In a world facing increasing polarisation and entrenchment of views and standpoints, the importance of preserving and promoting constructive, open dialogue on a global scale is clear. Qatar recently provided the setting for such dialogue to happen, as the 18th edition of the Doha Forum brought together international experts, academics, politicians, and decision-makers to exchange ideas, build action-oriented networks, and guide policy-making processes.
Held under the theme of ‘Shaping Policy in an Interconnected World’, the event centred around four key areas – Security, Peace and Mediation, Economic Development, and Trends and Transitions – and, as the first Doha Forum to be held following the announcement of the illegal blockade on Qatar in 2017, included a special focus on the current diplomatic crisis in the region.
Qatar Foundation (QF) is dedicated to equipping men and women with the tools to create solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. And through its many centres, programmes and initiatives, it strives to provide opportunities to the local community to become ‘active’ global citizens.
A key component of this goal is engaging young people, and last month, ahead of the Doha Forum, QF member QatarDebates co-hosted the inaugural Doha Forum: Youth Edition. Designed to develop the debating skills of participants, the one-day event aimed to drive dialogue that focused on issues trending around the world, such as mass immigration and fake news.
8th Annual THIMUN Qatar Conference
As part of its belief in the capacity of Qatar’s youth to be change-makers and thought-leaders, QF – through its Pre-University Education mission area – is currently preparing for the upcoming 8th annual THIMUN Qatar Conference on 22 to 25 January 2019.
The Doha-based Model United Nations (MUN) conference – the largest in the Middle East – will bring together nearly 1,800 students from over 67 schools around the world to role-play as diplomats and ambassadors through imitation sessions of United Nation councils, commissions and conferences, discussing and debating international issues to create purpose-led solutions to worldwide problems.
According to Fatima El Mahdi, Head of THIMUN Qatar, they strive to create global citizens, who will become agents of meaningful change and, consequently, leaders of tomorrow.
Today’s youth is the future of our world, and by providing opportunities for young people to discuss, negotiate, and debate, through initiatives such as THIMUN, we are helping to catalyse global change, and build a better world for generations to come.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions,’ inspired by UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16). The participants will debate a range of topics that fall under SDG 16 – all of which have significant global relevance. Over the last few months, students have been conducting sessions and carrying out research in order to be able to represent their appointed countries.
Additionally, as part of the event, THIMUN Qatar will also be partnering with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, which will see many UNODC officials serve as sessional speakers at the event.
Not only will the participants interact with peers from around the world, build new networks of knowledge and perspective, and learn about different countries, cultures, traditions, customs, and beliefs, they will also be given the unique opportunity to learn from the experts themselves: the UNODC representatives.
Ultimately, the aim of this conference is to serve as a knowledge-sharing platform to educate, empower, and encourage young people to realise their full potential.’
For more information about the upcoming THIMUN conference, visit qatar.thimun.org.