The 8th installation of the UST Model United Nations (UST MUN) continues its virtual approach, which started last year amidst the beginning of the new normal. This year, UST MUN 2021 channeled the theme: “Championing International Collective Action: Mitigating the Multisectoral Adversities of COVID-19 Through Effective Global Health Governance.”
UST MUN 2021 concluded last Saturday, March 12, and was accommodated by around 80 Filipino youths from different universities and organizations from the Philippines. The introduction of UST MUN began with a fruitful discussion by Dr. Joel Buenaventura, MD, MPH, and Mr. Robert Dominic D. Gonzales, MD, RPH.
Opening guest speaker, Dr. Joel Buenaventura MD, MPH, tackled Global Health Diplomacy in the time of COVID-19. He issues out that health became more political as health is becoming a global public good and focus of foreign policy; thus, necessary interactions and negotiations among the government arose because of the virus. He further discussed health cooperation as seen through donations, resource mobilization, participation in clinical trials, the surveillance of COVID-19 cases, and vaccine security and access.
In closing his talk, Dr. Beneventura asks the audience of UST MUN 2021 to reflect on the theme that health is not just the single global health governance, but everyone affected.
The UST MUN 2021 also highlighted a discussion on student-leadership in times of crisis by Mr. Robert Dominic D. Gonzales, MD, RPH. He discusses the evolution of student leadership pre and post-pandemic, how the new normal has affected students, and how student-leaders addressed these issues.
“Students may experience challenges with their online classes and academic requirements due to their environment. This puts more pressure and irregularities in their learning process.” Mr. Gonzales states as he addressed the role of student leaders in the pandemic, stating that student leaders must be reactive, proactive, and understanding.
The three-day simulation of the General Assembly Council, Economic and Social Council, and the Security Council Committee Sessions targeted delegates to embody their country’s foreign policies and channel international collective action into producing inclusive resolution papers.
The event ended on a high note as the adviser of UST MUN 2021 and the Asian Studies Society, Asst. Prof. Jan Michael Denila, MPS, reminded the participants of UST MUN 2021 that:
“You did not come here to debate; you came here to know more about yourselves. It is not just looking at who we are; and it is looking at who we are with others. Not above them, not below them.”
The team behind UST Model United Nations 2021 extends its gratitude towards the participants, organizational partners, and media partners who have aided in the success of USTMUN 2021. UST MUN also urges the youth to be proactive in diplomatic and international affairs as today’s world becomes more interconnected through the global health crisis.
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