By San Boromeichan
The first Cambodian-Thailand Mock Bilateral Meeting was held by students majoring in International Relations on September 14 at the University of Cambodia (UC). Dr. In Sophal, political science instructor at UC, led the mock bilateral meeting and trained students for the event. Over one hundred students from the morning and afternoon sessions participated in the mock bilateral meeting.
|International Relations students assumed the role of diplomats |
in the mock meeting, under the guidance of UC instructor, Dr. In Sophal.
The topic of the mock bilateral meeting was “Cambodia Labor Immigration in Thailand,” and the meeting aimed to propose some solutions to existing problems between Cambodia and Thailand. The meeting procedures were set up to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with students participating in an official discussion, signing ceremony, luncheon, and photo session.
Students were divided into three groups: the Cambodia party, the Thailand party, and the protocol team. For each of the parties representing Cambodia and Thailand, nine students were selected to serve as delegates. The roles they played included the role of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Senior Minister, and Ministers from various ministries.
Through this experience, students learned how to bridge classroom theories into practice and were able to explore diplomacy, negotiation, and national interests. It was an exciting opportunity for students to build their capacity as future leaders and policymakers, and was a valuable learning experience.
According to Dr. In Sophal and several students who participated in the event, the mock bilateral meeting was very productive.
|Students from the Cambodia Party and Thailand Party posed for a photo session as part of the mock bilateral meeting.|
Dr. In Sophal said that he was very satisfied with this first mock meeting because all of the students worked hard to make the event a success. In the future, he added, he is planning to host a “Mock ASEAN Summit” at UC that will allow students from others majors to come and observe the proceedings.
Eung Kimmuyly, a Term VII student, played the role of Minister of Commerce and said that she had a very positive experience in the meeting.
“It was a good start and I have learned a lot. . .from it,” she said. “Next time I would like to suggest that a judge give comments and constructive feedback. . .[to the students] on how they are doing in their roles.”
Another Term VII student, Lor Chhayseng, said that he learned a great deal from the experience and from playing the role of the Minister of Economy and Finance. He learned how to deliver a formal speech and how to dress appropriately for a formal business event, among many other skills.
Many students who participated in the event said they look forward to participating in future mock ASEAN or UN meetings, and are especially interested in the Mock ASEAN Summit that Dr. In Sophal is planning to host at UC in 2012.
Source: UC Bulletin September 2011, Page 25