In 2021, the world saw an increase of Model United Nations activities in virtual or hybrid format. “The Real United Nations” continued to collaborate with Model UN organizers to host online sessions, enabling more students and Model UN participants to interact directly with UN staff and diplomats and learn from their experience working in the United Nations system.
On 28 April, a panel briefed 45 participants of the World Affairs Forum, an educational programme run by youth-led organization Volunteers for Ideas and Projects Romania. The panelists included Bo Li and Lonjezo Hamisi of the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC) and Julia Gorlovetskaya of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Participants interacted with the panel by asking questions about peace and security in Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic, and ways to start a career at the UN.
In a feedback survey after the session, 95 per cent of respondents expressed that they were very satisfied with the briefing. “Working in the UN is my dream and today's briefing showed me that hard work leads to the possibility of entering in this International Organization”, said a participant. “The speakers' stories motivate me to make an effort and continue to work hard to achieve my goals.”
On 26 May, Maha El-Bahrawi and Bo Li of DGC and Miguel Caldeira of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children participated in a “Real United Nations” session co-hosted with the El Gouna International Model United Nations (EGIMUN) from Egypt. Questions were raised about the panelists' experience working in various UN departments, peacekeeping, protection of children from violence, and careers in international affairs.
According to a survey conducted after the , 91 per cent of respondents said they would apply what they had learned to their studies or Model UN activities. One of the participants highlighted the importance of hosting more Model UNs in Arab States: “the information and knowledge will benefit local students and bring about a generation that can overcome all the barriers.”
© Kashvi Jaggi | Maha El-Bahrawi and Bo Li of the Department of Global Communications and Miguel Caldeira of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children talk to students of El Gouna International Model UN.