The fourth annual Brisbane Model United Nations Conference (BrizMUN) kicked off yesterday at the University of Queensland in St Lucia with over 250 enthusiastic delegates participating this weekend.
During the opening ceremony, Co Secretary Generals, Sarah Newman and Joshua Sproule took the opportunity to personally welcome delegates to what promises to be an unforgettable weekend of passionate debating.
This year’s theme, ‘Global Unity and Changing the Face of Our World’ aims not only to challenge delegates but also allow them to reflect on various political events and natural disasters that have occurred worldwide.
Three keynote guest speakers addressed attendees during the opening proceedings which included Joseph Yunis, Yassmin Abdel –Magied and Virginia Balmain.
Joseph Yunis, a former refugee from Sudan took the opportunity to share with everyone background information about Sudan’s Nuba Mountains from which he comes from.
As a man who has experienced extreme trauma and unspeakable horrors throughout his life, he emphasised Sudan’s struggles over the past 40 years including ethnic, cultural and religious discrimination, economic crises and ultimate struggle for freedom.
As Sudan continues to face enormous economic, political and social challenges, Joseph offered delegates time to reflect on the privileges they have as individuals with a right to an education.
“Remember, people cannot take your education away from you,” he said.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied, founder and President of ‘Youth Without Borders’ inspired delegates by reassuring them that as a generation of young people, making a difference can be achieved through empowering and supporting one another as recently demonstrated in the Middle East.
She reinforced how important it is to have hope humanity in order to bring about change.
“Our generation can do something to make a difference and leave behind a legacy greater than us,” she said.
“Never underestimate the power you can have on a single person’s life. If your time on this earth has affected one individual, you’ve made an impact.”
As a passionate woman, she offered delegates a valuable insight on how the UN came into being and how it has shaped overtime.
She highlighted how Australia seeks to be part of today’s challenges and how young people at BrizMUN will go fourth and impact the world at some point in their life.
“You’ve chosen to be in the groove, the UN groove that is,” she said.
“You have 60 years, only 60 years to contribute to the changing face of the world.”