Model UN: Breeding pointless leadership

Published: November 18, 2010

Delegates at one of Pakistan's local university MUN conferences, ZABMUN.

The plague of Model United Nations (or MUN, an abbreviation that makes the idea sound slightly more worthwhile) has gripped most institutions in the country.

For those few of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, MUN is an event where students represent different countries and stage a United Nations meeting. They supposedly ‘discuss’ world issues, propose solutions and argue with each other over the share of resources – little else is achieved in this process.

Some of its supporters may argue that this platform is an excellent way of making the younger generation take an interest in current affairs. But essentially, we are breeding the same type of pointless leadership that has been running the real UN so far.

The more important issues in the world, it seems, are left untouched. Take, for instance, Palestine and Kashmir, where people have been suffering the brutalities of unjust occupations for years. The UN, it appears, has its hands tied.

What is interesting to note is that the same concept of discussions, at the cost of taking action, trickles down to the foundation of these MUNs. The comfort of the delegates and the social events take a higher priority to attending sessions.

Delegates not only manage to visit different cities but the luckier ones also visit other countries. Amidst the travelling, policies regarding the issues take a back seat and what is left is a sort of ideology that grips the UN.

Before I am judged for my biased views (which I admit, because many a time have LUMUN delegates trashed our university campus), this is what the Harvard MUN 2011 will be all about: “HMUN 2011 will feature innovative committee simulations, cutting-edge technology, and, of course, great entertainment for the delegates outside of the committee”.

I couldn’t help but notice that nowhere on this website was it mentioned what these conferences have managed to achieve. Have any of these ‘mock’ diplomats ever made worthwhile suggestions that may have helped one of the many problems in our society. If yes, feel free to prove me wrong. If not, stop with the nonsense already.

hira.siddiqui

Hira Siddiqui

A sub-editor on the Karachi city pages of The Express Tribune who enjoys reading South Asian fiction and loves nature

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Majid Urrehman

    trashed or crashed?…:)Recommend

  • http://aamirwrites.blogspot.com Piscean

    very well said..i have always had the same opinionRecommend

  • fz

    Oooh! I am from LUMS myself, though not a MUN-er since I am cynical of the the MUN phenomenon and its participants. Eagerly waiting for a debate here, now!Recommend

  • Maaz Khan

    I have held the same opinion as well since long but never heard the other side of the story. None the less i would love to hear what a MUNNER has to say in its defense. One Must take both sides into consideration. Recommend

  • Shajia Sarfraz

    While it is true that Model UN conferences pay attention to the “comfort” and “entertainment” of their delegates, it is not true that they are pointless. It is never the purpose of a MUN to “improve” society. What it is essentially, is a debate competition. Just like any other debate competition, a MUN is a skill-building venture. Delegates learn to debate in a style that is unlike traditional debating styles. Winners and losers are decided by their own team-mates, as a result of which, participants must be diplomatic and intelligent in the way they debate. I can go on and on about the skills delegates build by participating in a MUN.

    It is a misconception that MUNs are held for some philanthropic cause. They are not. They are merely a competition. Just like any sports competition, debate competition, art competition… therefore, the criticism that they are “good for nothing” is simply unjustified. You can’t criticize a MUN for not doing something it didn’t promise to do in the first place.Recommend

  • Osman

    Before i comment on the contents of your article, i commend you for raising these points as these are some very valid questions.

    Model United Nations, regardless of whichever institute it affiliates itself with or whichever country, does manage to achieve a substantial lot. I’ve attended a number of MUN Conferences, both national and international and have debated upon issues such as Iran’s nuclear program to failing economies of developing states. As you’ve very aptly mentioned in your article, “They supposedly ‘discuss’ world issues, propose solutions and argue with each other over the share of resources – little else is achieved in this process”, solutions that are proposed cannot be thought of without the delegates first conducting exhaustive research. Thus, increasing the amount of awareness that the youth of today has about these global issues. Secondly, if you do indeed believe that MUN breeds pointless leadership, i ask you this: Wouldnt it be better that in the coming future, you would feel more comfortable with leaders skilled in the art of verbal jousting and troubleshooting than the type of leaders we have today which seem quite unable to defend this country properly on the negotiation table? Isnt that what the MUN does? Give the delegates an opportunity to discuss global issues, realize the gravity of these situations and actually experience the intricacies of legislation?

    Also, i’d like to point out the fact that WorldMUN, one of the largest MUN Conferences of the world also hosted by the Harvard University sends all draft resolutions passed by its General Assembly to the UN itself to be debated upon. Lastly, had the MUN been a useless forum, then the UN wouldnt have realized its importance and wouldnt have hosted Global Model United Nations Conference. If you wish for more information regarding this: http://www.un.org/gmun/. A Conference hosted by the United Nations Office of Public Outreach. Recommend

  • RS

    If you think MUN was designed to achieve peace in the Middle East, among other ‘issues,’ you’re quite mistaken. These are Modeling the UN convention, not replicating. Achieving anything in this world takes leaders, and these leaders are taught to lead at conventions such as MUN. It’s easier said than done sitting in front of the computer screen, but it takes courage and incredibly intelligence to partake in the MUN, qualities very necessary for the future of any country. Pakistan is new to the concept of MUN — give it a few more years and you’ll see what these young leaders will have ‘achieved.’Recommend

  • Disappointed Delegate of ZABMUN 2010

    Had I read this a few weeks ago I would have disagreed with you. I always thought that these conferences would be a good learning experience for everyone. However I recently attended ZABMUN 2010 which was recently held at Reagent Plaza, my opinion has completely changed. The quality of the debate was certainly not what I expected and I am sad to say most people were there waiting for the social event to start. Which by the way were average to say the least. And yet on their event page their own members make it sound like it was something spectacular. The most sad thing about the conference was that in the day I saw a decent person chairing my committee but by the time the social event started I saw him completely drunk and he probably had taken other substances as well. That really disappointed me. Anyways not only him many of the organizers were drunk themselves and it was so obvious but no one cares I guess. Is this the example you should set for young school going children? I think NOT. And I wonder how much of the sponsors money they had spent on the booze and what not.
    Anyways this was the last MUN conference I attend ever. Thank God my eyes were opened before I spent more money for conferences abroad. I will now look for other forums to enhance my debating skills.
    P.S I dont want to offend few of the organizers who were there and probably worked very hard in doing what they did. Its just that particular bunch that spoiled it all for you and me both. Recommend

  • A.A. Haji

    Wasalam first to you then to readers. Now the comment is that one must realize MUN shape the future leaders of this country in the sense that it teaches how to represent Pak and how to live life in accordance with rules and regulations in the UN floors unlike Big Bhutto not Benazir but father of her who casually in a rude sense caused havok in the UN. May MUN create a new Pak with the blessings of our dear author.

    Praise.Recommend

  • saeed

    i totally disagree with the arguments raised by the writer. i am a muner and i know its importance of taking part in it. as name suggest it is model united nation so the discussion has to take place in considering some ideal things first . Secondly all the working papers and resolution passed are submitted in un secretariat. if you are bringing MUN in light than you should also bring debate and declamation contest in light also because we listen some good debates and take no action so can we apply our logic in such competition.

    Mun allows you to study different aspects of different country such as economic conditions, labor policies, atomic policy and many more these all topics helps in leaning process of student. Why we are always resistant to learning? it is necessary for student to be active participant of curricular and extra curricular activities in order nourish himself or herself.

    Kashmir Palestine issues are always raised in LUMUN conferences. We should motivate our students to take part in such conference as they meet different people and it will help then in learning and they should not only participate in mun conference but also in parliamentary debates, debate and declamation contest toRecommend

  • Ahmed Abdul Aziz

    Hira siddique you cant expect college/uni students to come up with “worthwhile” solutions to global problems. It’s “model” UN, a mock event in which teens and young people participate to gain confidence in public speaking, and just LEARN about the issues faced by the world they live in, not actually solve them. I’ve just been to my first MUN (ROTMUN) and i think it was an awesome learning experience for me. Not only did i learn to speak well, but i also gained a LOT of worthwhile knowledge of global current affairs. Infact, my comitte ECOFIN, reshaped the whole economic order of the world. In this way i also learned how and what drives the eonomics of the world, who controls the economies, etc. etc. I was given the country Somalia which made me see all this through the mind of an african developing nation. And while doing all this, we had a lot of fun and we were exposed to the social world, which we aren’t very often. So boo you!! ROTMUN was epic.Recommend

  • blah

    seriously… i totally agree :-)Recommend

  • Basim

    Short and effective rant. You should really extend this to cover all the aspects of the pointlessness of ‘MUN’ culture in detail.Recommend

  • http://na prasad

    The whole liberal education system is pointless going by your argument because reading shakespeare or the poetry of Faiz will not help you become a plumber, a computer analyst, a diplomat or even an infiltrator in the Kashmir valley (the main factor for the presence of Indian troops in Kashmir).

