The tenth edition of the flagship event of the IBA PSS, and the largest of its kind in IBA, Model United Nations IBA Karachi, MUNIK X, was held from 10th to 13th January 2019. Since its inception a decade ago, MUNIK has sought to provide students with the opportunity to understand international affairs, gain insight into current events, and learn to appreciate and navigate the complexity of world politics. The format of Model UN simulates the various organs and specialized bodies of the United Nations in different committees where delegates, who have been allotted countries to represent, debate on specific agendas through the course of the conference, culminating in the drafting of a resolution outlining the committees' final recommendations and solutions on the topic. The conference was organized by the IBA PSS Panel members, Usama Khawar (Manager) and Saddam Siddiqi (CFO) and the MUNIK X Convening Committee that included Abdullah Quresh Abdullah (President), Lalarukh Wasif (Secretary General), Najid Awan (Director General), Wasay Peracha (Under-Secretary General, General Assembly), Taimur Ali Khan (Under-Secretary General, Specialised Agencies) and Habiba Khalid (Under-Secretary General, ECOSOC & Regional Bodies).
This year, MUNIK returned with its legacy of developing informed young leaders. The theme for this landmark edition of MUNIK was 'Catalyzing Change', for a future shaped by compassion and galvanized by meaningful discourse meant to empower voices of progress and change. The MUNIK team achieved this by developing a delegate-centered, academically motivated approach that ran through all the elements of the conference. MUNIK X had one of the best secretariat in the history of any Model UN conference that has held in Pakistan. The secretariat included some of the best speakers that have been of Karachi's debating circuit and were also IBA alumni like Umer Irfan, Ehab Ansari, Maha Arshad, Kanza Naheed and Ali Poonawala. There were also two international committee directors who had flown in all the way from Germany and Austria respectively to attend the conference. This year MUNIK also had guest speaker sessions through which delegates were imparted valuable knowledge. Over the course of four days, delegates at MUNIK were able to learn about the infrastructure and functioning of the organizations that are combating some of humanity's most pressing concerns, affording them the opportunity to hone their public speaking skills, and develop excellent analytical and interpersonal abilities.
On the first day, the opening ceremony of MUNIK X commenced at 2:30 P.M. The Chief Guest for the opening ceremony was Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Prior to getting elected as the President of AJK, Sardar Masood Khan Khan had a long diplomatic career with the Foreign Service of Pakistan. In his earlier diplomatic career, he held important diplomatic positions in China, The Netherlands, United Nations (New York) and the USA (Washington D.C). Over the years, he has also held leadership positions in the international community some of which include President of the Conference on Disarmament, President of the Biological Weapons Review Conference 2006, President of the Governmental Group of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Chairman of the ILO Reform Committee and Chairman of the Council of the International Organization for Migration. In New York, Sardar Masood Khan represented Pakistan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2012-2013 and became President of the Security Council in January 2013. Sardar Masood Khan also remained Pakistan's Chief Negotiator at the Nuclear Security Summit from 2009 to 2015. The MUNIK team was honoured to have him as their Chief Guest for the opening ceremony where he delivered a speech on the significance of diplomacy and endeavours of the United Nations in bringing about a positive change in the world.
Apart from Sardar Masood Khan, we also had a representative from Transparency International, Mr. Kashif Ali, who is currently serving as the Director Resources of Transparency International Pakistan. Mr. Kashif extended a nuanced perspective of the implications of corruption on the youth of Pakistan and how it can be eliminated from within the framework of our society for a better tomorrow.
This year, MUNIK not only simulated the United Nations but also brought in representatives from actual organizations so that delegates can have a deeper and more meaningful insight into the functioning of international bodies. On the second day of MUNIK X, we had representatives from the World Bank as guest speakers for the World Bank committee at MUNIK X. The session was conducted by the Country Director of World Bank, Mr. Illango and the Operations Manager, Ms. Melinda Good. The discussion that took place was primarily related to gender equality in the home and workplace, youth empowerment and economic growth relative to population growth. Delegates were pleased to have these representatives in their committee and had an interactive session with them. Followed by the World Bank session, there was a tree plantation activity for the MUNIK X team and delegates organized by Mr. Aamer Shabbir. To keep the conference lively, the team also arranged a small social event for the delegates on the second day of the conference called Social X, which was an open mic and comedy night. The event took place in the amphitheatre with a nice and lively atmosphere. Delegates and committee directors got a chance to showcase their talents other than public speaking and the audience had a night full of laughter because of the spectacular performance by Hassaan Bin Shaheen who was called to perform at the event.
On the third day of the conference, DISEC, which was the largest committee of the conference, had a guest speaker session by Mr. Ikram Sehgal. Mr. Sehgal is the chairman of Pathfinder group, which has two divisions: the security division and financial division. Its security division includes two of the largest security companies in Pakistan, SMS and Wackenhut. Mr. Sehgal became a Prisoner of War (POW) in April 1971, while serving the former East pakistan and was sent to the Panagarh POW Camp in India. In July 1971, he escaped from prison and became the first Pakistani POW to escape from an Indian POW Camp. Mr. Sehgal is also involved in national and international organizations, some of which include World Economic Forum (WEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and East West Institute (EWI), a US based think-tank. During his session in DISEC he inspired the delegates through the journey of his life while also presenting a nuanced perspective of the significance of Pakistan. He elaborated and explained the international relations of Pakistan and enlightened the delegates with words of wisdom on the CPEC initiative.
On the evening of the third day of the conference, the team had also organized a spectacular concert by the famous Pakistani rock band Strings. The concert was organized for delegates of MUNIK X and IBA students and alumni and a limited number of outsiders. The concert was well organized and managed by the team and their support was lauded by the Strings team themselves.
13th January, the fourth day of the conference, was the last day when delegates were giving it their all to win an award in their respective committees. The closing ceremony began at 5:30 P.M. and the Chief Guest for the closing was Dr. Huma Baqai, who is the Associate Dean at IBA. Dr. Baqai holds a doctorate in International Relations and Affairs. She has been working with the local and international media as an international relations expert and political analyst for around two decades now and is a member of Board of Directors of more than ten educational institutions and private and non-profit organizations. In her address to the delegates, she emphasised on globalization and how it will change the way things are run in today's world. The closing ceremony also had another extremely notable speaker, Kami Sid. Sid is the first Pakistani trans person to rise to prominence as a fashion model. She is also an actor and LGBTQ rights activist. Kami Sid's address to the audience was met with a lot of applause when she talked about believing and loving one's self. Her speech was inspiring for all those who were listening.
The best delegation award at MUNIK X was awarded to Nixor College. The conference was an overall success and was praised by those who attended and attained positive feedback from the delegates.