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Aston student wins several UN debating accolades

Hassnain Safdar

2 March 2014

Excellent debating skills and a series of persuasive arguments has earned an Aston student awards and honourable mentions after attending two Model United Nations conferences. 

Hassnain Safdar was one of seven Aston students to take part in the Belgrade International Model UN (BIMUN) conference last month and he attended the London International Model UN (LIMUN) in February. He was noted by event organisers for the clarity and force of his arguments and for swaying debates in his favour. 

Model United Nations conferences are simulations of the work of UN institutions, with students taking on the role of diplomats representing the interests of different countries. They must develop strategies, negotiate, solve conflicts and prepare detailed resolutions. 

At BIMUN 2014, a university level conference hosting 400 students from around the world, Hassnain was selected to speak on behalf of Russia in a Security Council Crisis Committee on Security and Development in Africa. 

The students were given a hypothetical terrorist attack in Algeria to discuss and resolve. As Russia, Hassnain and his two co-delegates were named Best Delegation and he received an honourable mention for his work in the debate. 

It was a pleasure to be involved and I am very proud and humbled to have been awarded several accolades. 

Hassnain, a first year Optometry student at Aston University, said: “Being a part of both MUN conferences has been a great experience. They give you a real feel of the pressures and responsibilities UN diplomats and officials face and they highlight the vital work the UN does throughout the world. It was a pleasure to be involved and I am very proud and humbled to have been awarded several accolades. 

“I hope I can now develop and continue to use some of the skills I’ve learnt, such as the ability to speak in public, problem solve and build consensus, while studying at Aston and in my future career.” 

Hassnain also participated in LIMUN, the biggest MUN in Europe. During the conference he was asked to represent Cameroon in the UN Development Programme, which aims to cut 1999 global poverty levels in half by 2015. 

Negotiating with the 80 other student delegates in his committee, Hassnain managed to pass a resolution on international urbanisation standards which he devised and put forward. He was granted an honourable mention for his conduct in the discussion. 

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For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or j.garbett@aston.ac.uk