AKAM Students Enter South African Model United Nations Competition 2008

19 November 2008

For the second year in a row, The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa entered a team in the South African Model United Nations Competition.

Click to enlarge imageLeft: The Team having fun at the View Point with Table Mountain in the background. Right: The Team, with Coach Zubair Kassam, at the Cape Town Municipal Chambers - the venue for the SAMUN Competition.For the second year in a row, The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa entered a team in the South African Model United Nations Competition. Held in Cape Town from the 9 – 13 of October, four students, Nafisa Abdulhamid, Tamjeed Allarakhia, Shiv Morjaria and Swaleh Ouma represented the country of South Africa during the Competition. The Academy’s team was coached by Mr. Zubair Kassam and Mr. Naheed Bardai. The students did very well, placing fourth overall. This was a significant achievement given the daunting task the team faced: representing South Africa in South Africa!

This year’s Competition focused on two important issues: Myanmar and the International Criminal Court. During the debates, delegations supporting Myanmar, including South Africa, called on the General Assembly to support the efforts of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) to work with the Government of Myanmar to affect change in the country.

The debate on the International Criminal Court specifically focused on the situation in Sudan and delegates had to determine whether or not Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should be brought before the ICC in the Hague. Many countries, including South Africa, argued that given the tenuous situation in the country and the current efforts to find peace, no indictment should be brought forward.

The SAMUN Competition provided students with a wonderful learning opportunity and the unique chance to meet students from each of the different provinces of South Africa, other students from Kenya and students from the United Kingdom. All of the participants agreed that the Conference was a fantastic experience, a trip of a lifetime.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the Conference was the visit to Robben Island, the prison where former South African President Nelson Mandela spent many years. Participants stayed overnight at the prison and were given a chance to experience what it meant to be a prisoner in a racially divided society. The Competition concluded at Robben Island, where an Awards Luncheon was held to announce the winning teams.

The Academy looks forward to fielding a team for next year’s Competition which is tentatively scheduled for the third week in October of 2009.