Life-link has hosted the 17th annual Junior High School Model United Nations (JHSMUN) at the Accra International Conference Centre as part of celebrations marking the United Nations day celebration.
The mock simulation model is a pioneering effort to involve the Ghanaian child in the discussion of global issues, as well as providing information and educational materials.
The 17th annual JHSMUN, which would see more than 193 young visionary students as delegates divided into African Bloc, Americas Bloc, European Bloc as well as Middle East and Asian Bloc.
In a welcome address, Ms. Edna Elorm Ayena, Secretary General, JHSMUN, said it was an honour to welcome the future leaders to 71st UN Anniversary on the topic: “Addressing the causes of conflict; a global approach to promoting sustainable peace.
“It is delightful that at a time like this we get to pick our brains and come together as future world leaders to put our ideas together.
“I believe this is a huge stride in achieving peace globally as we join the UN to focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).”
According to Edna, though the SDG’s are seventeen in number the JHSMUN conference would focus on SDG number 16.
“For this conference the focus will be on SDG 16; Peace, Justice and strong Institutions; however references would be made to some other SDGs,” she added.
Ms Christine Evans-Klock, UN Resident Coordinator, in a remark thanked the delegates in their interest in the UN and support it.
“It is heart-warming for all of us at the UN Secretariat to know that these younger generations have a special interest in the UN.
“We will take pictures to share with the over 800 UN employees working in Ghana…so they would be encouraged by the number of young ones interested in the work they are doing.”
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, in an interview with the GNA noted that the 17th life-link UN model was reflecting on the real situations in the world today in terms of the issues that are underlining conflicts.
“This model is to stimulate our young kids to be able to relate with that when they are modelling.
“We also tried to look at what are the prospects for the leadership of the future…and there is no question that you cannot talk about leadership in the future when you renege from the skills that must be developed.
“It is important that such a model school brings alive the challenges that nations are confronted with and how you see children modelling these challenges…and more importantly trying to work collaboratively.”
Programmes Director, Life-Link Ghana, Dennis Penu in an interview advanced that after 17 years of nurturing future world leaders, Life-Link had developed from small Security Council sessions to bigger general assembly sessions.
“This is a bigger general assembly session with over 193 delegates with more than two delegates representing some countries.
“At such conferences students come with no idea about some of the countries…we take them through a series of weekly trainings in about three months.
“They undertake sessions in speech writing, speech making and team work, diplomatic speech…all we have to do is make them practice.
“They have mock sessions to practice what we teach them and then the end results is what we see today to mark the UN day together with the UN officials with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he added.
Delisa Richards, Rosharon Montessori School, representing as delegate from Latvia said he decided to be part of this model to learn more about the UN.
“I know the UN has six organs and want to know what really they do…that affects the world.
Saeed Ninai, Al-Rayan International School acting as a delegate from Burkina Faso noted that the model was a great platform for young ones to learn.
“I am hoping to learn to be more confident in myself and also improve on public speaking and not feeling shy.”
Life-Link runs annual Model United Nations conferences for all educational level in partnership with the UN system in Ghana and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Life-Link has also unveiled a weekly reality TV show, which focuses on the workings of the UN Security Council with respective TV shows for all educational level dubbed: “The Delegate”, “The Ambassador”, “The Diplomat”.
In a related development, Pearl Acheampong, who joined the Presidential entourage to the UN session in New York, US, as youth observer said it was an opportunity for her to witness the session.
“I did not just engage leaders I came across about the youth’ involvement in achieving SDGs, the use of veto, migrant and refugee crisis.
“I desired to find how different the model United Nations sessions I had participated in was from the actual General Assembly.
“I joined a youth session in Colombia University, which was an international conference on sustainable development.
“As youth we shared ideas on our quota to achieving the SDGs, we also listened to some seasoned speakers on their contributions to achieving the SDGs.