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Head to Head: A Spirit-ed Debate




“Forbidden Fruit” in The Hague OPINIONS -


Friday, February 1, 2013 - MUNITY - 1 Euro

THEME-UN: Are We Sustainable? Maia Alfaro Balboa Academy Ellen Smith Grange Schools


t this year’s THIMUN conference, the theme was “Energy and Sustainability.” Surely the aim of the theme is to inspire the delegates to be more aware of the environment, the impact man has upon it, and the power each of them has to initiate change. To what extent have those present at the conference been affected by the theme this year? Despite the intention to focus on making the world a better place, it is interesting to think about whether or not THIMUN has encouraged the delegates to take any real action.

Mr. Nick Francis, MUN Director from the International School of Nice, is disappointed by the lack of action taken by the conference’s organizers themselves. In light of all of the paper and plastic packaging that is “forced upon the students”, and given the conference’s theme, he finds it absurd that they would not at least include recycling bins in the lunchroom. Mr. Francis also believes that kids are at this conference to develop skills and add to their CVs, rather than to become genuinely concerned about the topics discussed. “People here are probably going to give a speech about recycling and go on to buy a coke in a can, and I see many people are leaving things around,” laments Mr. Francis. “It just makes you wonder: are they really taking the issue seriously?”

Tamara Bastaki, American School of Kuwait


Stuck in your forum? A look into the rooms of THIMUN OPINIONS - PAGE 3


ust a heads-up, we will be starting in about 12 minutes.” At 10:18, McKenna Tucker, the Secretary General of O-MUN, alerted all guests present to the highly-anticipated event about to occur. Directors and delegates alike filed into Antarctica, and were led by O-MUN representatives to various computers. Skype chat noises filled the air, frantic last minute typing was heard from

to say about the “the need to take action in five years” was a critical message. Since the students and delegates that are here are the ones that will be able to really make a difference and enact change, the director is glad that they had the opportunity to listen to the informative and impassioned speech. The Deputy Head of Admin staff from Gym Novum, Siert Maessem claimed that after the speech he felt “a changed man, a better man.” He is not sure what he is going to do with his new awareness. Casper Dek, Head of Admin staff from Gym Novum, on the other hand, began to say that the keynote speech had changed him, but then stopped and confessed that “Honestly, no. It didn’t really change me.” Bhupinder Singh, GA1 Ambassador from Gymnasium Haganum, made an opening speech of his own, which was greeted with less praise than Mr. Benoit’s. In an attempt to redeem himself after a disappointing review of the speech in Wednesday’s edition of MUNITY, Singh expresses his concern with the state of the world today. “If we’re like this now, in twenty or thirty years we will have a problem unless we take action.” He also noted that since he was already conscientious about the environment, there will be little change in his behavior after the conference. He explained that he already eats organic foods and uses energy-efficient lights. MUN Director Ms. Renata

Loza from the Colegio Americano de Quito also comes from a very environmentally conscious community. Her school takes a “real interest in the topic” and hosts many eco-friendly activities. She is glad that THIMUN has brought more awareness to this universally pressing issue. This is in contrast to a couple of unnamed delegates from Turkey, who pointed out that in their home there is little concern with the environment, and they will be taking THIMUN’s valuable message home with them. Wesley Moncrief, delegate of Kazakhstan from Weisbaden High School, has also found the experience enlightening, and will likely return with ideas for improvement. He is particularly alarmed by the lack of public transportation in less economically developed countries. “It’s really cool to see people working on ways to combat how screwed up the world is,” he said with a smile. It is undeniable that the state of the environment is among the most important issues in today’s world. THIMUN’s attempt to draw attention to this matter has had a variety of impacts. To some, the theme was irrelevant, simply a necessary title given to the event. To others, however, it was eyeopening and inspiring to see such a large conference dedicated to the global fight against the devastating effects of man on Earth. Some will leave the conference unaffected by the message, and others will hopefully go on to spread it.




