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  Volume 6 | Issue 20 | May 20, 2012 |


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Youths on Safe and Sustainable Future at Dhaka+20

Muhammad Tanjimul Islam

United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB) recently hosted Dhaka+20, the Model United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held from May 11-12, 2012 in Dhaka. The title of the programme was 'Disaster Readiness towards a Safe and Sustainable City'. It was a platform for the youth of Bangladesh to generate ideas on critical issues regarding a sustainable economy in the context of Bangladesh. The preparation of this youth conference started on May 5 at the IDB Bhaban Auditorium through a workshop on Model UN and a training session on Rio+20, My City+20 and Dhaka+20. The first day of Dhaka+20 conference was held at the Faculty of Business Studies Auditorium, University of Dhaka on May 11 and ended through a closing ceremony on May 12 in Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka.

UNYSAB hosted Dhaka +20, the Model United Nations Conference.

UNYSAB is a voluntary youth movement for the United Nations, dedicated to convey the voice of the young generation regarding various social and global issues including human rights, development and the environment. Dhaka+20 is a Model United Nations conference that puts utmost importance on the activities of the youth beyond the conference. It is targeted towards the undergraduate students of Bangladesh, aimed at mobilising young people from across the country, educating them on the urgency of sustainable development issues, urging them to find innovative solutions to solve issues and encouraging them to involve themselves in the negotiation process of RIO+20. Unlike other Model United Nations, Dhaka+20 understands the role of youth for creating a better world and focuses on ensuring sustainability of thoughts and works of the youth that will continue even after the conference.

Through Dhaka+20, UNYSAB united the youth on reaching a solution to the existing environmental problems of Bangladesh. This is a Model United Nations simulation, which incorporates the real-life experience of global policy making. Delegates at the conference represented different countries of the world. They were given cases and they debated and dealt with each country's interests and weaknesses to reach a common ground on the issue of sustainable development. They finally agreed upon a final declaration on the issue. Hossain Mohammad Sarram acted as the Chair at the conference while Md Sazzad Hossain and Sheikh Mohammad Erfan Uddin accompanied him as Co-Chairs with Anika Binte Kasem as Director. Jafa Mahmud and Tanzina Ahmed Choudhury were reporters at the programme. Nafiz Imtiaz and Zakir Hassan Titash assumed the duties of honorable Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General respectively while Kanij Fatima, Aminul Karim, Shanil Shazab, Farah Maliha, Ahamed Naveed Hasan, Turzo Ahmed and Muhammad Tanjimul Islam played the roles of Under Secretary Generals at Dhaka+ 20.

UNYSAB hosted Dhaka +20, the Model United Nations Conference.

Dhaka University Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique was present at the concluding ceremony of the programme, organised by UNYSAB, supported and sponsored by ActionAid Bangladesh in association with ACTIVISTA , United Nations Information Center (UNIC), CPRD and Dhaka University Model United Nations Association (DUMUNA). The DU Vice Chancellor urged the government to utilise the talents and expertise of the youth in overall development process of the country. Chairman of Dhaka University's International Relations Department Professor Dr Delwar Hossain, ActionAid Bangladesh acting Country Director Asgar Ali Sabri, Fire Service and Civil Defense Director Major M M Motiur Rahman, United Nation Information Center Chief Kazi Ali Reza were present at the programme.

Around 500 students from the country's public and private universities gathered at Dhaka University to discuss the issue of disaster readiness towards building a sustainable Dhaka city at this two-day Youth Conference. After passing the final resolution, an award ceremony took place. Best Delegate Award was given to Md Yazdani Ul Islam, delegate of China, Best Delegation Awards to the delegations of Maldives, Nepal and Norway, Best Position Papers to the delegations of UK & India, Best Diplomacy Award to Samanta Farahnaz, delegate of USA, Best Friendship Award to Md Wahid Hossain, delegate of UNDP and others awards were given for outstanding volunteer performances.

UNYSAB and ActionAid aim to mobilize the youth, so that they become more proactive and involved to bring positive changes in society. The youth is ready to play an active part in international negotiations and to shape its own future of a sustainable world.

(The writer is an Executive Member of the United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh)


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