E-MUN app
The app developed by Ayush Walia and Rishi Abichandani has helped save over 4,000 sheets of paper at the Model United Nation conference Image Credit: Supplied

Alongside my partner who is also a high school student like I am, I developed an online application for the MUN (Model United Nations) conference my school, Dubai International Academy, holds called DIAMUN. It has saved over 4000 sheets of paper - naming our conference the first paperless conference in the world.

We approached a company which decided to sponsor us. Next, we took help from developers in India to manage the technical aspects such as coding and developing the app for smooth functioning.

We developed an app which is called E-MUN that helps students participating in the conference do all their work during the debates digitally, without the use of paper.

Unique ID login

Each student has a unique login ID and password and for each conference, the app is designed to suit specific needs. Since phones are not allowed at such conferences we designed it to be used on laptops and handheld tablets.

As with debating conferences, resolutions and annotations are made on paper, however this application aims to change that entirely.

The success of the application was incredible as all the students experienced a new way to approach a conference. To further make an impact, different conferences around the UAE are planning on making use of our application to transition into a sustainable forum.

Excited about using the app one student, Dhiren Kewalramani, said: “When I heard DIAMUN 2019 was going paperless, I was ecstatic! A project which once seemed impossible had now paved a pathway for hundreds of students to think sustainably. I have been part of the MUN community for the past 5 years, and to see the delegates engage in debate with this platform made me realize the long-lasting legacy that this application has created.”

Sustainable development

I have always looked for areas where I can implement my learning to provide solutions. We are living in an era where we forget about the importance of sustainable development. Even though it is important that we progress in different aspects of our lives, we need to ensure that we think about future generations and the platform that we are providing for them.

Director at DIAMUN, Meena Nambiar, also appreciated our efforts and said: “As the MUN Director of Dubai International Academy MUN, I am incredibly proud of Ayush Walia and Rishi Abichandani for envisioning a future that is sustainable and practical and making it our present. They have done something that MUN conferences globally aspire to do. Their drive, determination and indefatigable attitude will open up myriad doors not only for themselves but for society as a whole.”

Role of youth

I am a prime believer in sustainable development. It is important that as the youth, we identify areas that we can help and ensure that we do whatever it takes in order to improve the conditions so that our future is bright for the generations to come.

The MUN community in Dubai has grown exponentially over the past years. In March 2019, I served as the Secretary-General of DIAMUN 2019 (Largest MUN conference in the UAE) which catered to over 800 international students. As part of the conference, I decided to focus on the theme of “Globalisation through technological and environmental advancements” - providing students with the opportunity to provide solutions whilst thinking about these two pillars.

In light of the conference, we decided to take upon a challenge that was never done in any conference around the world.

Our next aim is to implement this in other MUN conferences and we are in the process of pitching our idea.

Future goals

Our motto is to make all MUN conferences sustainable.