Will you catch it? PAGE 3

O-MUNiscient Debate Suh Young Choi Mont‘Kiara Int. School

Mr. Alexandros Stratis disagrees. “It is much more than that. Kids get to understand their world,” says the Assistant MUN Director from the Greek school Ekpedeftiki Anagennisi. He believes that it is just as important to pay attention to the issues themselves as to developing skills, and says his students now seem to be thinking more about recycling and alternative forms of energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines in Greece, their country. They were already environmentally conscious, but the theme of the conference has made them more aware. The theme did, in fact, affect those delegates who are regularly discussing the environment in their commissions, such as Ipek Guney, delegate of Somalia, who is in the Environmental Commission and is constantly surrounded by talk of mankind’s impact on Earth. Meanwhile Felix Bartel from Schule Schloss Salem regrets that he was unable to talk about the environment “at all,” because it doesn’t relate to the topics discussed in his commission, Human Rights 1. The effect the theme had on Bartel was a product of Mr. Philippe Benoit’s keynote speech during the Opening Ceremony. Mr. Benoit’s speech seemed to stand out more than anything else. Mr. Adam Pierce, MUN director of the International School of Fountainbleau, described it as “incredibly impactful.” Mr. Pierce believes that what Mr. Benoit had

all corners. At 10:30, however, the room fell silent as O-MUN’s first Demo Debate at THIMUN ’13 finally began. O-MUN, also known as Online Model United Nations, is an innovative program that runs MUN debates online for those who are unable to physically participate in conferences, such as THIMUN. Having received an invitation to take part in THIMUN ’13, the O-MUN team decided to conduct its first ever “demo debate” at the conference. Although a similar procedure took place at the Qatar Leadership Conference

in September of 2012, Audrey Cabral, the Director of O-MUN’s Community Outreach, pointed out that it was the first time OMUN’s “demo debate” had taken place at an MUN conference. “O-MUN’s demo debate is exactly like an in-person debate – except it takes place online”, explained Cabral, stating that with such an effective example of OMUN procedures, the team hoped to “get the word out” on the evergrowing student organization. Although at first glance O-MUN’s program, flashing-up on the computer screens across the room,

The annual THIMUN dance.

A preview of the closing ceremony



seemed complicated and difficult to facilitate, most guests got the hang of the procedure in no time. In fact, the online debate was strikingly similar in many aspects to the debates that take place in reallife conferences. Instead of having face-to-face contact with the chairs or admin staff, delegates were able to communicate with the debate’s moderators through a single click of the different emoticons available. For instance, a hand symbol indicated that a point of information was in order, or, during the first few minutes of the demo debate, reading time commenced for

all participating delegates to take time and review the resolution being debated. Ten minutes into the demo debate, the O-MUN team experienced a problem. Although the moderating chair had called twice for the main submitter to take the floor, there had been no response. Fortunately, the delegate connected shortly after to the debate and a main submitter speech was provided. The O-MUN director present, Ms. Lisa Martin, explained that since students from all over


Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013


Mariana Domingues, Carlucci American Int. School Vicky Liu, John Burroughs School


Suh Young Choi, Mont‘Kiara Int. School Nora Stai, American School of Paris Charlotte Smith, ACS Hillingdon

REPORTERS Zeina Abu-Hijleh, ACS Amman Maia Alfaro, Balboa Academy Jack Blethroad, John Burroughs School Gabriella Ciemny, Zurich Int. School Michel de Jong, Gymnasium Haganum Megan Johns, Grange Schools Antoine Lebrun, Int. School The Hague Nicole Lester, British School in the Netherlands Tiffany Mauth, American School of Paris Katelin Quanbeck, Brussels American School Thomas Rososchansky, ACS Hillingdon Anna Soer, Lycee Francais Vincent v. Gogh Ellen Smith, Grange Schools Alice Tow, Ellesmere College Irene Yu, Pacific American School


