure to keep an eye out for them as well.

Most importantly, registrations for SLMUN XIV are now open for delegates, admins, and IPC delegates until the 30th of June 2021, and their country allocations will be released by the 10th of July. Late registrations will be open from the 1st of July to the 5th of August 2021, with country allocations being released by the 10th of August. 

However, are you worried because you have not the slightest idea the difference between a Point of Information and a Point of Entertainment? Worry not for the SLMUN experience this year will be further enriched by the launch of online training. The Executive Committee are using their knowledge and experience with MUN to train delegates and provide resources to aid their learning. Online training provides a platform that can be accessed country-wide – something that is essential, especially during the prevailing pandemic. Delegates who attend these training sessions will be guided to understand and familiarize themselves with the proceedings and various protocols of debates. Committee descriptions and explanations will be provided, along with video tutorials, basic information on MUN objectives, and structure of speeches among many other lessons and resources. These online training sessions are completely free of charge – but the skills learned are priceless. If you have already attended the SLMUN online training sessions and simply cannot get enough – we will announce the workshop dates soon. We hope that delegates will take full advantage of these opportunities and thus, have a greater SLMUN experience.

Furthermore, study guides will be provided for each committee for the delegates’ perusal. A delegate’s study guide is one of the most important resources available to them as it is a compiled set of information on their committees, mandates, and objectives. Study guides help delegates acquaint themselves with the workings of their specific committees.

We hope to see many promising and excited delegates registering for SLMUN XIV and taking advantage of these resources available to them!

SLMUN 2021: THE POWER OF DIPLOMACY

May 17, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
by admin

SLMUN 2021: THE POWER OF DIPLOMACY

By Chandrika Manamendra (Member of the Executive Committee of SLMUN 2021)

SLMUN is one of the largest conferences in South Asia, attracting over 1000 delegates annually for the past 13 years, where delegates congregate to discuss global issues, their impacts, and what can be done to mitigate or ameliorate them, while gaining knowledge on global problems and fine tuning their speaking, negotiating, and decision making skills that play a vital role in becoming the diplomats and leaders of tomorrow. 

Walking into an MUN conference is a wholly new experience for anyone. The tense yet jovial and light hearted atmosphere allows delegates to feel far more comfortable than you expect. The social atmosphere of SLMUN is unique in its own way. No one truly knows each other at the beginning but something about writing resolutions and debating crises with and against each other brings a sense of camaraderie that one wouldn’t be able to witness anywhere else. 

Partaking in MUN is a leap of courage, but it also changes your life to a great extent. Whether it be from having the confidence to walk into a room and give a speech on a topic you may not always be comfortable with, or learning to research effectively and make the most of your limited time. Diplomacy is something that MUN conferences specifically teach you. Debating in a conference isn’t about shouting at one another and trying to prove others wrong; it’s about creating an effective and inclusive dialogue that takes to account the position that every country stands. Furthermore, a conference is one of the most comfortable places to take on leadership roles, build your problem solving, analytical, and communication skills, and help you to think on your feet. 

With the competitive spirit of youth, in many cases, a debate ensues, with new students continuously joining the fray, each individual arguing points in ways that favours the interest of the country they are representing. Through such questioning and debating, the delegates gain the ability to view issues from different national and individual perspectives, to weigh the pros and cons in various situations and to challenge the points and views of others while maintaining respect and decorum. 

To those who may have not gone to a MUN conference before, there is absolutely no need to fear your chairs because, as opposed to what you may think, the chairs strive to make the environment more comfortable for the delegates as they engage in conversation, hence allowing the free flow of ideas and solutions. Their active participation in such debates ensure mutual respect between delegates while preventing the discussions from detracting from the chief issues, and so are a delicate balance, where they give the delegates the space they need to function on their own free ideas, but without jeopardizing the overall theme of the topic. 

Since the very beginning, SLMUN has proven to be a teachable journey for all our delegates, while also being a place that brings a lot of memories. The lessons to be learnt from an MUN conference are not simply limited to learning how to speak or to developing knowledge and confidence. Through the boundaries of the conference, the delegates will understand how parliamentary procedures work and why they are important, how opinions can be fluid and subject to change, and most importantly, why change is so hard to achieve and thereby why it is so important in our chaotic world. 

SLMUN helps to shape the youth into individuals who are willing to fight for their ideas, but who are also open to new opinions. It helps them appreciate the democratic instruments found in Sri Lanka and around the world, while training them to use these instruments in the best possible ways. It is a conference that provides a safe space to voice all opinions that will help contribute to the change that we all strive for. 

