MUNPlanet: Saying that we are excited to meet you would be an understatement. Please, introduce yourself and your forum to our community.
Hi, I’m Shy Rabbani and I am the Director of Partnerships at the Global Diplomatic Forum. The Young Diplomats Forum is the programme I am the proudest of. I thoroughly look forward to meeting and welcoming new delegates to our ever growing international community every year. We are a young organisation, and we have successfully established our name by working with leading organisations and governments in organising thoughts-provoking platforms. Every year, we have over 3000 delegates to our different programmes from over 175 countries. we work with more than a 100 partners from the leading organisations in this world such as the UN, world Bank, the European Union world economic forum, etc. The contribution of some of our programmes such as the prevention of sexual violence in conflict, energy access and diplomacy in the Middle East is recognised globally.
MUNPlanet: One of the aims of YDF is to recognise, enhance and develop the next generation of diplomats. How crucial is it for our future that the next generation is diplomatic?
For us it is on the top of the agenda. Our future generation need to capitalize opportunities for their countries in terms of trade and security and the common challenges for the world such as climate change, terrorism and poverty. We are in challenging times and the next generation of leaders will need diplomatic knowledge and skills to deal with the global issues ahead of us all.
MUNPlanet: Participants of the 2016 edition of YDF will have the honor of learning from some of the world leading experts. Could you share some names with us?
Simon Anholt, Quinton Oliver, Herman Van Rompuy, Lord Hannay and many many more. Each YDF attracts leading speakers and experts.
MUNPlanet: In order to have a brighter future, it is important for the youth to be informed about current events in world politics. Why should every student attend YDF?
It’s not just for students, half of are delegates existing/practicing diplomats or working in international NGO’s and Think tanks. The Forum has succeeded to bringing together a wonderful group of bright individuals from across the globe to expand the Young Diplomats Community.
MUNPlanet: For all of those that wish to become diplomats in the future, what are some ways in which YDF will directly help them step further in achieving this goal?
Encourage global interaction amongst young diplomats and leaders – forming new contacts ad networks
Raising awareness of different perspectives vis-à-vis different topics in international affairs among participants – increasing their knowledge and skills
Promoting appreciation of differences in opinions in international affairs matters
Boasting diplomacy in its traditional way and its track II as the way for conflict resolution
Drawing a picture of the future of diplomacy from the young leadership perspectives
- Creating lasting friendship amongst young participants from across the globe
MUNPlanet: YDF offers its participants practical sessions and workshops, something regular schools, unfortunately, don’t think about often enough. How important would you say it is for the youth to acquire practical knowledge?
The forum is structured on real life situations in which participants have to represent themselves and discuss topics with real ambassadors, real politicians and real experts. Issues are discussed from angles of real actors’ representatives including governments, media, thinks tanks and politicians. For that, the forum discussions are based on conferential style with speakers and delegates exchanging views and discussing in an open debate. The richness of the discussion in terms of information and presentations of different views and perspectives justifies the structure and contributed to the success of most sessions.
MUNPlanet: You call your participants future leaders, and diplomacy and international relations are the main point of interest. But what academic background does a perfect participant of your forum come from? Does it have to be a student of international relations?
Any academic background, but with proven leadership aspirations.
MUNPlanet: One of the things on your agenda are exciting field trips. What beautiful things will your participants get to see and experience?
Aside from visiting key institutions in the country, we will organize cultural aspects to the event. Taking them around some of the most beautiful places found in Zagreb.
MUNPlanet: The fact that Zagreb has some very delicious food is not a secret. What are some things that the participants should try while in Zagreb?
Sir i vrhnje – cottage cheese and sour cream
There’s a really fun and popular song about a farmer called Janko from Zagorje County, a Croatian region near Zagreb. The song says that he should hurry up and get on a train to Zagreb. After all, he won’t miss anything once he gets there, not even food products that are typical of his land, starting with cottage cheese and sour cream. A combination of the two has become a symbol of local cuisine for both Zagorje County and Zagreb
Cuspajz – meat and vegetable stew
Knedli – sweet potato dumplings
505 s crtom – typical Croatian candy
MUNPlanet: Your forum centers on the youth. And what does the youth like more than socialising. What do you have planned for your participants in this department?
The entire forum is centralized around the group coming together and building lasting international friendships. We always find that the group develop strong friendships from the start, which helps with their workshops and team presentations, through to the social/cultural events we have planned during the week. Beside the workshops and sessions, there are tours around the city and free time for delegates to socialize outside of the programme.
MUNPlanet: What impression would you like your participants to leave your forum with?
As 1 delegate said to us: Thank you all for making this week one of the most memorable of my life. The knowledge and personal experience shared by all of you has greatly enhanced my knowledge and I'm truly grateful for that. I feel so privileged to not only have visited such high profile places but to, more importantly, have spent a week with such intelligent, kind and formidable delegates from all over the world.
The Young Diplomats Forum has already established a homogenous group of bright friends committed to global understanding and diplomacy as the way of conflict resolutions.Shy, thank you for devoting your time to MUN Spotlight and telling us more about you and your forum. MUNPlanet is looking forward to your event and strongly advises all MUNers to check it out. Good luck and we wish you all the best!