And the International Version...
THIMUN, in The Hague, is the largest MUN there is. ASF was there. By Rina Kawakami, ASF Junior
O Raúl Scorza spoke during the opening ceremony of ASF MUN 2011.
Or, it could be viewed by not knowing how long your family is going to go without eating, or whether you’ll be rescued while you wait on the roof of your tsunami-torn house or whether you are a mom counting the days and the years to see your son’s face after he has been abducted and turned into a child soldier. It doesn’t matter what your perception of time is, what matters is that we all share the same minutes, the same hours, the same days. We all exist in time together. And as I speak to you this afternoon, the clock continues to tick away the opportunities for acting in the real world. In some cases, if we don’t take action, those opportunities will disappear. Now, I do realize that we can’t just walk out of here today and start saving the world, individually, overnight. But individual choices do make a difference. Individual choices mark the difference between indifference and action. Individual choices mark the difference between being mere spectators or witnesses of genocide, world hunger and wars, and being part of the solution. Even though I know individual action cannot solve these problems alone, I prefer to be part of the solution rather than to be part of the problem. We are a very privileged group of people; we have the opportunities at our fingertips to change, to act and to work for a better tomorrow. My friend Raul ended his speech yesterday, asking the question, “How long?” I answer, “No longer!” The time is now to make a change in our character. Well, the time is now to love and not hate. The time is now to find opportunities to lend a helping hand. The time is now to work for a better city, a better country, a better continent, a better world. The time is now. Thank you.
n January 22, full of pleasure, nine students and two teachers left for the Netherlands to participate in The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN). We had prepared eight of our own resolutions related to the topics which were to be discussed for five days, from January 24 to 29. Since this is the biggest MUN, more than 3,000 high school students from across the globe attended to discuss the current issues. I personally was looking forward to this conference since I’m interested in international relations. Eight students from ASF represented Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an island in the Caribbean Sea that gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1979. One student, who was selected to become a member of the Advisory Panel on the Caribbean Islands, represented Cuba. I joined the General Assembly first committee (Disarmament and International Security). We discussed four topics: peace and stability in West Africa, measures to fight the spread of terrorism in less economically developed countries (LEDCs), perspectives on ending the embargo on North Korea and towards a nuclear-weapon-free world and accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments. We had the entire first day of the conference to create resolutions. I joined with 20 delegates to create the resolution on ending the embargo on North Korea. We came up with several points for our three-page resolution: • Strongly recommending that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) resume attending the six-party talks immediately, and engage in diplomatic bilateral talks with all other member states of the UN. • Strongly recommending ending the embargo because it affects the majority of the people in DPRK, who get less food and fewer resources which worsens the humanitarian situation in the DPRK. • Encouraging the DPRK to become a signatory of the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons. • Giving aid to the impoverished population with the help of organizations such as, but not limited to, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Development Fund, the World Food Program and the World Health Organization. Three resolutions on this topic were discussed. Ours passed with the majority. Besides helping me understand the details of the current issues, and how they can be solved, the conference built my public speaking skills, and brought me the courage to speak in front of people in English. This is my second year here at ASF, and the first time I have studied in an American school, so I was so anxious about spending five days in discussions with so many people. But the great experience I had in The Hague made me forget my worries. This conference proved that every person has the right to speak with courage even if he or she is not a good English speaker. As I mentioned before, I have been speaking English for only two years, but I was really proud of myself, and I had many opportunities to state my points in front of lots of people. After the conference, we traveled to Amsterdam. We ate pancakes and sampled Indonesian and Lebanese cuisine. We also visited museums. The one that I really liked was the Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank was living and hiding with her family during World War II. They were a Jewish family and were escaping from Nazi Germany. She wrote a diary while she was living there, and it showed how many fears and worries she had. She died in 1944 due to illness when she was in a concentration camp. On the last day, we went on a canal cruise and observed the original buildings and houses in Amsterdam. After that, we took a train to the airport and left at 2:35 p.m. to go back to our sweet homes in Mexico City.
The nine ASF students who traveled to the Netherlands to participate in the The Hague International Model United Nations took time out for a group photo in nearby Amsterdam. Left to right: Nicolas Ferezin, Stephen Cadena, Victor Balcazar, Claudia Marmolejo, Carolina Madero, Alide Flores, Klaus Matrajt, Rina Kawakami, Humberto Ibarrzaba. Left: ASF student Rina Kawakami, who only started learning English two years ago, stands to make a point at THIMUN.
Focus Spring 2011: The Green Issue