Pedestrians walk past a Harvard University building in Cambridge. File
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
A group of 80 students from the UAE participated this summer in two Diplomacy Ambassadors Programmes implemented by the UAE Ministry of Education at Harvard University, Boston, USA.
The programmes offered the students the opportunity to participate in educational simulation programmes for the United Nations Model that promoted their diplomacy and leadership skills, and involved them in activities that helped refining their abilities, skills and personalities in the field of diplomatic representation.
Moreover, the programmes upgraded the students’ skills in communication, decision-making, problem solving, speaking, debating, critical thinking and leadership, enabling them to research, address, discuss the top priority world issues with confidence, and to come up with creative effective solutions for such issues.
Dr Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Activities Sector at the Ministry of Education, said, “The Diplomacy Ambassadors Programme is implemented within the framework of the ministry’s keenness to invest the best in its students, prepare them for the future and provide them with outstanding academic and diplomatic skills that enable them to achieve excellence in serving their country and play useful and constructive roles in elevating it to be the best amongst other nations. The programme also enables them to actively participate in their country’s development in various sectors and fields in a way that preserves our culture, heritage, earnings, and noble mission, which we draw from the thought of our wise leadership.”
She added, “We believe in the vital and important role the diplomacy plays in our modern world. It is the very art of negotiation that provides countries with the means to maintain their position and strengthen their official relations with other countries in the world. It is also on the front line for the defence of national policies and gains, and plays a key role in encouraging and facilitating dynamic political, economic and cultural among the world’s nations. Diplomacy lies at the very heart of the vision that was the basis for the Ambassadors Initiative and its programmes, aiming at recognising our national endeavour towards the achievement of the noble goals of our country.”
During the Diplomacy Ambassadors programmes, the students participated in simulation sessions of the United Nations Model where they typically role-played delegates to the United Nations and simulated UN committees. They were trained on how decisions are taken and learned the laws governing the administration of these sessions.
Students also participated in lectures that honed their skills in leadership, debate, public speaking, scientific research and developed their knowledge on global issues. Moreover, they participated in lectures on international affairs, foreign policy, UN affairs, UN committees and UN main entities such as the UN General Assembly, the UN General Secretariat, the Security Council, and the UN model Institute. In addition, the programme included recreational and cultural visits and excursions.
The main issues that the students discussed during the United Nations Model were global peace, global security, human rights, humanitarian relief, international law and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The students worked in teams to conduct the necessary scientific research on pressing global issues, then they worked on finding effective solutions to these issues in the UN member states that they represented in the UN Model simulation sessions.
The Diplomacy Ambassadors Programmes implemented at Harvard University enhanced the capabilities and skills of the students in many aspects, mainly the diplomatic aspect, where they had a better understanding of the role of governments and international organisations in developing effective solutions for important global issues, and understood the role of international relations and public policies in resolving these issues.
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