Diplomacy ambassadors at Harvard Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: Some 80 students participated in two Diplomacy Ambassadors Programmes implemented by the UAE Ministry of Education at Harvard University in Boston, USA, this summer, which gave them the opportunity to join educational simulation programmes for the Model United Nations that promoted their diplomacy and leadership skills.

The students also upgraded their communication, decision-making, problem-solving, speaking, debating, critical thinking and leadership skills, enabling them to research, address and discuss world issues with confidence, and to come up with creative effective solutions for such issues.

Dr Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, assistant under-secretary of the activities sector at the Ministry of Education, said: “The Diplomacy Ambassadors Programme is implemented within the framework of the ministry’s keenness to invest the best in its students, prepare them for the future and provide them with outstanding academic and diplomatic skills that enable them to achieve excellence in serving their country. The programme also enables them to actively participate in their country’s development in various sectors and fields in a way that preserves our culture, heritage, earnings and noble mission, which we draw from the thought of our wise leadership.”

The UAE students
The UAE students during the Diplomacy Ambassadors Programmes implemented by UAE’s Ministry of Education at Harvard University in Boston. Image Credit: Supplied

During the programmes, the students participated in simulation sessions of the Model United Nations, where they typically role-played delegates to the United Nations and simulated UN committees. They were trained on how decisions are taken and learnt the laws governing the administration of these sessions. Students also participated in lectures that honed their skills in leadership, debates, public speaking and scientific research, and developed their knowledge on global issues.

The main topics discussed by the participants during the Model United Nations were global peace and security, human rights, humanitarian relief, international law and the Millennium Development Goals. They worked in teams to conduct the necessary scientific research on pressing global issues, and to find effective solutions to these issues in the UN member states that they represented in the Model UN simulation sessions.

The programme enabled the students to organise a mini Model UN Conference in their countries upon their return and to establish students’ school clubs specialised in training students and developing their diplomatic and leadership skills.

Through the programme, students’ skill sets were further advanced in the English language, scientific research methodology, fact-gathering on pressing global developments, and empowering them to find innovative solutions to these issues.