Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) students Abdallah al-Kuwari (SFS ’17) and Hessa al-Dosari (SFS ’17) attended the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) general conference. They accompanied Qatar’s delegation to the event and witnessed global negotiations and discussions first hand.
A forum for international co-operation, the IAEA works with 168 member states and worldwide partners to promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology. The GU-Q students attended this year at the invitation of the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW), a standing committee at Qatar’s Ministry of Defence.
The conference, held at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, is an annual event where high-ranking officials and representatives from member states decide on resolutions which guide the organisation’s activities for the coming year. Al-Kuwari and al-Dosari attended the opening of the general assembly, sat in on discussions, and helped encourage other member states to elect Qatar to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for the next two years.
Al-Dosari particularly appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the political environment and witness the process of decision making on a global stage. “During the IAEA conference I had a varied role, which centred on representing Qatar at this prestigious conference,” explained al-Dosari. “My role extended to conducting research and writing reports on the positions of the other countries represented. I had to offer suggestions and personal thoughts on the countries’ nuclear proliferation stand. My final role was to lobby other member countries to vote for Qatar for the floating seat of governance, which I can proudly say that we won!”
“We are grateful to the NCPW for this tremendous opportunity awarded to Georgetown students to see international affairs in action,” said senior assistant dean for faculty affairs and research administration, Dr Kai-Henrik Barth. “Both students returned from Vienna with full of excitement; they got a glimpse of what it means to negotiate in an international context, and they also realised that their own knowledge of international politics can make a difference for Qatar.”
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