KPU students lead model United Nations event at home and in Australia

Tue, Mar 12, 2013


World Model UN Conference Students
(L-R) KPU bachelor of arts students - Kurt Renvall, Sana Sohel, Nubwa Wathanafa and Saed Abu-Haltam

For immediate release

March 13, 2013

KPU students lead model United Nations event at home and in Australia

(Metro Vancouver, BC) – Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) bachelor of arts students, Kurt Renvall, Sana Sohel, Nubwa Wathanafa and Saed Abu-Haltam, will represent their university at the Harvard World Model United Nations Conference from March 18-22, 2013, in Melbourne, Australia. The 2013 conference will host over 2000 delegates from universities in 65 countries and has, for the first time, received an official endorsement by the United Nations through its Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Referred to simply as “WorldMUN” by conference delegates, participants are grouped into teams that represent a selected country in debate and committees in order to draft policies, agreements and resolutions that grapple with current global issues such as the exploitation of migrant workers and foreign mining interests. The KPU students will be representing Afghanistan and have already had to complete work ahead of their departure. “We had a position paper due on March 1, and the delegation gets together whenever possible to catch-up on our topics,” explained Sana Sohel.

Each of the KPU delegates has experience with previous MUN events. “The experience will go a long way for me,” said Sohel. “I have always been shy going up on stage and the MUN’s, over the years, have helped me build up my confidence. Furthermore, the experience will help develop critical thinking and peaceful conflict resolutions. I can use the skills gained in my everyday life.”

Saed Abu-Haltam agreed, indicating that students who participate in MUN events “gain practical academic and public speaking skills and empathy and understanding for those who are more vulnerable in the world.”

“What impresses me most is the level of interest our team has in engaging other KPU students,” said Joshua Mitchell, director of student engagement, KPU. “MUN events require a great deal of organization and preparation, and it was a tremendous effort on their part to organize and lead the Kwantlen MUN event in addition to preparing for the WorldMUN in Melbourne all while carrying-on with their full-time studies.”  

The team’s passion for the value of MUN events as an opportunity to develop practical skills led the four students to organize KPU’s first-ever Model United Nations Conference from February 22-23, 2013, at KPU Surrey.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.


For more information about this conference please contact:
Joshua Mitchell
Director, Student Engagement
Tel: 604-599-2474

For more information about Kwantlen, contact:
Cara Johnson
Media Specialist
Tel: 604.598.6196