Year 2017 came to a great close for the energetic and committed youth of Puttalam as they wrapped up their proceedings of their first model United Nations (PYMUN – Puttalam Youth Model United Nations) on the 31st of December at Zahira College, Puttalam. While most people choose to spend New Year’s Eve with their families and friends, a group of us UN staff, spent it with the PYMUN group, observing first-hand what a vision and a lot of hard work can achieve.
PYMUN is the result of untiring efforts of few young men, women, girls and boys in Puttalam, who had been inspired by the Colombo based National Youth Model United Nations. Without sponsors, the group developed a two-day event which created a platform for the young talents of Puttalam to be exposed to how the United Nations work and its many endeavours to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. PYMUN pursued the goals of promoting critical thinking, introducing diplomacy, communicating complex issues, tuning social skills, practicing conflict resolution and enhancing public speaking among students in Puttalam.
The two-day conference was a simulation of the United Nations and its affiliated organizations for youth aged 14-30 in and around Puttalam and exposed them to the dynamics and dimensions of the international governance system. PYMUN provided the participating students an exciting opportunity to debate issues that confront world leaders and draft resolutions in response to those global issues.
We were inspired by this MUN experience, noting that the team had piloted it themselves, trained delegates and organized a big event with self-motivation and with no external support. We welcome their active contributions to the sustainable development agenda of Sri Lanka and all around the world.
As we bid adieu to 2017 on that positive note, we look forward to engaging with like-minded dynamic young people from across Sri Lanka in 2018.
Ms. Una McCauley, Resident Coordinator, UN Sri Lanka and Resident Representative, UNDP Sri Lanka.
Mr. Abdul Razzak Farzan, Programme Officer, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives
Mr. Abdul Malik Mohamed Mihlar, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF Sri Lanka
Mr. M.T.M. Hanfiyas, Jaffna Field Coordination Office, UN Sri Lanka