Sandooq Al Watan hosts 30 Emirati students for course - GulfToday

Sandooq Al Watan hosts 30 Emirati students for course


Jamal Al Musharakh

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Sandooq Al Watan — the national initiative launched by prominent Emirati businessmen to support research projects for the post-oil era — has organised a three-week online summer course titled ‘Model United Nations’, bringing together 30 Emirati high school students from various backgrounds who are passionate about international law and want to learn how the UN addresses global concerns.

Conducted by Mrs. Tina Fields from Johns Hopkins University Centre for Talented Youth (CTY), who is based in Tampa, Florida, USA, the course features four speakers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the UAE Permanent Mission to the UN, and Nawah Energy Company.

Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri, Acting Director General of Sandooq Al Watan, said: “Mawhibatna programme aims to discover and nurture gifted Emirati students and provide them with academic advising. We are honoured with the participation of several role models in the field of international cooperation in our ‘Model United Nations’ course this summer.”


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“The ‘Model United Nations’ course is a new subject in our Summer Programme that allows us to carry out these objectives,” Fikri added. “It is a platform to educate students from various backgrounds about the structure and processes of the United Nations through readings, discussions, and research. Participants can study and analyse the effects of physical, economic, cultural, and political geographies on policymaking, all the while honing their writing, speaking, and critical-thinking skills.”

The primary objectives of the course are to extend students’ knowledge and understanding of the United Nations, its role in international diplomacy and the roles of UN special entities, agencies, and programmes. Graduating students will have developed the skills to draft and present position papers and refine resolutions on relevant issues and world problems. Given that the course is conducted online for the first time, organisers sought to replace the required physical textbooks with online articles.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs, Abdulnasser Alshaali, said: “[Students require] two things: you need to read and you need to write. You cannot write without reading enough books and articles to understand different terminologies, and at the same time, for you to better understand the concepts, you need to write.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry’s Director of Policy Planning Department Jamal J. Al Musharakh explained: “The UAE’s membership as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the term 2022-2023 will be a monumental occasion. It will coincide with the UAE celebrating its 50th anniversary. The last time the UAE was a member of the Security Council was in 1986-1987. The world then was a lot different than the world today.”

Topics set to be covered throughout the duration of the course include the History of the United Nations, UN Special Agencies and Programmes, UN Major Organs, the Importance of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Research and Writing Skills, Public Speaking, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Human Rights, International Peace and Security, Humanitarian Crisis and Response, and the Future of the United Nations.

Sandooq Al Watan is a community initiative launched by a group of prominent Emirati businessmen to promote a sense of social cohesion in Emirati society. It seeks to steer investments into the UAE’s human capital with projects and initiatives that focus on the strategic sectors that most affect people’s lives. The initiative reflects the private sector’s commitment to social responsibility and aims to support talented individuals, provide professional guidance for young Emirati professionals, support start-ups that seek to make a positive social impact, and promote research and innovation.

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