    I know of people who have participated in the MUN and the whole idea is simulation of the political situation as it is. It allows a student from Pakistan to represent Cuba and understand the issue at hand from Cuba’s point of view. The delegates from Haiti will understand how powerless they are. Delegates from china will find like minded people only from North Korea when it comes to human rights. Ultimately it is up to you to learn more about issues and countries or spend the three days indulging in fun (nothing wrong with that at all) or trash the premises of the host college. I personally cannot think of a better way to learn politics – beats a class lecture any time. Recommend

  • http://ykhan.wordpress.com Yasser

    not a worthy argument hira, it cannot be pointless, somewhere someone must be learning, i understand your point of view about achieving something concrete, keep in mind Rome wasn’t built in one dayRecommend

  • Osman

    To the disappointed delegate of ZABMUN 2010: Its quite unfortunate that all you took back from the Conference was a personal bias against ZABMUN. As you can see from the article, it refers to every MUN conference and not just ZABMUN. As far as your committee being chaired by an individual whom you later accuse of being intoxicated, i will not comment on these baseless accusations. However. I do take a personal offense at “most of the organizers themselves were drunk”. This is furtherest from the truth as possible.

    If you failed to learn anything, that remains to be your fault. I know for a fact that an overwhelming majority of the delegates who were attending did indeed learn something about international legislation and policy making. If not that,then they did indeed learn the manner in which lobbying takes place. As far as the members themselves describing the events as “spectacular”, i suppose that after six months of hard work, i have to give them credit for all their hard work.

    Lastly, it saddens me that you would finish your MUN career just because you felt that all your expectations hadnt been met, or for that matter, you felt or thought or perceived that the organizing committee was behaving in an unbecoming manner. I thank you for your comments. Recommend

  • Saeed Khan

    @ Disapointed Delegate: I was at the conference too and even though i never agree with parties thrown at such events be it LUMUN, ZABMUN or else where in the world. I can vouch that none of the committee chairs were doing what you are suggesting. Your comment looks more out of personal hatred so please beware and do not mislead others.

    As for the the author of the article I think you need to be a little optimistic here. Atleast this way youth is studying global affairs. Internationally too Europeans representing as Delegates of Pakistan or Palestine debate, argue and win with enthusiasm. You can shut such events to find convenience for yourself but at risk of closing yet another channel of learning for already lost youth. Your university LUMS began MUN concept in Pakistan, ironically it is also 5th consecutive year winner of Best delegation at Harvard MUN (AKA World MUN). Definitly would have made more since to put up a picture of your own collegues.

    In any case, preparation for such conferences is hard and takes time. Those who have won at such forums locally and internationally should be asked before laying any such accusations. MUN minus the parties are a great forum for learning, grooming and educated interaction.Recommend

  • Mahin Siddiqui

    Your agument is pointless. You seem to be discouraging the only platform that brings students together to have a healthy debate on world affairs. To most of us, the UN is this mystical body no one knows about but everyone curses. I see that yo are grossly misinformed about the whole MUN process and that it is not fun games and entertainment. In this whole ‘fun’ process, you seem to overlook the hardwork and research that is invoved. IThe ‘lucky’ students, as you call them, are the ones who work the most. They are the ones who are good debators, have to do tons of research, prove their worth and then they get to go abroad. While they are abroad, they situp at night reading up on research and information so that they can fuel quality debate in the next committee sessions (assuming you know what committee sessions are). Also, which MUN has provided comfort? And yes, entertainment is important. After all we are students. Three hours, two committee sessions per day, we have a right to entertain ourselves at night. Also, we know we have good workable policies. We know we have good ideas, but we are helpless to implement them. These entertainment sessions are what keep out of pemanent states of depression. MUN is the only platform that welcomes students of all walks of life to come together, and get to know each other. We shape our future leaders. We equip them with tools of diplomacy and negotiation. Kashmir and Palestine are always under deate, no matter what the topic,but d you honestly expect students to create policies that will be implemented? But yes, if we had the chance we would implement the policies. At least we have ideas. At least we have the will to do something, albeit small. You might think its pointless, but how else do you suggest we learn about the single most influential international organisation? Had it been a pointless idea, other organisations such as the Youth Pariliament would not have followed our footsteps.

    What we have managed to achieve is awareness among the youth. Not just about our own country but about the world. We are aware that we are one world, not just one country. We are aware of how the UN has its hands tied behind its back, and how it cannot just pass resolutions or sanctions on countries. We have learnt the art of diplomacy and negotiation, we have learnt how to create policies and in the process, we have learnt not to be biased. Against any country or its delegation. We have learnt to listen and accept other people’s ideas, not to berate them. And in case they were pointless, amend them in order to bring a point and meaning to their policies.

    Maybe its time you attend an MUN? Recommend

  • Xee

    This is a new generation of ruthless leaders being raised. These kinds of forums are a complete waste of time as they are just there for personal motives of the participants, of which mainly are networking, trying to look and sound cool and most of all wasting time in the name of world issues. Something worse and I am sorry to say. some men and women join these to get a chance of flirting around. Sad but true!

    The people who are a part of these organizations are just elected on the basis of their social profile and communication skills rather than an urge to support a real cause. As you said these individuals carry similar traits as those of the current UN leadership, they are mere puppets of the western ideology with no sense of world politics and understanding of world problems.Recommend

  • Blank

    How about you actually ask oweners of the photograph that you’ve so easily picked up from one of their facebook pages before you publish them on a public forumn like this one? Since you are such an obvious mun-hater, im assuming uve never been a part of ZABMUN, LUMUN and are most certainly NOT in the picture uve felt free to post. Contact owners, take their permission and THEN go ahead with posting your bias views. Recommend

  • Saeed Khan

    The Author really wanted some comments on her blogs, since her last one didn’t get any attention. So she is doing the most expected: Offend others and get viewership. Tabloid tactics.Recommend

  • Ahmed Tariq

    Hi,

    Am myself a MUNer and I think expecting ‘Model’ UNs to be a platform to resolve real issues in the world is something inappropriate to expect for. Plus, I myself feel that by participating in MUNs one comes about honing their skills of debating, lobbying, researching topics related to countries which have a direct bearing on the stability of the world at present.

    Coming to the topics being discussed at MUNs, I personally think at the student level, doing in-depth research on topics gives a delegate an insight into the issue and also discover different aspects of the issue which perhaps journalists would find too.Recommend

  • Sarrah Millwala

    Hira, your article picks up points about MUN’s that may seem rather biased and off the surface, its true some MUN’s are rather badly organized and may only focus on parties but the point of MUN’s is not only to help students gain leadership skills, it’s to propel them into a world in which they can express their own solutions to problems that plague the world today. And yes this includes the Palestine and Kashmir issue too. In fact most committee session are centered on such hot issues.
    The lucky students you speak of share their valuable ideas and opinions with people from foreign nations. Don’t you think such a form of platform helps dispel Pakistan’s image as an ignorant backward country where most of the elite don’t care about current affairs? It does, and in addition to that it helps form a method of cultural exchange. Besides in many institutions it’s the good debaters who are allowed to attend MUN’s abroad at the representing universities expense. Thus it’s not only fun and games but an opportunity that most regard as something that not only sharpens their debating skills but also helps them communicate with people in a diplomatic manner.
    Everyone has ideas and solutions but to be able to present them in a manner where there is no screaming and shouting involved is also a reason why MUN’s are a great opportunity. Students conduct themselves in a diplomatic manner and learn how to speak in turn. Such form of behavior isn’t characteristic of even parliaments in Pakistan. These youth’s take away such experiences from MUN’s and implement them in their life. And I think it is a matter of pride for many MUN’s that change the lives of students who are given a chance to experience the debating and diplomatic exchange. Many of these students who are a part of MUN’s maintain their friendships. It brings people closer and these people are those who have researched and understood what problems plague our world.
    It takes time and effort to plan an MUN. It takes time and effort to be a part of one. So instead of taking all credit away, I believe you should commemorate the fact that MUN’s have helped students and they shall continue to do so. Even with skeptics thinking otherwise.Recommend

  • Talal

    Do MUN’s make you a good speaker?
    Do MUN’s make you a more confident person, enhance your diplomacy skills?
    Yes Yes Yes!!!
    No doubt MUN’s provide you character growth on an “individual” level, but they go no way near producing the future leaders of tomorrow (thus i guess the term pointless leadership was coined by the writer). Being a leader is a different ball game as compared to uttering your well researched stance in the controlled environment of your conference room. If you really want to be a future leader/put an impact on Pakistan, at least stand in your student council elections while in academia, which might at least prepare you for the mainstream politics of Pakistan after graduation.