Noah Lehrecke, John F. Kennedy School Berlin Victoria Pairet, Int. School Brussels Tyler Payne, Int. School Beijing James Roh, Int. School Beijing


Tamara Bastaki, American School of Kuwait Tomas Clarkson, British School in the Netherlands Christina Lennartz, John F. Kennedy School Berlin

People’s Stance on the Dance Gabriella Ciemny Zurich Int. School


wo rooms blaring music from a DJ while students crowd around dancing and partying. Who wouldn’t have fun at the THIMUN dance? For more than 20 years, the THIMUN committee has ended the week with the THIMUN party. In the past several years, there has been on average a turnout of about 1,500 students. Mrs. Irene Crepin, one of the directors in charge of running the dance, explained a little bit about the reasoning behind the event. Although she was not here when THIMUN first began hosting dances, she explained that the dance gives students the opportunity to, “get to know each other in a social context.” The dance creates an informal setting for students allowing them to mingle with friends from their school, but also socialize for the last time with new friends made here at THIMUN. For many first time “MUNers,” they are uncertain as to what to expect from the dance. Louis Dillies, from ISP, stated, “I have not attended the dance before, but I am looking forward to it.”

Mateo Crowley from St. Andre Dublin School explained his feelings towards the dance stating, “I’ve never been before. I kind of want to see what it’s like, it could be some fun.” One of the big questions students are asking is how much fun will the dance be? For some students like Omar Naguib from George Washington University Online High School, he has heard that the dance was, “rockin.” However, after speaking to some students at the Secretariat, I heard that the dance was the “lamest thing ever.” They were saying that there was too much space having two rooms, so people were quite spread out. However, although some viewed the dance as being lame, Daniel Benkhoff head of Admin from the Deutsch International Schule den Haag has a unique opinion. He stated, “Everyone thinks the dance is lame, but everyone ends up going. I think it will be lame, but I will go.” Students seemed to agree that they thought the dance was a good way to see

new friends they made for the last time. They also thought that the dance was geared more towards a younger crowd. Some students observed from previous years, that younger students seemed to have more fun and really enjoy themselves. However, Conor Rooney an Admin from the American School in the Hague said, “I heard a lot of people leave at ten or eleven to go out.” Although many students do leave early to go out with friends into the city, others have a strict curfew, and students are unable to go out into the city with friends. With that being said, the dance is a great way to accommodate everyone. Therefore, everyone has a different opinion on the dance based on your personality. Some will go and really enjoy themselves while others could have an awful time. However, like Anna Boermann, an Admin Staff Secretary, from the Deutsche International School den Haag said, “You can’t participate in THIMUN all week and not go to the dance at the end.”

changed to please the taste of the teens, “We sell a lot more junk food during THIMUN. The french fries are especially popular.” Sara, a good-natured waitress at the Novotel restaurant, mentioned, “With more people, comes more work. Sometimes it’s stressful because they [MUNers] all want to eat together with their friends—it’s a lot of people to serve at once. We have to be very fast and efficient.” There is no doubt a great difference between a lone congressman or lawyer dining quietly and a large group of rambunctious teens. “It’s definitely a lot more work; for me it means more mess to clean up,” agrees Hendrick, a janitor in the World Forum. With an optimistic tone, Clare adds, “We know in advance that January is a very busy month because of THIMUN, but we look forward to it.” The lively attitude, positive energy, and irreproachable manners shown by the THIMUN participants only bring out the best in the employees. Looking back, Sara recalled how messy the Novotel restaurant used to be after serving delegates, “It’s much better now than 10 or 11 years ago. The students are very polite and they come in shifts, which makes my life so much easier.” It seems all workers agree on one thing: the MUNer’s display excellent man-

