The Amazing Race 4.0

Last weekend, I participated alongside Meera Shah and Malaika Colaso in the Fund a Child’s annual Dar es Salaam Amazing Race. I had competed in the previous year as well with Malaika, finishing in 4th place and was incredibly impressed with how the group managed to improve the event and make itĀ even moreĀ fun and inclusive.

The three of us travelled around Dar es Salaam including to multiple destinations in town which was a really great experience. It kind of disappointed me how I realized that although I do venture off the peninsula more than most of my friends, I really cannot consider myself familiar with town. It’s unfortunate to have such a connection to a city and yet realize how that connection might not be so valid… Nonetheless, it was amazing getting to run around an area much more bustling and vibrant than Masaki or Mikocheni for a day at least! Fund a Child’s leaders did a really great job in creating a fun and exciting way for students at IST especially to get to know their city better.

Along with this appreciation for my surroundings, I was able to enjoy a morning of fun and healthy competition with a great workout! Malaika, Meera, and I finished in second place earning both a set of phones and incredibly sore muscles for the next couple of days!


Creativity, MUN

DARMUN Preparations!

I’m incredibly excited to share the news that I have been selected to be the delegate of Russia to the Security Council in this year’s DARMUN Conference! First of all, the Security Council is seen as being one of the most competitive and *insert word* committees making it quite difficult and exclusive to get into and practically confirmed that the debate will be interesting and lively. Secondly, Russia being a veto power means that, not only is a very prestigious role, but I will also be able to make myself a critical member of discussion.

The two topics being debated (and my policy statements so far) are as follows:

  1. Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destructionThe Russian Federation sees the possibility of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as an issue of extreme concern to be dealt with seriously and immediately. A WMD is defined as a chemical, biological, or radioactive weapon which has the ability to cause widespread death and destruction. Currently, there are no terrorist groups in possession of nuclear weapons however the United States has confirmed a suspected chemical facility in southern Iraq and the disappearance in 10g of nuclear substances from the Iraqi government is leading officials to suspect that it could be in the hands of the Islamic State, posing a genuine threat to member states.
    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government has been adamant in their determination to reduce their stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction as well as protecting the world from the threat of nuclear terrorism and war. Russia is scheduled to complete the dismantling of their chemical weapons by 2020 and currently has 8,000 nuclear warheads, 3,000 of which are scheduled for dismantling. In terms of the physical protection of their nuclear assets, customs units and common economic space between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have minimized the possibility of nuclear materials finding their way to the black market. Most recently, Russia has been determined to strike the issue of ISIS achieving nuclear weapons by bombing campaigns.
    Despite these efforts, the threat remains. Russia believes that the most important points to focus on would be the physical protection of stockpiles (including transportation), stricter end to corruption, improved security in terms of border control, as well as honouring agreements established in the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. In order to do these, there is a significant need for funding and international communication.

  2. Strengthening international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows resulting from criminal activities
    The Russian Federation maintains that in order to strengthen the global economy, international cooperation in terms of combating illicit financial flows resulting from criminal activities is absolutely vital. Currently, the black market is estimated to value US$1.81 trillion including profits from prostitution, the illegal arms, drugs, and animals trade, etc. In the modern age, technology is proving to play a significant role in terms of the flow of assets.
    The Russian Federation has made a commitment to attack this issue on a more domestic scale in order to overwhelm the root of most of the illicit financial funds. This can be seen through their commitment to anti-corruption measures through the National Anti-Corruption Plan and National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Along with this, a blow to the supply and demand of illicit goods such as drugs or prostitution has been a priority of Russia seen through stringent legislation against these commodities.
    Russia believes that the next step is to encourage international cooperation in order to decrease the accessibility to the flow. This should include regular meetings to establish a basic and agreed upon method in order to react to situations as well as improved communication between member states to not only recognize greater issues but also assist one another in resolving cases of large-scale illicit financial flows.