    @ Mahin: We, as Pakistanis, have internal/external issues which are much more critical than issues like ‘weaponization of space’, ‘disposal of nuclear waste’, xxxxx dispute in a blah blah country (typical MUN topics that I can recite from top of my head). If the aim really is to create awareness, why don’t these MUN’s discuss the foreign policy of Pakistan, the causes and solution to the social and economic problems that Pakistan faces today? Is creating awareness about the current ‘Western’ affairs more important than creating awareness about the root-causes of the problems “we” face today?Recommend

  • Pakistani

    I have attended one MUN so far, and I tell you I found it a complete waste. So, my stance is against MUNers and with the writer.
    One point raised by one of the supporters of MUN was that, if MUN should not take place then so shouldn’t debating and sports etc.. Let me tell you the reason why I feel that MUNs are a complete waste. I was in the committee where we were discussing whether Iran should be allowed to keep its nuclear assets or hand it over to the US( or something like that. The point was Iran should not be allowed to own a Nuclear arsenal). Anyways, I couldn’t sleep that night thinking that I am debating over an issue that threatens the US being a superpower. While, people in my land don’t have food or shelter. The point essentially is that being a Pakistani I cannot justify myself debating on the global issues.
    Its just like my family is sick and I am giving a pedicure to the president who already has a lot of helpers. Any sane person would tell me to go help my family and be there for them.
    If these debates were discussing issues thats concern us, the people of Pakistan, I would so be in the favor of this style of debateRecommend

  • Optimist

    It is really unfortunate to see that the entire point of having a MUN conference has been distorted by an individual who clearly has never attended a MUN conference (since her personal experiences of a conference are not cited anywhere). A MUN conference is NOT about changing laws prevailing in the world, but to enlighten the younger generation about the ground realities of the world we live in. This philosophy becomes quite relevant since the youth of today will take charge of world affairs in the future, and if tolerance for other cultures, races, religions and societies can be developed in today’s youth, then definitely we can hope for a more peaceful tomorrow.

    The writer’s ignorance is very clear from the statement where she writes “The more important issues in the world, it seems, are left untouched. Take, for instance, Palestine and Kashmir, where people have been suffering the brutalities of unjust occupations for years.” Really? Have you ever attended a simulation of DISEC (Disarmament and International Security) or IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) or the UN Human Rights Commission? I dare to guess that you haven’t, because the palestine and kashmir issue are taken up in these committees quite often.

    What I cant understand is whether this article was written in spite of delegates who attend the MUN conference in LUMS (And allegedly trash the place) or does the writer have genuine concerns about the format of MUN conferences… either way, there is little substance in this piece, besides the accusation that nothing concrete is achieved, which i have explained in the beginning.

    A MUN conference also promotes a healthy competition amongst the students who learn the art of negotiation and persuasion, and the outstanding diplomats are awarded at the end of the conference to encourage good diplomats.

    If you want to complain about something, then of course you will find plenty to complain about everything in this world. However, in my opinion a MUN conference has many benefits that outweigh its “pointless-ness”. Recommend

  • Optimist

    @ Disappointed ZABMUN Delegate

    You raise serious accusations against the organizers, and the fact that your accusation has yet to be reiterated by any other delegate, or faculty advisers from different schools present at social events, including the faculty of SZABIST, really makes your grudges against the organizers apparent. Do you really think that if something like that had actually happened no one else would have noticed it? Recommend

  • Fizza Shahid

    Hira, with all due respect, I completely disagree with your opinion regarding model united nations. I have myself muned twice and though both the times I did not win, but the knowledge and experience I gained was much much greater. Model United Nations (MUN) gives ordinary students a platform to debate on an issue that is of relevant importance to the world. If we take the example of any committee lets say DISEC or IAEA then the topics discussed here regarding nuclear disarmament or illegal arms trafficking do not seem in any way useless matters to debate on. No matter what country one belongs to, these issues are important in today’s world. Committees likes UNDP or UNEP discuss the MDGs and other social plus environment issues of the world. I fail to believe that anyone anywhere will cal these issues worthless of being discussed. Do we not fear the global warming? Are we not seeing its effects in our daily life? Do we not want the MDGs to be a success?? I’m sure the answer of ninety eight percent of the population is yes we do.
    Often an argument is raised that the younger generation does not seem to care about the world and what is happening in it. Let me point out, MUN is the only platform which gives young students the ability to learn about these issues, analyze them, discuss them and to then find a solution for them. In a couple of years our generation will take over the UN, and it will be in our hands to change the world we live in and openly criticize and blame. I think that if one of the successful delegates who has been in touch with these issues since a teenager becomes a diplomat in future, will do a much better job than a completely new raw person.
    Where you say that social events seem to be the only highlight then let me tell you, that social events are a platform that provides the delegates not only a chance to relax after a grueling day of debating but it is also a platform that brings out the real diplomatic skills of a delegate. It is here, outside the committee room that gives a delegate the free chance to convince his opponent regarding his point and to become his friends. A skill that is very necessary in the day and age we all live in.
    The important issues for us, or issues closer to home like the issue of terrorism or Kashmir are also discussed. It all depends on the topic of discussion in the committees. Yes, I agree that the organizers have failed to provide with any information regarding how does munning actually help one. I am sure the notice of this point made by you will be considered by the organizers of various muns. At the same time I also believe that we as Pakistanis should be proud that we have so many successful munners in our country that we can host several of our own MUNs. This proves that the youth of Pakistan is in no way behind others, but is a challenging one who can debate on an important issue of the world and also provide solutions for it.

    I suggest you give munning a try. It seems boring and pointless from faraway but once you are a part of it, you may enjoy it. Recommend

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/babarjaved Babar Khan Javed

    I’d like to ask the writer what exactly she was expecting to get out an a student version of an organization that has done literally NOTHING to help her people since the dawn of its existence.

    Moving along, the MUN organization in question has helped people prepare for their future careers.

    I for one do not accept the customary drink or cigar at business meetings and without fail receive the usual disdainful look from my business partners that screams “He is not one of us”.

    ZABMUN’s party centric work and lifestyle prepare students to be in the good books of their future colleagues and business partners.

    I remember when the faceboook page of said event was added, the most common question was “BYOB?”, to which the moderator of the group responded with variations of “Naw man sadly no”.

    Senior management at most companies keep extravagant meetings, at the expense of the lower staff and shareholders to discuss mundane issues, scoff off the solutions proposed and party hard and long. ZABMUN prepares its participants for this. Granted, they’ll experience this level after a good decade of graduating, but preparation is key.

    Where am I getting my information from? I work with over 60 advertising agencies and nearly 100 CPG’s in Pakistan, attending most meetings and conferences.

    SZABIST did not prepare me for the sights I’ve seen. ZABMUN members however, would have faired better than I did in turning down substances kindly.

    As to the ideas bit suggested by the author:

    Most studies around the concept of idea creation state that after a brainstorming session, the mind needs to be distracted and then the idea matures into something concrete. I would like to believe that after the party, they have a EUREKA moment and send said idea’s to the UN or similar local organizations in detail, with limitations and execution explained.

    Optimism, is our way out people. Lets try to see the functional aspects of even the worst creations of our society.Recommend

  • Jz

    Very well said…i have participated in these conferences and have been part of the organizing committees as well..so far i haven’t seen a single result of these debates and if they are really organized to create interest and awareness among youth then then may have achieved their goal but beyond that they are pointless…Delegates come, debate and leave and only remember that they had got the “best delegate” title and nothing else…It’s just another way of keeping kids from the elite schools busy in an activity that might develop their leadership skills (and this is totally wrong….because i haven’t seen any leader emerging from these ranks and bringing a change which these kids so “awesomely” debate about….
    p.s. i have taken part in these conferences and just not in one..in many and at many places..i am from an elite school…and i am not against these conferences; i just want to improve them, to take them step ahead…Recommend

  • Mahin

    @Talal:
    Hey Talal. Your point is valid, but see its the United Nations. We dont just talk about weternised issues we talk about global issues. Like human trafficking. We cant just take Pakistan in to consideration, nor can Pakistan be the only focal point. This year I remember ZABMUN’s SOCHUM issue was Human Trafficking. Pakistan was very active in the sessions because it has a great share in this particular issue. For Pakistan’s foreign policy, we have conferences like YLES and Young Senators.Recommend

  • Frustrated MUN-er

    THE UNITED NATIONS IS ABOUT THE WORLD, not about Pakistan. And what nonsense about western puppets? I see the western bloc being the most attacked during the united nations coneferences. Try to understand the MUN before you attack it. The writer seems to be a left out individual or a neglected child. Really now, such personal attacks? Did you ask before uploading the picture? And then tagging?

    As for the diappointed delegate, you cannot accuse a chair like that. Maybe you lost an award? Or werent given a mention? You seem to have a personal bias against this particular conference. I unfortunately, was unable to be a part of the prestigious ZABMUN 2010 but I can safely say no chair of any conference would be allowed to come drunk or intoxicated.

