Articulate, stylish and formally-attired, the delegates at the Fourth Annual Baku Model UN Conference (BMUN), held on 14 April, condemned in unequivocal terms the global community’s failure to halt the ever-widening network of human trafficking. Significantly, the 110 delegates at the BMUN Conference were not seasoned international diplomats, but talented young students drawn from 12 Baku-based high schools who, after a passionate wrestle and heated debate, adopted a resolution that urged member states to intensify efforts to fight the scourge of human trafficking.
Students assumed the roles of ambassadors representing 90 countries at the simulated session of the UN General Assembly, and acted in a very similar manner as at the real General Assembly session held on 03 April in New York. Azerbaijani students discussed a wide range of issues related to the causes of human trafficking: increasing poverty, unemployment and gender inequality, in the first place.
At this largest BMUN to date, in the role of President of the General Assembly, Cameron Gilroy, final year student at The International School of Azerbaijan (TISA), expressed the view that he and his fellow-students benefitted immensely from participating in the BMUN Conference: “Each student is required to display skills of cooperation, compromise and self-restraint.” Aiming to commence his university education in Glasgow, Cameron Gilroy stated, “It has been a unique experience for me. We have all learned how difficult but vital it is to maintain genuine dialogue, no matter what happens on the ground".
Three distinguished guest speakers were also in attendance: Fikret Akcura, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, Koray Targay, Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Office in Baku, and Serhan Aktoprak, Officer-in-Charge of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Baku. The speakers were unanimous in commending the students for their eagerness to learn about global problems and their willingness to cooperate with their peers to formulate strategies to find solutions.
“This is a great occasion to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN’s presence in Azerbaijan. I hope that these students will become civically-minded to strive for peaceful, equitable, sustainable human development,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Fikret Akcura whose office supported this simulation session from the very beginning.
Elated that they had participated in this resoundingly successful event, the students noted that the BMUN Conference helped them to express their opinions in a concise manner and further enhance their debating skills. At the same time, it was a very good opportunity for them to engage in critical thinking and improve their decision-making skills, as they worked together in caucus or participated in plenary sessions of the General Assembly.
The event was widely covered by print and electronic media.