The Centre for Community Empowerment and Development (CCED), a consortium of the International Youth Fair (commonly known in French as ‘Salon International des Jeunes (SIJ)), recently organised a Model United Nations (MUN) Workshop at the ACADER Hall, Rue de Pavés Nkoldongo, Yaoundé.
Panelists at the MUN Workshop (L-R: George Neba, Njoya Pefensie Mohamed (a.k.a. Kader Njoya), Sophie Monono, Riva Jean Felix, and Al Mokhtar Mohamed).
The workshop was premised on two major axes. Firstly, cognizant of the socio-political turmoil that the country currently grapples with, the session was convened under the theme ‘youth for an inclusive peace dialogue’, so that the young participants present could brainstorm and resolve on how to seek sustainable pathways to peace in Cameroon and beyond. Secondly, through practical role-play exercises, participants were drilled on how to effectively represent member States as delegates at a United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The practical sessions simulated the actual debates held within the various UN commissions, in a typical diplomatic mission style.
Some participants at the Workshop (Hon. Mvogo Fabien spotted in Green Red Yellow sash).
Fondly called MUN Workshop, it is a diplomatic-educative activity aimed at enlightening participants on the inner workings of the UN. Presentations featured general introduction on the UN, its organs, committees, and agencies — with their objectives and mandates. Furthermore, the Rules of Procedure (ROPs) of the Model United Nations were elaborated, and a mock session — where each participant represented a particular country — closed the day.
The peculiarity of the Workshop was that it was in its maiden edition in Cameroon: after the first 2 editions of MUN Conferences took place in Cameroon in October 2017 (as Sub-Saharan International Model United Nations (SAIMUN)) and in April 2019 (as Cameroon International Model United Nations (CAMERIMUN)) respectively. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were also discussed, and participants indicated which of them they were most interested in and why. Besides, the diversity of backgrounds of top brass personalities that spearheaded the sessions cannot be over-emphasized. Amongst whom were: the former president of the National Youth Council and former Chief of Cabinet of president of the National Assembly of Central Africa Republic (CAR), Riva Jean Felix (who was among the youths who tirelessly-advocated for peace and mediated conflicts in CAR). Sophie Monono (seasoned diplomat by profession and president of CAMERIMUN), Hon. Mvogo Fabien (Youth Parliamentarian at Cameroon’s National Assembly), Al Mokhtar Mohamed (Vice President of the MUN Workshop), the vice-president and George Neba (an emerging entrepreneur and Rapporteur of UN Women Committee, CAMERIMUN 2019).
Participants brandishing messages UN SDGs.
During the Workshop, it was resolved among others that — a future-oriented approach to peace-building be primordial whereby social justice and respect of human rights and freedoms was the bedrock for long-lasting harmonious co-existence; inclusive dialogue (with youth playing an important role) was essential for the cessation of conflict; the richness of our socio-cultural diversity was a fortune to be exploited to our mutual benefit and not otherwise; youths should connect progressively with actions both nationally and internationally, and work towards peace and nation building rather than being neutral in the face of the conflict; and to redress the current impasse in Cameroon, dialogue should involve both sides of the disputing parties.
At the close of the event, the convener, Njoya Pefensie Mohamed (founding president and Executive Director of the CCED), sounded cheerful.
‘I’m grateful to God who made the first ever Model United Nations Workshop organised in Cameroon…a successful event’, he stated.
Certificates of participation were distributed.
Photo credit: Centre for Community Empowerment and Development (CCED).