    People, attend an MUN, any MUN, and then pass such judgements. All conferences are open to observers. Use your privelege to understand the conference and its workings before passing such judgemental statements. I have learnt so much about the world and its state of affairs from MUNs. Is better than sitting in a drawing room with half baked information, discussing Iran and its assets over a cup of tea.Recommend

  • http://www.faithfreedom.org Ali Sina

    The more important issues in the world, it seems, are left untouched. Take, for instance, Palestine and Kashmir, where people have been suffering the brutalities of unjust occupations for years. The UN, it appears, has its hands tied.

    Has it occurred to you that Israel-Palestine and India-Pakistan are Model Divided Nations (or MDN, an abbreviation that makes the idea sound truly more worthwhile). While the Chinese are on way to consolidate their lands under a “one-nation” theory, we Muslims have smugly used Islam to divide lands between Muslims and the infidels. How smart can that be? Islam on its divisive aspect, it appears, has its hands tied. Have any of mullahs made worthwhile suggestions that may have helped one of the many problems in our society? If yes, feel free to prove me wrong. If not, stop with the nonsense already.Recommend

  • Disappointed Delegate of ZABMUN 2010

    @ Osman

    Like I said before I do not intend to hurt those who worked hard in organizing the conference. But there were those who were drunk and intoxicated and I completely stand by it. It is their personal choice to do what they did. But with young A-levels and school going children there to observe their antics it certainly is not what they should have done. A hotel is a big place Osman. May be in the Six months of hard work that were put in, you failed to realize that. I request higher authorities at the concerned university to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter and make sure this does not happen again.

    @ Xee

    I completely agree with you. Could not have said it better. But fear not friend, their ideology is meant to be doomed because little do they know they are only a small minority of a very bright and enthusiastic upcoming generation of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Delegate of Israel- Zabmun 2010

    I was not an organiser of ZABMUN 2010, but a delegate opted for at the last minute due to unprofessional attitude of Nixor. I have to say that ZABMUN and Szabists students out did themselves. I miss it! Hope to attend it again next yearRecommend

  • Noor

    If we use the negativity-yard-stick, of course, there is nothing for the world or Humanity in MUN, or UN, or any other organization, be it real of mock!

    For instance, from a negative point of view, LUMS may be seen as an institutions that promotes blood-sucking capitalist system, by creating managers and entrepreneurs who are trained/able to milk the most out of the consumers, often through deceptive tactics!

    People may also ask about the impact of our institutions, as to which economic problems of Pakistan have LUMS/SZABIST/IBA/QAU graduates resolved, despite of being in the field for decades? Most of them are working for multi-national companies who are here for money, more money, and more money! How many graduates of these institutes have joined government departments with a vision of restructuring the organizations, re-engineering processes or delivering public welfare services to the downtrodden people at their doorsteps? Why are the graduates of these so-called elite institutions working only for MNCs?

    But, of course, that description will only focus on “negative aspects” of the graduates of these institutions.That negative focus leaves all the positivity behind, giving a unipolar view.

    As an admirer of MUN, I would argue that my experience of interacting with international and national youth has been amazingly beneficial. My world view has changed. I have become more aware of global issues. I have had a brush with mock-diplomacy, as you have rightly said. You can not expect students to replace seasoned, veteran, ambassadors. That expectation is highly flawed, close to idiotic fallacy!

    Nevertheless, your arguments may be used by the MUN admirers to further strengthen their programs, objectives, mission and vision. Criticism is important for reflection and it should be taken likewise.

    Miss Hira could have done justice with reason by remaining more objective, than subjective. And usage of a photograph from a particular institution is against ethics. Why did you not choose a LUMUN photograph, say, to denote the negativity that comes with today’s west-monkeying-breed, common in all these institutions, that forces organizers to add ‘colours’ to such gatherings? Is this post against a particular institution?Recommend

  • Osman

    I address this question to the moderator of this blog: The picture that has been used in this article has been done so without the prior knowledge of ZABMUN. Having ZABMUN as the icon of MUN’s which the write proposes is an absolutely worthless venture is absolutely unacceptable. Judging from the article itself, the write is most probably a student of LUMS which has been hosting MUNs for years. More than ZABMUN itself. Why hasnt the writer picked up the picture of her own alma mater?

    Secondly, thank you Optimist for pointing for your very valid statement in your last comment. Being part of the Exec Body of ZABMUN, i would just say that even though every person is entitled to his or her own views, but accusing my Secretariat of consuming items which lead them to being intoxicated in the committee sessions is a very serious blame and its very evident that Mr/Ms. Disappointed Delegate does indeed harbor a personal grudge against this Society. None of the Secretariat members were intoxicated or had consumed any illegal item. I’m sorry, but Mr/Ms Disappointed Delegate, i’d rather you deal with concrete statements rather than fuel this debate by your very own, incorrect, perceptions about the Society and its functionality. Recommend

  • http://www.rotrum.org Taimour Husain Noorani

    Dear Hira,

    As one of the founding members of the Rotaract Model United Nations (thank you, Ahmad Abdul Aziz for those kind words), I think I can safely say that your article exemplifies the need that we identified when we initiated this venture.

    Inculcating a “tolerant, critical and creative approach” to problem solving is our stated objective with regards to international affairs. When participants walk in to a Model United Nations Conference, they seek to develop the following qualities:

    An understanding and awareness of global issues
    An ability to utilize oratory prowess and interpersonal skills to address groups, both large and small, to further their countries’ stances while engaging in negotiation and compromise
    The development of cognitive acumen, logical analysis and rhetorical appeal in a manner befitting to diplomatic leadership and expertise.

    The entire drive of the MUN Conference is an educational experience wherein participants are exposed to issues of global proportions and are expected to change the direction of existing clashes and deadlocks. They are restricted by the same limitations of foreign policy objectives as are delegates in the United Nations itself, and yet are forced to negotiate, within a given time frame, and achieve resolutions. Therefore, in a realistic setting, MUN diplomats learn how they can change the direction of the future. Whether in the formal setting of committee sessions or in the informal social gatherings of Social Events, the entire experience culminates into a series of multifarious life-lessons in diplomacy, negotiation and interpersonal interactions.

    Furthermore, they learn about the importance of COMPLETE and CONTEXTUALIZED research, such as your article would have greatly benefited from. The outcomes of Model United Nations Conferences can be seen in terms of the number of current UN diplomats that were previously Model UN participants; the number of accolades that MUN Conferences have received from the UN for commendable thought and creativity in foreign policy; and the current propositions for risk mitigation and disaster relief being debated in the United Nations – proposed by the Under Secretary-General for the General Assembly – initially proposed in Model United Nations resolutions.

    The last point I would like to bring to your attention is the importance that accrues to logical substantiation. Sweeping rhetorical statements get easily shot down and prove to be a life lesson for participants.

    There are a few more high-quality Model UN conferences coming up this year. Interested, Hira?Recommend

  • http://hamstershorts.wordpress.com Hammad

    Finally someone who shares my hate for MUNs. The only reason people attend MUNs these days are for the concerts, partying etc and to meet girls. Ive seen it happen.. It happens. They are useless and a waste of funds of the respective university. Recommend

  • Bilal

    MUNs are just about as pointless as.. say a soccer match… or a declamation.. They’re fun for the participants and often.. for the viewers too.. But They’re not “meant” to bring about a social change.. If we were to go with the direction of the argument taken in this article.. We might just “hypothetically” wanna ban all that on the point that none of those create any real value. And as far as leadership is concerned.. MUNs can’t breed leaders… Leaders are born on the street.. on the “scene”.. and in the “act”… NOT IN A SIMULATION… Diplomatic skills are awesome tools for a politician or the west-oriented snobs that we are.. but a leader is actually kinda beyond that.Recommend

  • Bilal

    And please stop dissing MUNs simply because you had nothing good to say during the sessions… or if you failed to get the “best delegate” award.Recommend

  • SYED NAHEER AMEER

    I am so happy to be participating in this debate.
    I see many able MUNERs are already a part of this. And i stumbled upon it by accident.
    if you had decided to keep an open mind and tried again, surely you would come to see the beauty of a Model UN. We MUNers donot debate merely for best delegate awards, good times, and alcohol. Infact, I have yet to see alcohol consumed at any MUN society organized event by any convening committee. Delegates that attend these conferences are expected to be of an age where they can decide for themselves what the difference between a brownie and a hash brownie is.
    MUN is all about debating pertinent topics. In the real world, there is no compromise. In MUN, delegates are inculcated with it. So that when they become the leaders of the future, they are more willing to negotiate. At MUNIK 2010, I chaired DISEC, and was the first to introduce the Arctic cold war issue. Ofcourse you don’t know about it. I don’t expect you to. You were not taught the art of research. No school or university in Pakistan does. Only MUN teaches you that. Little do you know of a titanium flag pole being struck into the ocean bed by an aggressive super power over territorial claims. For non- MUNers, things like Eid, poverty, and Star Plus are “much more important issues”.
    I have seen countless topics on India and Pakistan, the earthquake and floods in Pakistan, NWFZ in the Middle East and peace talks between the Arab states and Israel. Rather than relying on my biased newspapers, and ramblings of shalwar kameez yielding politicians, I rely on concrete facts. And that, vainly, makes me better than you.
    Because to write such a biased article(and i speak from the point of view of an actually paid-to-write author), shows your writing abilities as well. Your article starts of with preconceived notions of every MUN being the same as the one you must have attended, and bias. You take a side from your first paragraph, something a professional writer would never imagine in their faintest day dreams. You, and the disappointed delegate of Zabmun 2010 have no facts. Have you any evidence to the contrary regarding how MUN is not good for students? Because personally, to me, an MUN is a much better learning experience than sitting in front of vocal grandparents and/or listening to Begum Nawazish. Ofcourse I’m not saying you do any of those two things, but I’d expect something that biased from sources like those.Recommend

