It is with a great degree of satisfaction that I welcome you to the first session of the Millennial Model United Nations Conference. I start off by congratulating you on your decision to attend this conference. I do so because in my experience with MUN over the last few years, the Millennials stand out as a student community that has figured out its priorities straight away and promises to remain true to the original aims of what may be referred to as the MUN ‘movement’ in Islamabad and other cities of Pakistan. This movement has had many positive consequences in terms of its effects on the sociopolitical outlook of those involved and indeed in the rekindling of an active (or, for some, activist) spirit in these individuals. Such cases have, however, been few and far between and it has been observed, more so of late, that MUNs have become little more than a source of socially legitimate entertainment. While the role that MUNs play in terms of entertainment cannot be denied especially because our youth does find itself rather entertainment-starved, it must be remembered that the very fact that we can afford to entertain ourselves in this way confers upon us an enormous responsibility. We find ourselves in a situation of enormous privilege relative to the vast majority of youth in Pakistan. While the realization of this privilege must not prevent us from enjoying ourselves in general and at MUN conferences, we must at the same time exploit the opportunity that the interaction between our privilege and forums such as the Millennial Model United Nations provides us with
The concept of starting an entirely new MUN from scratch, I assure you, is not a walk in the park. But the passion to excel and the determination to make a phoenix rise from the ashes of the current state of Pakistans MUN prospects was enough to set the foundations of this brilliant chapter in the history of Pakistan in stone.
The nature of this opportunity is often quite obscure, and I find it useful to think of it as an opportunity to use our education to question. To avail this opportunity, then, I would urge you to use your reason to question your surroundings: the way our political system works, the way our religious selves are influenced, the role that propaganda from all corners including the state, the media, and from authority of all kinds plays in our everyday lives. I urge you to question all that has been left unquestioned by those before us. I urge you to question that which we have been told cannot be answered. And once you have questioned and received the answers, I beg you to use your voice, even if on the minutest scale. It is my sincere hope that the discussions you have, within and outside committees, and the friendships you form during this conference will help you realize the questions that must be asked and the struggle that must be made.
MMUN does not deal in head-line making or in grandiose displays; instead, it deals in changing individuals, making them a little more conscious of their surroundings, of their sociopolitical sensibilities. In this conference, we will discuss some new issues that have not been discussed before and some old issues that recur in the world’s memory every now and then to remind us of the sheer inconsistency and unsustainability of our ways. It is our hope that we will leave this conference a little more aware, a little more equipped to at least understand, if not solve, the political, financial and moral corruption that surrounds us at every level. I applaud all your efforts in coming together with us and we hope to exceed your expectations!
Umair Khan Marwat
Millennial Model United Nations 2012