If you are anxious about the conference, keep in mind that, while the first day may be polarizing, you will definitely fit right in. new beginning are always daunting but we can guarantee that this will be an experience you will never forget and before you know it, you’ll be thanking yourself for taking that lead of faith. We hope that this encourages you to embark of this journey with SLMUN.

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of June 2021.

For further details, head on over to our website on www.slmun.org , or please contact us via:

Email – [email protected] / [email protected]

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763

SLMUN 2021 focuses on Press Freedom

May 2, 2021 Featured Articles, IPC, News & Media
by admin

SLMUN 2021 focuses on Press Freedom

By Anna Shearer (News and Media Team – SLMUN 2021)

Freedom of the press is the understanding that communication through media should be a right to be exercised freely. In simpler terms, the idea that journalists should be able to convey information and opinions and explore the story they are writing about without facing issues of censorship, or in dire cases, face imprisonment or even death.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that – “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”. For years, journalists all over the world have been deprived of this universal human right to freedom of expression.

A free press is a rudimentary requirement to any democratic society. It finds and passes on news, information and opinions; creating self-reliant cycle of awareness and exchange. This is essential for education in order to make sure people know what is happening in the world we live in and serves as a platform for people to express their opinion. It ensures people have access to the correct information so they do not spread false rumours.

On 3rd of May, World Press Freedom Day takes place as a reminder to governments around the world of their promise of freedom of speech, as a platform for the media to speak up on the issues they have experienced with regards to the world of journalism and lastly to commemorate journalists who have lost their lives trying to tell a story. This year’s theme for World Press Freedom Day is “Information as a Public Good”. The goal is to show that the people deserve credible information and that it is the duty of the journalists to deliver it to them.

As many will likely be able to guess, North Korea has the least amount of press freedom in the world. Article 67 of the North Korean Constitution supports freedom of speech and freedom of the press. However, in practice the press is almost completely controlled by the state and the government only allows speech that agrees with the ruling party. An example of how little freedom of press is present in China is the fact that Kim Jong-Il’s death was not reported until 2 days after it occurred. Journalists in North Korea all come from the working party and to qualify for such a job one must not only carry the correct ideologies but also come from a well-off family. Even for the most insignificant typing error, journalists in North Korea could face imprisonment. The only news that is allowed is that which compliments the regime. There is no political or economic criticism, and the people are not permitted to read the foreign media and will likely be punished for doing so. It is situations like this, situations where freedom of the press is barely in the people’s vocabulary, where change needs to occur. 

Another country with very little press freedom is China. The government is entitled to full censorship and foreign media is barely permitted. In the area of Xinjiang, where the concentration camps for the Uyghur Muslims are based, there is absolutely no media coverage allowed. The European Union has even accused China of harassing and preventing their journalists from carrying out their job.

Unfortunately, there are also many threats to press freedom in other countries such as the United Kingdom. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 is punishing newspapers if they have not signed up to political control. Other threats include ideas of an online harms regime and tighter criminal laws against government leaks, efforts to reduce the Freedom of Information and the use of state surveillance powers to uncover journalists’ sources. Journalists in the United Kingdom are also affected by multiple legal restrictions of freedom of expression, making their essential jobs unnecessarily difficult.

Throughout history, the world has seen societies emerging with absolutely no freedom of speech or press freedom. These include Nazi Germany and Communist Russia where nearly all parts of life were controlled by the government. The world has also seen people’s revolutions in favour of freedom of speech such as the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the American Revolution and the British Revolution

The media and press are responsible for sharing of information and so are vital to today’s society. Therefore, it is essential to achieve freedom for the press and for journalists by fighting to receive at least the most basic human rights to allow them to write and sgare information without fear. Despite being one of the most important jobs, a journalism is, and always has been one of the most dangerous jobs.  It is our responsibility to stand up for them and start fighting to receive a positive outcome for the betterment of individuals connected to the world of journalism.

At SLMUN 2021, we hope to showcase the talents of our delegate journalists by allowing them to express their freedom through many ways in the committee of International Press Corps (IPC), and set an example to the rest of the world on what journalism should really be about.

Session XIV of SLMUN will be held on the 11th and 12th of September 2021 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Registrations for delegates, admins and IPC delegates are now open until the 30th of June 2021.

For further details, head on over to our website on www.slmun.org , or please contact us via:

Email – [email protected] / [email protected]

Telephone – +94 71 801 3722 / +94 71 444 9694 / +94 76 898 9763