  • Fizza Shahid

    @Disappointed Delegate of ZABMUN 2010:

    I would like to point out to you that the article written by Ms. Hira Siddiqui talks about all MUNs and the role of their importance in the world. It does not talk about just one MUN. While you are allowed to share your experiences of a certain MUN please bear in mind that this forum is not the place where you take out your personal grudges against the organizers of a particular MUN. If you saw anything take place at the conference that was not according to the norms you should have reported immediately to the concerned authorities. I believe that the organizers plus the faculty staff associated with ZABMUN was present throughout the conference. Also as pointed out by Optimist it seems quiet strange that you were the only one who noticed this and no other delegate, organizer or faculty staff did. Since you cannot provide any proof to back up you accusation; kindly refrain from making such remarks and spoiling the image and memory of a perfectly good conference for others. Recommend

  • MyLifeIsBro

    This is so chillRecommend

  • Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student

    I was forced to sit in their conference in 2008 because it was made mandatory for my section. Apparently the real reason was that they wanted to fill up the hall at Liaquat National, which was the venue at the time. Needless to say we just sat the three days through. Some of my class fellows even found solace by hiding around in the hospital. We were also pretty angry that it was made mandatory. Our teacher even did not want to but orders from a certain lady who was deputy director back then left our teacher with no choice. My personal opinion about ZABMUN has a few members who are talented and good speakers. However that does not give them the right to behave like snobs with anyone who they feel is not from the ‘class’ they belong to. If you are not from an elitist school or if you don’t have a fake accent then you just are not one of them. And someone up there mentioned lobbying, that is exactly what they try to do all the time. However mostly they have fallen flat on their faces on many occasions as a result. So all I wanted to say to the disappointed delegate is that if you are being honest then the truth will prevail. It ALWAYS does. I invite anyone who would want to come to SZABIST and do a survey about ZABMUN and they would find an overwhelming majority that shares my sentiments.Recommend

  • Golab Khan

    I find it funny that there no Africans in the model UN.Recommend

  • Hussain Hasanali

    As a member of the MUN community of our country, I feel it is my responsibility to communicate the essence of the MUNs.

    It is often assumed that the MUNs are going to change the face of the world tomorrow. This assumption is not incorrect, but my issue is with the word “tomorrow”. People who started of as MUN delegates have reached the apex of global legislative frameworks and have made their marks in history.

    The Secretary General of the United Nations, His excellency Ban Ki Moon, started of as a Model United Nations’ delegate. He particiapted as a delegate when he was young and today he is the Sec Gen of United Nations.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJWphPSKAzE

    Kiyotaka Akasaki, the Under Secretary General of the United Nations, was associated with the Model United Nations when he was just a student in Japan.

    http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/unifeed/d/13312.html

    There are several such examples that make a comment like “MUN is a breeding ground for pointless leadership,” baseless and unfair. Yes, the MUNs do not solve the issues at hand, they only work on student recommendations, but so does the General Assembly. It is only the UN Security Council that can call for immediate action so does that mean that the UN General Assembly is pointless?

    Model United Nations is a gradual process that prepares leaders for tomorrow. Students of Pakistan are smart, but they need a platform like MUN to enrich them with skills of leadership, diplomacy, debating and negotiation. Such skilles play a vital role in solving issues when these students assume the leadership positions that they have been groomed for.

    I will not turn a blind eye to the failures of UN, it is true that it has not been able to fulfill the aspirations with which it was made, especially for our part of the world. Model United Nations aim to prepare a better breed of diplomats from Pakistan. Diplomats who can fight our case better than it has been fought as yet, diplomats that can make the system work for us.

    On one side you have the experience of few, or rather very few delegates, and on the other side you have the examples of Ban Ki Moon and Kiyotaka Akasaki. Be wise in forming an opinion about MUN.Recommend

  • Anisa Dar

    By the look of this article (which won’t even be 250 words by the least)…, I can firmly say that it’s an attention grabbing scheme, as even the comments made by readers are far more extensive and reflect substance in comparison
    The writer has just come up with some selective global issues which do not even second her argument here, as a MUN is not meant to RESOLVE issues. Infact, it’s just like any other platform to enhance your oratory skills, and to teach you diplomacy.
    And about the social events, well the readers here must know that all of the social events are VOLUNTARY for a delegate to participate. They are by no means an obligation to attend. So if you do not appreciate them, dont be a part of them.
    And it is a request to the readers here to not comment on “what goes on at a party”, because I believe this article revolves around MUNs, and just looking at the social events would be like discussing any other party that takes place in Pakistan. Hence, irrelevant to the mandate of a MUN.Recommend

  • Sarrah Millwala

    @Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student:

    Mr Whoever you are, if you honestly went to the MUN with an attitude like your own im not surprised you took nothing away from the conference except your personal grudge towards it. Had you participated in it, im sure you would have shared some of the wonderful experiences that many MUN-ers talk about.
    The ZABMUN body does not recruit people on basis of class, creed and status, they are picked on merit and because they performed well in the selection criteria. We do not have ‘fake accents’, its just the way we speak. I dont think it’s very just of you to attack people just because they speak different. Maybe getting to know them is key before judging them. If you want to dispel your opinions, you might want to come and meet the ZABMUN body, perhaps then you’ll be wanting to take your words back. Recommend

  • KILLA

    @Babar: Your comments just reveal how incompetent you feel about yourself and these people. This kind of defeated mentality is the problem of our nation and youth, where people feel that they cant do anything about problems around them, just breathe and survive in their own turtle shells.Recommend

  • KILLA

    @Babar
    20 years from now I see you writing on a similar forum and saying ‘What can you expect out of a middle class middle aged Pakistani’. We are just a bunch of powerless and will less beings, who at their best can just join these fake MUNS and waste their lives, right?Recommend

  • Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student

    @Sarrah Millwala:

    I did not want to participate and yet they made me just so they could call their conference a success based on the fact that they were able to fill up that hall. I mean come on if you could not get people to willingly come to the conference then cancel it or just get on with it.

    I think you took the fake accent stuff to heart. But all I wanted to say was that if you’re not one of them you won’t be in ZABMUN. How many students who are from a rural background has ZABMUN recruited ever?

    Trust me when I say that ZABMUN is an elitist symbol or it has been made to be that way by a group of few. I hope you and the future members could change this image of your society. It has been a society in decline for the past couple of years. What else would you say when a society that claims to be democratic has only one person standing for president every year. Such is the hypocrisy!Recommend

  • Faizan Faizi

    I have participate in various model united competitions so I believe that I can safely call myself a “MUNer”. First off, I completely agree with the author on one count. The UN as an organization has failed to live up to its purpose time and time again in the 65 years of its existence. It has achieved very little in terms of ensuring global security by the preservation of international peace.

    It couldn’t solve the Kashmir issue, it was a mere spectator during the most critical hour of its existence as the Cuban Missile crisis unfolded; hell it CREATED the Israel/Palestine conflicts by the haphazard and arbitrary way it created the State of Israel for the Jewish population of the Palestinian region.The only thing one can say in defense of this is that the UN has managed to stop a world war 3 from occurring which was the original intention of its initial founders.
    But besides this the UN is about as powerful as the English Monarchy ( which is extremely powerful in theory but in practice is no more so than a ceremonial figurehead). Clearly we see the world acknowledging the weakness of this institution with Pakistan also not raising any objections to India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC.

    However, I must disagree with the author completely regarding the statements she has made about the uselessness of MUN. I understand that the author has a certain bias towards MUN participants as she has rightly stated her grievance of vandalism caused by delegates who participated in LUMUN. But I do not see this as sufficient reason to claim the whole activity as pointless. If MUN is useless it as useless as every other extra-curricular activity. One could also argue about the lack of any apparent “use” of sports such as football with the same gusto. After all it is just a bunch of guys chasing after a ball.
    But those of us who are much more broadminded know that football is much more than that, and that at its best it rises to an art form. Similarly one can choose to be stubbornly narrow-minded about MUN as well. However, I must submit that there is too much of that going on in this country anyways and that too see it in such a forum where I am certain the thoughts of only reasonable and intelligent people reside is disheartening.