ners and are extremely polite and friendly. “It is a pleasure to have such well behaved young people around; also, it’s an interesting change from the usual,” reflected Clare. “To be honest,” stated Ruigeok, “the students are less trouble than the adults. We have not had any issues, like smoking in the bathrooms which, although forbidden, is a problem during congress meetings.” Hendrick sums up the general feelings amongst the workers regarding THIMUN, “Why would I complain about better business? During this week I work more and get paid more. It’s great!” exclaimed Hendrick. So, THIMUN seems to be a definite bonus and thrill for all the workers. Beaming with glee, Sara expressed her complete appreciation and admiration, “I love having THIMUN here. These kids are our future and it makes me happy to see them doing something for a better future. If I can do something to make their day happier or put a smile on their faces, that’s what counts.” The fact is, the workers couldn’t enjoy THIMUN more. This reflects the reputation and hard work expected in the conference. The participants evidently live up to the ideals of MUN and this is clear through the workers’ opinion.

The Worker Bees’ Buzz Tiffany Mauth American School of Paris


veryone knows that feeling of dread that comes from the realization of the stack of dishes left after having guests over. There is no doubt about it, enjoying the company of friends and family is something anyone would look forward to; but how about the extra work it requires?

place can leave one with something not far off from a terrible/ agonizing headache. It takes a lot of effort to assure a spick and span welcoming for your much-awaited guests. So how about preparing for THIMUN? A gathering of about 4,000 people definitely requires extensive time and energy from a multitude of workers. THIMUN is made up of a plethora of committees, each requiring a room for debate and all

Christina Lennartz, J.F.K. School Berlin

Vacuuming and tidying the rooms, the bedrooms; polishing mirrors and stove tops; wiping the crumbs off the table; not to forget, that essential vase of flowers and quick spurt of air freshener. Making certain that nothing is left out of

of which are spread out among different buildings. In fact, because THIMUN is such a largescale conference, not only is the World Forum involved, but so are several hotels, which are primarily the Bel Air and Novotel. Without

the ever patient hotel and forum employees, none of this would be achievable. But the question is: how do they feel about this event? It’s the little things we take for granted that are often times the most indispensable parts of THIMUN. The employees’ work is critical: clearing the tables, providing food, cleaning, ensuring functioning heating and lighting, and last but not least, serving coffee, which for many of us is the reason we still find ourselves up and running this far in the week. Putting aside their pet peeves, the workers of the various venues that make up THIMUN accept a teenage invasion of their workplace, usually filled with congressmen and lawyers. Yet, there seems to be an unwavering sense of pleasure from behind the scenes. We couldn’t ask for kinder, more devoted employees. Although the employees asked for their last names to remain out of the issue, after speaking to them personally it became clear that these are people who love their job, even considering the extra work to be done during THIMUN. As the World Forum receptionist, Ruigeok, explains, “We have many more questions regarding the location of committees, the lost and found, and printers.” Clare from the snack bar recounts the lunch orders, which must be

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013

O-MUN Post THIMUN Depression: It’s Coming! Suh Young Choi Mont‘Kiara Int. School CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the world were participating, time zones needed to be taken into consideration and could cause delays. Once this obstacle was dealt with, however, the debate continued to run smoothly, thanks to the passionate involvement of international delegates and the helpful attitudes of the O-MUN representatives. Overall, this demo debate represents a milestone achievement for the OMUN organization. Cabral eagerly claimed that people from “literally all over the world” were able to take part in MUN through to such opportunities. She stated that within the O-MUN team at THIMUN itself, there were students from places as diverse as Lebanon and Israel, coming together to provide easy access to debate for students without the ability to travel. O-MUN believes that all student should have the right to debate whether physical contact is possible or not, and wishes to share this mindset with the rest of the MUN community.

