Student triumphs at Model United Nations conference

Hassnain Safdar

23 April

An Aston student has proven his political prowess yet again after being showered with plaudits for his performance at a Model United Nations (MUN) conference.

Hassnain Safdar was one of six Aston students to take part in the KU Leuven MUN conference 2015 (KULMUN) at the University of Leuven in Belgium last month. He was awarded Honorary Delegate status by the event organisers for the clarity and confidence of his arguments and the way in which he conducted himself during debates. 

Model United Nations conferences are simulations of the work of UN institutions, with students taking on the role of diplomats and officials representing the interests of different countries. The conferences often imitate current real world events and socio-political situations. Students must develop strategies, negotiate, solve conflicts and prepare detailed resolutions. 

At KUMLUN 2015, Hassnain was selected to act on behalf of Russia in the UN Security Council during a debate on the activities of terrorist group ISIS in Syria and Iraq. He was charged with evaluating the US-led coalition against ISIS from his country’s perspective, condemning the use of military force and vetoing further air strikes in the region.   

The discussion also centred on promoting and developing education in the two countries to counter the rise of ISIS and empowering women in the Middle East. Hassnain, the captain of Aston’s MUN team, recently organised Women Empowerment Week at the University and fully contributed to the discussion. 

Fellow Aston student, Hibo Abdurahman, was present at KULMUN 2015 and was also awarded an Honorary Delegate accolade for her active participation during the conference. The second-year Business and Maths undergraduate represented the UK in the mock UN Disarmament and International Security Committee. 

The second-year Optometry student said: “It was a pleasure to be involved in this year’s KULMUN conference, engaging with some of the most important and complex challenges currently facing international governments and institutions. I feel like I’ve definitely now got a much better understanding of the UN’s work in mediating and resolving conflicts in the Middle East and the scale of the THREAT posed by terrorist organisations, such as ISIS, in the region.” 

In the past year, Hassnain has made a consistent impact at a series of MUN and Model Arab League conferences, winning a number of awards and being invited to an exclusive celebration of the UN at the Moroccan Embassy in London. 

In the future, he hopes to be able to combine his burgeoning experience of international affairs and the skills and understanding accrued from studying Optometry to engage in the improvement of eye care provision in developing countries. 


For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or