    I actually believe that MUN and other forms of debate are the only good thing going for Pakistan at the moment. Pakistani debaters and MUNers have made the nation proud on various occasions by their stellar performances in international debate competitions and MUNs. To quote the author’s last line, “If Not then stop this nonsense already”, I would remind the author that the institution that she is a part of looks at Model UN in a slightly more favorable light considering that LUMS has been winning Worldmun for the past 5 years now. I would ask her to please ask any one from the LUMS MUN society to educate her about the merits of MUN as they would probably be more influential than this comment on your blog.Lastly I would just like to say that although my experience in MUN has been nothing but fruitful( in terms of the amount of knowledge I amassed and how the conference influenced me as an individual) I agree that the majority of MUNers do not place the educational value of the conference as one of their top priorities and some only prioritize the social events. I urge all future MUNers to avoid this kind of attitude towards MUN. Even those who are supposedly excellent MUNers tend to place the importance of winning the best delegate award as more important than the learning experience of the conference itself. To quote a friend of mine, “Winning isnt everything, If you get a trophy for winning, it might break someday; If you get a certificate, it might rip. But what no one can ever take away from you is the experience itself.” To ward of any doubts of bias that might be creeping in anyones mind at this comment, I have never lost an MUN.Recommend

  • Spam Robot

    Did not do a Mun. Turned out OK. But I do not discount any sort of experiences. It is up to the individual to take something out of it. eg. A lot of “MUN-ers” have posted on this thread. Some present their case well whereas others…. I’ll keep it civil.

    The author poses a serious question which is missed by all but a few. These MUNs are after all modeled on the UN (thanks for pointing out the obvious) but what sort of role has the UN played in conflicts round the world? Specially when it is between a strong and a weak nation.Recommend

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/babarjaved Babar Khan Javed

    @Hussain Hasanali:

    Come on man, make an argument showcasing how useful MUN is for prospective applicants. Thats what the core of this blog argues, pointless leadership. Give examples of ZABMUNers becoming super power executives at top CPG’s and what not.

    It just might strengthen the argument.

    Look at my defense above, thats what I know of ZABMUN, now your turn. Make a case for the superior professionals working in our companies who used to be ordinary joe’s and jane’s.

    @Osman:

    Not cool man.

    According to Facebooks “Terms of Use” Agreement, they can distort, exploit and basically use anything you upload on their site without your consent. And they retain said images/videos/convo’s of users even after they (for what ever reason) delete/disable their accounts.Recommend

  • Rafia

    The article was basicly an oppion or bad experince of the writer or I would like to say lack of substansial research about the topic.
    MUN has made its diffrence… I would reffer that writer and all those who criticsed MUN nee to chk up that MUN does makes a diffrence . firstly its a way to train future ambassadors of a nationnot jus to UN but all other organization secodly MUN confrences GMUN which is directly under the United Nations the debate there and opinons or soulotions offered there by students is irectly recomended to the membere state of UNITED NATIONS… ( recomended that you do some proper research an reading)
    someone also pointed out what has United Nations done for pakistan , UN human development sector for pakistan, provided pakistan with AID for flood , earth quake and the ammount of AId that comes in every year.
    WE pakistanis need to stop branging abot kashmir issue.. because it is a totaly different debate n intrest . ONE needs to learn to see the bigger picture in life ,to reach sucess.Recommend

  • Norway

    In my opinion i think so many valid points have been raised in this article because there should be a proper storage capacity in which results and conclusions of these debates should be kept and UN should place their special members so that UN keep on finding the new solutions suggested by MUN delegates. which will be beneficial for both MUN delegates and UN too. Because in this way delegates will get the reward of there debate and there hard work.Recommend

  • Asad

    Just like the elitist kids have their fancy cafes to sit around and carry on living in their delusional world. Similarly they have MUN Conferences where they can talk about pointless issues which have no direct concern with Pakistan. Just like they have nothing that is Pakistani about them. Their minds have been infiltrated and they are now no more than Zionist agents. I request you all to view the speech given by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations recently. You can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4phNuwx8Hs
    The UN is an impotent organization and the security council is the biggest farce ever with the Veto power. I don’t know how you can justify that.
    And if you have to strengthen the future of any organization do mock simulation of organizations like the OIC. Try to bring the young Muslim Ummah together. Rather than becoming a Zionist puppet by serving the UN.Recommend

  • Reema

    Sad to know that the Tribune hires sub-editors who fails to comprehend if nothing else, then the power of speech.

    As an avid MUNner myself, I would recommend instead of firing shots in the air, you first hand go ahead and experience what it is all about; Only then will your ‘opinion’ be respected even slightly. Recommend

  • http://www.salmanlatif.wordpress.com Salman Latif

    Absolutely correct! Bravo for pointing this out.
    First thing, MUN expenses are such that a very small faction, even from amongst the students, can possibly go for it.
    Next, you are totally right in saying that social events and ‘being in’ takes a far higher priority than taking something meaningful out of it. Let’s just say it’s ‘cool’ to be in an MUN aj kal.
    Finally, simulating an organization who’s committee over weaponry control hasn’t given one damn bit of outcome and all resolutions are convoluted gibberish of verbosity and nothing meaningful, seems quite childish. It’s simply to further and foster sympathy towards UN and make people overlook it’s impotence and apathy. Nonetheless, many ‘delegates’ with airs of self-exaltation go for it and argue for hours long, eventually reaching an utterly meaningless resolution.
    I’m guilty of throwing some false names, extending the stance of the country I represented way beyond its constraints, going quite contrary to many of the diplomatic obligations of my region – and what I didn’t falter in was yap non-stop. Guess what? I bagged the award at GIMUN, which claims to be the second largest MUN in Pakistan. (It may well be.) So the point is – it’s NOT about oratory skills, as some dumbheads above suggested. To hell with oratory skills, go to declamation contests for that! The focal point is learning diplomacy AND resolving solution, stop giving lame excuses to cover that up! And since it has become quite some entertainment for the folks with big money, of course trashing the project would be quite a pain. Hence the series of comments! ;)
    P.S. A suggestion: Why couldn’t we devise a parallel debating norm, apart from being copy-cats of everything that comes down from west? Why not develop a rational model where essence and objectivity are not mere definitions in descriptions but practical realities?Recommend

  • Mahin

    @Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student:

    Aside fromthe blog, and on a personal level, shame on you for flinging your own institution in public like that! You have no credibility. Your loyalty should be lying with the institution thats educating and giving you a degree, but apparently that isnt the case with you. I pity the unaware organisation that is going to hire you, in due course when they do find out about your backstabbing attitude, Im sure youll never be successful. Its people like YOU who bring us down.

    As for forceful MUN-ing, with that attitude I agree with Sarrah, its not very surprising that you learnt and took away nothing from the conference. Also, ZABMUN was just starting out, if the conference was made mandatory, then it was for the sole purpose of gaining credits for YOUR institutuion and its benefits. Alhamdillah today we stand at a place where we had 30 schools and universities participating nationwide. No thanks to people like you! Also, none of us have an accent. We have the BEST orators who are experienced in international MUNs. Have you even bothered to sit through your university’s conference? Or do you speak from a grudge? And what of social circles? We beleive everyone is equal. If you think there is some lobbying or there exist elite social circles then apparently you yourself are a very complexed individual.

    Next time, those of you who think the quality of the debate is bad, please come forth and SHOW us good quality? Sitting back and criticising seems to be very easy.

    Those of you who think we have accents or speak wrong, come forth and TALK to us with a proper accent? Infact teach us the proper accent. We woul dlove to know how exactly a language can be spoken in an exact right way.

    Those of you who think that majority believes social events is a waste of time, please bring forth that majority.

    Those of you who think we should implement our policies, please come and implement our draft resolutions (Assuming you are aware of them) because as rightly said before, we are a debating society who teach diplomacy and negotiation. We never promised implementations because we cant implement. We are not the Messiah youre waiting for, though our MUN-in experience might just make us one in the future!Recommend

  • nabiha

    i believe that MUN-ing is actually the first step to breeding our future leaders.
    A few decades ago, there was no such platform in pakistan , where people could actually step up and discuss issues that are of great importance to the world and actually propose solutions for it.

    you may think that all this is futile, but one has to start somewhere and MUN-ing is the best platform. it may be very easy for you and me to criticize the United Nations and say that it is a failed organization , but once u r actually part of it , you realise that it is not that easy. being a part of MUNs, u not only learn diplomacy but u actually understand the position of the country you are supposed to be representing.

    the latest MUN that i attended was zabmun 2010 , and let me tell you that it an amazing experiance. some people may feel that the level of debate wasnt that great , but u also have to keep in mind that there were loads of first time muners there , some of them were even from 6th grade!!..
    @disappointed delegate of zabmun….
    i attended all the social events and found no chair or delegate “high” or “drunk”….if u have no proof then u shouldnt put allegations on some1 just cuz u “THOUGHT” so…

    secondly, all the chairs and the members of the organising committee were highly dedicated.
    my chair even used to ask me about the draft resolution during the social events..!!…what else shows supreme dedication??..Recommend

  • Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student

    @Mahin:

    I have every right to criticize measures taken by a society (for its own good) by conspiring with an administrative head. Which was against our will and more importantly even our teacher. It was not the learning experience our teacher wanted us to have.
    At least I am being honest in a public forum and unlike you I am not being a hypocrite. I am very grateful to SZABIST for the education it provided me. Most of my teachers were brilliant and I got to know a lot of good people over there. Just because I criticize a society and a wrong measure that was taken with the help of an administrative head does not mean I am criticizing the entire institution. You see Mahin, good and bad people exist everywhere and it is ones responsibility to expose the bad ones and honor the good ones. As for my employment status I would like you to know that I am employed and happy with my life. Yes you are right about me not being loyal to my company. If loyalty is what a company requires they can hire dogs :) Good day!Recommend

  • Hashim

    @nabiha:

    OMG. SIXTH grade students! Forward their draft resolution to the UN immediately. The world has been saved. LOL. Ladies and Gentleman ZABMUN has done it again. They are ripping off six grade children now. Height!Recommend

  • nabiha

    well even sixth graders have to start somewhere….!!
    the earlier u groom them the better!!
    and evry1 has to remember that these are MODEL united nations…not the actual UN….
    evry1 who participates is there to LEARN about the UN and how it works…
    whats wrong in that???Recommend

  • Sarrah Millwala

    @Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student:

    I admit that forcefully making you sit was not exactly a good choice, but even if you had found yourself in such a situation it would have been easier for you to comply than act rebellious. The sole purpose of the admin was to just give a head start to the society which had just recently started itself. The least you could’ve done was participate and held your own. It’s not like people have not been forced to sit through conferences and seminars.
    As far as the presidential bit is concerned, I would first like you to understand the proceedings and then comment on them. The selection process is based on a vote. And whoever wished to stand for president is allowed to do so. The same applies to various other posts. The vote is given to those people who have worked hard during previous conferences. I don’t think it can get any more democratic than this can it?
    And this year’s ZABMUN body has a wide array of people. Many of whom are good friends with me now. Though, admittedly I never knew them before. So I don’t think that ZABMUN is an elitist symbol. It actually gave me a chance to meet people who weren’t from similar background or vice versa. This year’s conference was amazing and above all the team was amazing. The society has improved and come a long way from whatever you accuse it of. Maybe you need to come back and assess us again. Old grudges die hard but it’s never too late to try.Recommend

  • Fizza Shahid

    @Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student:
    So you think the ZABMUN people are the ‘bad people’? Pretty strong and biased accusation to make. Don’t you think so??. How are you loyal to your university and university peers when you openly insult and criticize them? If you have a problem with the way a society is working in your institution, you are welcome to make suggestions within the university boundary but for all these years you have not thought of it as an important thing to do, If you chose to remain silent for all these years, you have no right to insult the hard work put in by the members in creating ZABMUN now. ZABMUN is by means the only society in SZABIST that represents it on such a large forum throughout the world. The ZABMUN team that won in the international MUN bought your institutional international fame and recognition. The fact that you can proudly say that you studied form SZABIST does not only involve the good teachers factor but some other things too. The image that SZABIST has, had a lot to do with the success of ZABMUN. You can by no means say that it is a ‘society in decline’; since it has started to operate it has grown bigger and better. ZABMUN 2010 attracted people not only from within Pakistan but also from abroad. You should be proud that you belong to an institution that set up the concept of MUNNING in Karachi. And as far as people belonging to ‘rural background,’ as you chose to classify them, have not been recruited in ZABMUN, then let me assure you that selection in ZABMUN is purely based on ones orator skills, ZABMUN is unaware of what social, ethnic, racial background a student belongs too.Recommend

  • Sarrah Millwala

    @DrUnk Munner:
    Dude, I could pose like a drunk lying on the side walk spewing venom about anything and pretending to be them too. If you really want to make a point about something, write your name and then talk. This forum is for an intellectual debate. Recommend

  • The Devil’s Advocate

    Sorry Sarah,

    By this point it is going to be impossible for anyone to be able to justify labelling this discourse “intellectual debate”.

    Good luck to trying, though!

    Just a thought, you’re only adding to the already pathetic joke of an image that is being made of ZABMUN be fuelling further discussion on this topic. For those who learnt something from MUN, their arguments and their ability to argue cohesively speaks for itself. For those morons who haven’t understood diddly squat of what MUN conferences are all about, the way they argue speaks for itself. Its an obvious no-brainer. Recommend

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/babarjaved Babar Khan Javed

    @KILLA: what is wrong with having a functionalist perspective/outlook to everything in life. I don’t expect a “KILLA” to understand, you choose to kill, and that too with bad grammar. I mean “Killa”, really?

    I shone a positive light on the above blog. You sir are just picking battles you cant win. Recommend

  • Mahin

    @Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student:

    How can you accuse me of being a hypocrit? You yourself are a living example of hypocrisy. I beleive in MUNs and that they breed leadership.You on the other hand seem to be intent on thinking that your school’s society is worthless. Instead of giving out rants which are of no use and baseless, why dont you try using logic? Also, yes the might have been filling seats, but just to create an example of what ZABMUN will e like in future. Im sure your work forces you to do a lot of things you dont want to. I dont see you trashing your workplace. ust shows where your loyalties lie. And Im afraid, your company has already hired one (: Good day to you too!

    @Devils Advocate:

    You got a point theremate! But he thing is, its not fair for us to be trashed over 4 months worth of hardwork. Even if someone was drunk, and Im not saying they were, it isnt the fault of the administration or the organisers who are people of calibre and repute. And anyway, what does being drunk have to do with MUN-ing skills? /: Im sure we’re all old enough to indulge in liqeour and hash. Its your own personal choice if you do or dont.

    @ drunk munner:
    I belive you never attended ZABMUN. posts can be fake. Recommend

  • Observer

    Seems as if u guys are out to get zabmun. haha next yr i will attend zabmun to see what the hype is all abt!
    To Organisers:iv always heard good things abt zabmun. ill attend and then pass comment.i suggest the blog people and critics should also do tht!!!!Recommend

  • Delegate

    WHAT ARE YOU TAWKING ABT!!! ZABMUN ROCKED!!!! AMAZING EXPERIENCE. President motion on the floor,please rganize zabmun 2011 =DRecommend

  • Israel

    You guyz are just being biased. Zabmun 2010 was very good. Hats off!!!! Plz re organise zabmun2010 again. If anyone shud be dirtied, it shud be nixor and lecole for their unprofessional attitude and crying eleventh gradersRecommend

  • SOCHUM

    Zabmun rawked. My chair was amazin. He was lucid and made me learn alot. Ill attend zabmun every year. People stop trashing it, it was really cool how the organisers covered up nixor’s unprofessional stance and le’coles stupidity. pls reopen zabmun 2010Recommend

  • Optimist

    Its funny how one person’s rant abt MUNs has given license to a few dejected individuals to attack a particular student body so gleefully.

    @ Forced Delegate, dude you really need to move on… if you couldnt become part of a particular student body, then you most probably lacked some skill or talent that the selection panel was looking for. Stop making it so personal and propagating your failure as a “class” issue for crying out loud. Ever heard of “sour grapes”? Failure is a part of life and we all go through it…nothing special

    @ Drunk Munner, no ones buying your story man… its too easy to allege these things on an anonymous forum.Recommend

  • KILLA

    @Baber

    Your words as usual glorifying your defeated mentality,once again. When ppl like you are out of arguments, all you can do is come up with cosmetic words and criticize grammar cuz you just fail to come up with a contextual argument.

    With love,
    KILLARecommend

  • Optimist

    to the writer, you win… you got tons of comments (unlike your last post) and created controversy…BRAVO!Recommend

  • ECOFIN

    i have attended all ZABMUN conferences to date. ZABMUN 2010 was by far the best. The level of debate has improved and i have no complains from my chairs. The social events were pretty good too. I was there and saw the entire team present at regent at all times trying to make this conference a success. I saw no one drunk or under the influence in any of the social events. The events are organised to have fun so if your chair was dancing then that is what the social events are for. stop lying people. ZABMUN team did their best. Recommend

  • Mahmood

    Mahin, you sound so ridiculous. That guy is being honest and blunt about the problems in SZABIST. So how can you doubt his loyalty, he is being loyal to himself and rest of the students and most of all with the institution so it can improve itself.

    I would also like to talk about AIESEC and I cant wait to see a article on it. The criterion for joining AIESEC is that you should be super flirtatious, must be a drugee, be an occasional drinker at minimum and last but not the least have some sort of affiliation with underground bands. LOL So if you are a Hippie you have a future in AIESEC for sure!Recommend

  • Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student

    @ Mahin

    The moment I wrote the thing about dogs and loyalty going hand in hand. I knew you being the person you are, will give me this reply. Anyways you yourself said that I am not a loyal person, so I cant be dog Mahin :( Its pretty simple LOGIC. If a is not equals to b and a is equals to c then b cant be equal to c.
    So ZABMUN in the future I see, just take out your past record for 2008 and minus the poor mandatory people and compare it with the attendance for this year. I am sure you will see the decline. And please minus the six graders and the seven graders and the eight graders who enhanced the quality of debate at the conference. Trust me once you do this you yourself will see the decline.

