After holding a training session on March 9 and a mock conference on March 16, Notre Dame University-Louaize’s Model United Nations (NDU MUN) organized its Third Annual NDU Model United Nations Conference with more than 20 schools and 300 delegates having attended from all over Lebanon. This event was the result of months of hard work by the current NDU MUN executive committee and members, with the support of Dr. Charbel Zgheib, Dean of Students at NDU, and Melhem Rechdan, Advisor of NDU MUN.
All of the sessions were moderated by qualified and trained NDU students, who acted as Dais members to committees like: Security Council, General Assembly 4: SPECPOL, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, International Fund for Agriculture Development, Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, and World Health Organization. Each of the committees tackled unique topics, which opened the floor for delegates to showcase their diplomatic and public speaking skills, and come up with an impressive list of solutions for the issues at hand.
The opening ceremony conference began with speeches delivered by the guest of honor, Nada Dimachkieh Sweidan, Program Officer / Youth Focal Point, Social and Local Development Program/ UNDP, who empowered the attendees with her speech highlighting the efforts the UN is dedicating in Lebanon for the youth. After a day of exploring the different aspects and functions of the UN, the delegates participated in a cultural bash under the theme of “Latino Night”, launched by the NDU MUN team. An interactive photo booth was set up, and a Latin Zumba/Dance show was performed by Coach Yelena Saad and a group of MUN trainers. A number of singers, Sarah Ghaleb, Nicolas Merheb, and Perla Sawma with guitarist Aren Donerian also entertained the event before DJ Nic rocked the stage with his music vibes. Two more sessions were held the following day to conclude the debates and finalize the resolutions.
At the end of the second conference day, a light-hearted celebration was held at the Issam Fares Hall. The closing ceremony also took place in Issam Fares Hall, where NDU MUN’s USG’s Dany Lattouf, Perla Sawma, and Elie Gharios delivered their speeches. NDU MUN advisor, Melhem Rechdan, thanked the NDU MUN committees for organizing the conference with a special video highlighting the MUN committees’ achievements. The two winners of the NDU MUN speech & photography competitions were announced and each was granted a monetary compensation of 150,000 LBP for their efforts, through the generosity of Bank of Beirut. The winner of the Speech Making Competition was Mia Nour Noun, and the winner of the Art in Photography Competition was Jack Mardini.
NDU MUN chairs awarded prizes to the delegates who gave outstanding performances. The winners of the 21 Scholarship Awards are displayed in the table below. Those who won the ‘Best Delegate Award’ received a 50% discount upon enrollment for their first year at NDU, and those who won the ‘Diplomacy Award’ were granted a 25% discount upon enrollment for their first year at NDU.
The awards were as follows:
NDU MUN Secretary General, Stephanie Sleilaty, thanked all the attendees for taking part in this conference and promised to keep progressing each and every year. Her concluding words were, "Throughout the entire year, the student leading team has crafted this conference thanks to the strength and dedication of every single member in NDU MUN. It is, through their power, that today, we are able to fuel our conference."