More than 1,800 students from over 80 international schools and 36 local schools, representing 87 nationalities, are attending the sixth annual The Hague International Model United Nations (Thimun) Qatar conference which formally opened at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

The three-day event is organised by Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Qatar Academy schools and Thimun Foundation. The participants engage in a simulation of the UN, designed to educate them about current world events, topics in international relations, and diplomacy.

They take on roles as diplomats, discuss and debate international issues, and then develop solutions to the challenges facing the global community through imitation sessions of UN committees, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly.

The ceremony was officially opened with the flags procession led by participating student delegations. Thimun Qatar secretary general Ahmed al-Hajari welcomed the delegations. The opening ceremony was also attended by ambassadors and UN diplomats.

Netherlands ambassador Bahia Tahzib-Lie described Thimun Qatar as 'a fantastic event where students are taught leadership qualities and given the opportunity to openly practice those qualities.

Buthaina al-Nuaimi, president of Pre-University Education, QF, recalled that the Thimun conference is now in its sixth year.

Students have been preparing for nearly five months, conducting sessions and carrying out research in order to be able to represent their countries. They will be given the opportunity to participate in a variety of committees addressing a number of topics, including disarmament, human rights, and the environment.

Additionally, the Arabic Committee will be running for the third time, allowing students to debate in Arabic, while the French Committee will be launched for the first time this year.

Thimun Qatar regional office was created as a joint project between QF’s Qatar Academy schools and the Thimun Foundation, an affiliation programme to develop high quality MUN conferences throughout the world.