    @ Fizza Shahid

    Where did I specifically state that zabmun members are bad people? I am more loyal to my university because I dont hide its flaws. I hope someone with the power to make decisions now reads this and realizes the mistakes of the past. Like I mentioned I did go up to my teacher to discuss the mandatory attendance at the conference but my teacher said that their hands are tied. And people from abroad? Really? If its true then well done on that. May I know from where?

    @ Sarrah Millwala

    See Sarrah, have you ever been made to go through one of those mandatory seminars. The ones that last for an hour or so. Honestly tell me how much did you participate in them? Do you feel our pain now? Because this was three days and the month was October and we were in suits. Every society starts from scratch. So what if less people are showing up as long as they are. No society is given these favors which were given to zabmun back then. And afterwards there was no acknowledgement from the society that the majority of people sitting there were there because it was mandatory. As far as elections go I believe in elections and not Selections, where you have no choice.

    @ Drunk Munner

    Dude please stop it and take your frustrations else where. Recommend

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/babarjaved Babar Khan Javed

    @KILLA: You’re conflicted.Recommend

  • Sarrah Millwala

    @Optimist:

    Thankyou.

    @Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student:

    The process of standing up for President is via elections. Not selection. Its on a vote basis. I just clarified it there. As far as the 2008 conference goes, i wasnt a part of SZABIST or ZABMUN back then. So i cant comment as to why you were made to attend them. And yes, i have participated in seminars that have a mandatory attendence. I have a policy where if i cant ‘beat em’ i’d rather ‘join em’. It was uncalled for, but if life throws lemons at you, you make lemonade. However i can assure you that ZABMUN has not asked any mandatory attendance as of now. The society has visibly improved and its got an amazing president and a remarkable team.

    @The Devil’s Advocate:

    I see your point. Well said. Mahin clears it out further. Everyone has a right to present their case though. Im going to take leave from this forum. I think theres enough been said and done. Recommend

  • Forced Delegate and SZABIST BBA Student

    @ Sarrah

    Oh My Lord! If you weren’t a part of SZABIST back then.. How have you been giving all sorts of explanations previously? Are you being told to write this? Talk about wasting my time. You will learn with time kiddo. All the best for your future. :)
    And I am sure you guys enjoy working with one another but making sections and sections of students suffer for the sake of your enjoyment and glory hunting was not the way to go about it. Period.Recommend

  • Taimoor

    @ Sarrah

    How have you been giving all sorts of excuses previously when you weren’t even present at SZABIST in 2008? Are you being told to write all of this and that?
    Anyways I am sure you guys enjoy working with one another but that does not give members of your society the right to make plenty of other people suffer with you for the sake of making a name for themselves. I was there and I suffered as well. There are no two ways about it. What happened in 2008 was wrong. Period.Recommend

  • Shahbaz

    @ Optimist

    Yeah I knew I never had the chance of making it into zabmun sniff because I lacked the talent and skills of lifting ;) And may be you being a part of zabmun can help people in dealing with their failures because thats what all your conferences have been. No I haven’t heard of sour grapes, may be they are what you have for breakfast everyday :)

    P.S I have never even applied to zabmun.Recommend

  • Noor

    ZABMUN/SZABIST should formally take this issue to the Ombudsmen appointed by Express Tribune, Justice Farkhdin G Ebrahim.

    Express Tribune must not become a place for dog-fights. There have to be rules and regulations, vis-a-vis maintenance of decorum at this forum.Recommend

  • Mian Taimoor

    I would like to counter the authors points through this article:

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/3040/model-un-breeding-awareness-leadership/Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jahanzaib-Haque/149352001744540?ref=ts Jahanzaib Haque

    A number of comments were deleted off this post for being offensive. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • Kamil

    Way to go Taimoor! You showed them other MUN wannabes in Pakistan whose boss. The real pioneer and leader of MUN-ing in Pakistan will always be LUMUN :DRecommend

  • Majid Urrehman

    Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, National Cadet Corps were the names we used to listen in the past. Students had always felt honored being part of those organizations. These organizations plus MUN’s of todays and many other similar type of groups develop soft skills, groom students and basically polish their personalities so that they could be good citizen with a leadership and teamwork characteristics when they pass out from school.Recommend

  • Amina Ansari

    @Babar Khan Javed: At first I did not understand your thread on the first page, but now I see the bitter truth of what you tried to point out. It is sad how our nations so called educated are conforming to western ideologies to stay in positive light of that side. The founders of LUMUN and ZABMUN are clearly not friends of Pakistan and Muslims. The organization they worship continues to hold our brothers and sisters down in despair and misery.

    I applaud your attempt to find a way to reason with the horrors being taught by the MUN groups but I would hope that your ideals of functionalism are accepted by all. Commentators like the KILLA are just weak beings with mommy and daddy issues so they will continue on and find ways to eradicate what little positivity we have left.

    Who so ever this coward is, he/she will be punished by the higher power for diverting the message of a saviorRecommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/munis.quadri Munis Quadri

    I completely agree with the author , These MUNs are more elitist symbols rather a fruitful mind-stimulating kind of activity .Recommend

  • Raza

    Absolutely correct. MUNing is, at the end of the day, just a meaningless exercise designed to provide a socializing platform really for affluent kids who want to visit other cities. All this talk about raising awareness in current affairs is just redundant; just what exactly has this universal phenomenon of MUNing ever achieved?Recommend

  • Amina Ansari

    @Sarrah Millwala:
    When literally no new applicants signed up for the 2008 event in question, it was FORCED upon myself and other juniors to pay for the event and have hours of our lives wasted at an event glorifying the sad excuse of event management by the seniors.

    When we had an event of our own later than year, the same seniors refused to recognize us and support our event.

    And that is how the UN works. Dear moderator, do not edit the truthRecommend

  • Shoaib Nagi

    First of all I would like to say that even though I like to attend MUN’s, I still completely agree with the writer of this piece. The only thing that MUN’s are able to teach you is debating and diplomatic skills. Yes, attending MUN’s might increase your knowledge about the world. But MUN’s do not and cannot breed leadership.

    Delegates at these MUN’s are representatives not leaders. Leaders are born on the streets, leaders are people who try to help their people by being one of them. Leadership doesn’t come from suiting up and formally debating in air-conditioned halls. Leadership comes from being politically active in material conditions in which you reside.

    So if you want to be a good debater, do attend MUNs. But if you want to be a leader, MUNs won’t help you at all. If you want to be a leader, cultivate simplicity and altruism. If you want to be a leader, go to rural areas and slums and check out the conditions in which most of your country’s population live. If you want to be a leader, be like the people who you are representing. Because wearing a branded suit only makes you a representative of the elite class.Recommend

  • ZABMUN 2010 FAN

    You guys! You have stuff against the UN. Tayour ZABMUN frustrations somewhere else forced delegate, you sound stupid. Lol. ZABMUN team did their best, it was an awesome conference. Guys, your team awesome did amazing! Please have another one next year.Recommend

  • Faraz

    Calling yourself awesome does not make you Awesome! lol
    Grow up Kids!
    My eyes have been opened. I am going to fight these slaves of the west all my life. Victory will be ours, its just a matter of time.
    Thankyou to everyone above who talked about what is wrong with MUN-ing! God bless you all.Recommend

  • AnObjectiveAnalyst

    “We at HMUN are deeply committed to sharing the experience of learning about and practicing international relations…At HMUN, delegates gain insight into the workings of the United Nations and the dynamics of international relations by assuming the roles of UN representatives and members of other international bodies and national cabinets. HMUN is an exciting opportunity for students to debate issues that confront world leaders and to draft resolutions in response to these global issues. Participants will develop their abilities to work with others who are equally motivated and passionate about the topics of debate and to respond to global concerns.”Recommend

  • Faiz Khalil Shaikh

    MUN Conferences have the purpose of educating today’s youth about prevailing events and training them to be better leaders. I attended my first MUN Conference – ROTMUN 2010 – just two weeks ago and I learned a lot. While some people are there just to have a fun time, the majority of participants are dedicated, focused young individuals who aim to gain a better understanding of the world which they live in and also, aim for the Best Delegate Award. As a recipient of the Award, I know just how much research and hard work goes into preparing for the MUN Conference.
    The social events which the author of this article seems so keen to attack are entirely voluntary for a delegate to attend. Several of my friends at ROTMUN chose not to attend. Furthermore, they provide delegates with an opportunity to network and win support for their country’s within the committee sessions.
    I staunchly believe that MUN Conferences are an effective platform for young adults to hone their speaking skills and to learn the ways of the world – or the UN at least.Recommend