Stretford student shines at mock UN summit

Messenger Newspapers: It's good to talk - Suleman Shabbir It's good to talk - Suleman Shabbir

STRETFORD resident and Abbey College Manchester student Suleman Shabbir shone in the spotlight of a high-pressure UN summit recently, where students from six top Greater Manchester schools were locked in talks over the global issue of sustainable energy.

Suleman, aged 16, of Erlington Avenue, took centre stage in the model United Nations event, hosted by his school and organised by the Geographical Association of Manchester.

Eleven teams replicated the high-pressure environment of a UN General Assembly and the student ‘diplomats’ debated the global issue and concept of 'Sustainable Energy for All'.

Students were asked to represent the views of their ‘country’, reflecting that country’s national interests rather than their own personal opinions on an issue.

The assembled delegates were locked in talks on the international lack of access to modern energy sources, the importance of energy in development and the environmental consequences of energy use.

The purpose of the popular annual debate was to develop students’ skills in everything from leadership to teamwork.

The challenge for students was to gain as much as possible for their particular country from the negotiations and the eventual resolution.

Eight students from Abbey College took part in the event, split in to two teams representing Bangladesh and Iran.

Suleman represented the views of Iran in the debate and he said: “This debate was a fascinating and really enjoyable experience and the atmosphere on the floor was electric.

"Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the carbon intensity of energy is a key objective in long term climate goals.

“Negotiations took place between each of the countries, deals were struck and a final resolution was thrashed out, voted on and passed.”

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