“All over the world, there is an effort to bring down the consumption of fossil fuels and increase the use of alternative sources of energy. Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. But it has quality human resources. If provided with financial support, Albania is confident that it can also contribute immensely to research, development and conversion projects for finding replacements for fossil fuels with alternative sources of energy,” stated Lakshmi Menon, a 2nd year student at the Amrita School of Engineering.
Lakshmi was participating at a model United Nations conference. This particular conference was at the Young Leaders Global Enclave organized by the PSG College of Technology during January 28-31, 2009. These model conferences are designed to give participants an understanding of the workings of the UN and the issues that face our world. Lakshmi was asked to represent the Republic of Albania. The forum was the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the topic — Economic Aid in Facing Challenges of Climate Change.
“I had opted for India, otherwise China or Japan,” shared Lakshmi later. “But when I was asked to represent Albania, I welcomed it as a unique opportunity to learn about that country and the global problem of climate change. I did most of my research using the Internet. I discussed with my friends and took guidance from my teachers. I pulled my thoughts together and wrote the position paper, which I had to submit before the conference began. It was a pleasant surprise when I learned that this position paper was judged the best paper among 63 submissions.”
Lakshmi’s classmate, Devi G. Nair also participated in the conference. “It was a unique learning experience,” she shared. “There was not one dull moment during the four days. We attended several forums, we learned how the proceedings are conducted in the UN, we heard talks on issues such as climate change, education, global health care, human rights and poverty. There was a dress code too, women had to wear saris, men wore suits, this served to underscore the formal nature of the proceedings.”
Added Lakshmi, “N. Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu newspaper was the chief guest at the inauguration; it was good to have this opportunity to hear him speak. Three final year students from our college, Namitha Varma, Indu and Sindhu Vijayan, also attended. We all also participated in the model General Assembly were the arms race and global terrorism were discussed. We also attended the model Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that focused on the ongoing economic recession in the world. It was a fun experience and we learned so much at the same time.”
Read the winning position paper
March 15, 2009
School of Engineering, Amritapuri