This year’s theme dealt with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda. This theme was appropriate as 2015 is the deadline for reaching these set goals. The aim of the conference was to build awareness about the MDGs and the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals among the youth.
Part of the conference is the MUNSAU debating competition. Teams aim to reach the MUNSAU 2015 national championships. This year, UP representing Venezuela placed third, second place was awarded to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) representing Russia, and first place went to UP’s team that represented Nigeria.
The conference also aimed to strengthen relations between universities in South Africa. In attendance were the University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University, NMMU, Waterberg FET College, Unisa, the University of the Witwatersrand and UP. Other attendees present were the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the United Nations Information Centre, the South African Institute of International Affairs, and representatives from the embassies of Croatia, China, Colombia, Fiji and Indonesia.
Celma Cainara Manjate da Costa, a third-year political sciences, student said that, “It [the conference] was beautifully organised and the food was on point. All the delegates felt worthy of partaking in the event as all the necessary care was taken to accommodate us all. The Unasa team and volunteers did a commendable job in running a smooth operation and left nothing to be desired. Overall, [it was] a great learning experience and interaction among the different universities present.”
Shamiso Khupe, undersecretary of MUN, said that, “The MUNSAU conference helped put the university on the map as this is the third time the national MUN conference has been held at UP. Most of our attendees were from international organisations and embassies, [and] they were very impressed with the ability of a student society to pull off a national conference of that magnitude.”