Youth Leaders Take On Energy and Climate Issues During Model IRENA

Local youth leaders gathered in Abu Dhabi today to take part in the first-ever programme exposing youth to the inner workings of IRENA. The Model IRENA programme simulated the IRENA Council, one of the Agency’s principal governing organs. Roughly fifty students participated from New York University Abu Dhabi, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, the Petroleum Institute University and Research Center, United Arab Emirates University and Heriot-Watt University in Dubai.

The students and young professionals of today are the experts and leaders of tomorrow. The Model IRENA programme was designed to educate and engage motivated youth on the world’s most pressing energy challenges, and the central importance of international cooperation for a sustainable energy future.” – IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin

Model IRENA delegates take a vote.
Model IRENA delegates take a vote.

Yesterday’s event modelled the actual procedures of intergovernmental bodies, including country interventions, open floor debates, negotiations, and bilateral and multilateral side-meetings. Participants assumed the role of IRENA delegates and presented their country’s position on two topics: renewable energy and climate change, and the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy deployment. Participants proposed many innovative solutions to the world’s rising energy demands such as: knowledge sharing and cooperation between countries, the utilization of new business models for local energy services, IRENA’s potential to help countries set renewable energy targets, educational initiatives, industry and country vulnerability assessments, and finding sustainable ways to deploy renewable energy.

 “Model IRENA was a unique experience for me to develop diplomatic skills, enhance my communication skills and experience the work in an international organization setting.” – Sarah Bawazir, Khalifa University, representing Germany “I’ve been involved in a few other youth modelling exercises, but Model IRENA was more than just modelling, because members of the IRENA Secretariat were actively involved and working with us. The Model IRENA experience felt very authentic.” – Norbert Monti, New York University, representing India

Model IRENA delegates take a vote.
Julia Zubko, representing Saudi Arabia

The simulation exercise was preceded by four preparatory workshops including an IRENA experts day, a debating workshop, a visit to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a final mock-up exercise to help participants prepare. Event pictures

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