Dr. Farrukh Iqbal - Dean & Director IBA

Opening Remarks made by Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Director IBA, at the inauguration of MUNIK9 on January 12, 2018

Assalam-o-alaikum everyone,
Let me start by welcoming you all to the 9th MUNIK event here at IBA. MUNIK stands for Model United Nations IBA Karachi. We at the IBA are proud to host this event and are grateful to all of you for participating in it.

Let me extend a warm welcome as well to our Chief Guest, the Honorable Samar Ali Khan, Member of Parliament for the Province of Sindh.

This is the 9th MUNIK gathering. I want to reflect on this point a bit. For nine years in a row, different MUNIK leadership teams at the IBA have established a tradition. This requires a sense of the importance of continuity, of stability in leadership across different IBA cohorts and of pride in the work that is undertaken. I congratulate the organizers of MUNIK 9 and those that came before them for having established a tradition. Successful institutions live by successful traditions. MUNIK is one such tradition at the IBA.

What is MUNIK all about? Personally, I would highlight two aspects: public speaking and interest in international affairs.

MUNIK is about public speaking. Being able to speak in an articulate manner in public is an important skill. By participating in MUNIK and other similar events, you will build this skill. No matter where you go, whatever careers you embark upon, or wherever you travel in the
world, being skilled in public speaking will always give you an advantage. Effective communicators are also preferred by organizations as better negotiators, leaders and managers.

MUNIK is also about interest in international affairs. To some, the MUN format may seem very artificial. People discussing matters involving other countries, taking positions and making arguments about issues that do not pertain to their own daily lives or that of their own country. But you should look beyond the issue of immediate relevance. What MUN activities promote is knowledge of and interest in international affairs. You can only become a good advocate for your own country if you have an understanding of the interests of other countries.

We live in a global village now. Take a minute to think about this concept. Global means that the scale, scope and content of issues that affect us are global in nature. And the use of the term village is meant to refer to the fact that, just as in a village everyone knows everyone else and everyone's business is your business, so also in the world now, interconnections have grown so thick that every nation's business is our business and ours is everyone else's.
This notion is very well captured in a meditation by John Donne penned almost three hundred years ago. Let me recite a portion of it here as it is very pertinent:

No man is an island
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent
A part of the main...
Each man's death diminishes me
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls
It tolls for thee.

Most global issues now involve us all. The bell of climate change tolls for us all. If trade is restricted, we are all affected. If conflict breaks out somewhere, one way or the other the impact spreads to other areas as well.

Keep the notion of a global village in mind as you participate in the various activities of MUNIK9. International affairs are no longer neatly separable from domestic welfare and prosperity. The more knowledge we gain of international affairs and the better able we are to participate in international fora to discuss global issues, the better prepared we will be to manage the impact on our own country, our own city and our own village.

Thank you for your attention.