Thomas Rososchansky ACS Hillingdon Zeina Abu-Hijleh ACS Amman


s THIMUN slowly closes in to its melancholic end, delegates, chairs, admins, and MUNITY press alike are all attempting to enjoy their final day here in The Hague and trying to deal with saying goodbyes to old and new friends they have met here. For those of you who do not know, there is a specific term for what we’re talking about: Post THIMUN depression, or P.T.D. for short. This is the specific name for any THIMUN-goers who suffer the abominable time of no longer being a part of THIMUN. Although it may seem like a joke, many delegates go home and are immediately reminded of reality through school, friends and teachers. This simultaneously reminds them that they are also no longer enjoying the banter during speeches or notes, writing out resolutions and preparing to kick some serious butt at debates. Post THIMUN depression isn’t only about not being in THIMUN, it’s also about losing your title, being stripped of the identity you have assumed for a week, and once again becoming boring, old… you. Many delegates who are returning this year are aware of the prob-

lems they will have to face. The Ambassador of Uzbekistan, Miles D. Dean from Kent Denver School explains Post THIMUN Depression: “You know the flu? It’s like that, only times a thousand”. MUNITY carried on asking him about how long it took to recover. “Years” he coldly said before shuddering at the thought of not being a part of THIMUN. Moreover, others have additionally felt the terrifying effects of Post THIMUN depression, Nils Van Willigenburg, a delegate from Zurich International School representing Bahrain, graphically detailed Post THIMUN Depression as feeling “like being hit by a truck”. Unfortunately, for Nils as well, he only recovered “by mid April”. The one word many found to describe Post THIMUN depression so far has been “hell”. For many of these delegates, not only do they have to return to school, they also have an unreasonable amount of catch-up work to do. Many of the delegates will agree that the depression which attacks most delegates once they feel the absence of THIMUN is not helped at all with being thrown back to their desks and basically forcing themselves to work as hard as possible for the sake of completing all of their work. New THIMUNers and old ones are all susceptible to PTD. After asking many delegates what they would miss most about THIMUN, we found out that “the cra-

When in Rome

Thomas Rososchansky ACS Hillingdon


or many people all over the world, an essential key to life is human connection; the making and strengthening of relationships, and finding links between people to create new friendships. This may be the reason why the international delegates who come from all over the world for THIMUN change their accents depending on who they speak to. The reason behind this is because a familiar accent seems friendly. Everywhere you go in THIMUN, you will find all sorts of unexpected accents. There may be a delegate giving an opening speech right now who was born and raised in Turkey, but has a more American accent than any of the delegates in the room who are actually from the United States. Somewhere else, another delegate is rewriting their resolution and practicing it with a Spanish accent, but they were born in Korea and raised by a Dutch family. And why is that? Is it the culture these people have been thrown into that shapes how they speak? Is it who they are surrounded by at that particular moment in time? Accents are extremely important in regard

to how people connect with others; this is evident in THIMUN, as one of the most important international youth conferences in the world. Understanding why accents change all comes down to human psychology. Psychologists from the University of California claim the human accent is constantly shaped by the environment and people around a certain person. People mimic others’ accents in order to familiarize themselves with others or even gain their trust as “one of them”. The human brain tends to imitate the speech patterns of those around them in order to find some connection or create a “bond”. There’s a lot of evidence that internationalization of accents occurs all around the conferences. Tarrio Ayande Magubare, a South African who attends the Marymount International School and a delegate of Moldova in EC1, explained that, “a lot of people say my accent is not South African, but a mix of different things.” When asked why she thought her accent may change or take attributes from other accents, she said “it’s to enter the community, to make yourself a part of peoples’ groups.” GA3’s delegate of Somalia, Ata Ege Nalbatoglu, from the

zy people” are going to be missed quite a lot as well as new friends that were made, debating, and of course, the stroopwaffels. PTD is not just caused by missing things from The Hague though--it’s much more complicated than that. As soon as delegates, teachers, MUNITY, chairs, admins, and anyone else involved in THIMUN go home, they will usually will be slammed by a pile of work. Many delegates have college applications, homework, and extra-curricular work to return to. Although it is a lot of work, it is impossible for anyone to say that THIMUN is not worth the extra work that they put in. The people that THIMUNers meet, the cultures that they are exposed to, the experiences, and most importantly the minds that are opened are what make THIMUN worth every second of debating and catching up on homework. Ole Krutnes, an admin from GA2, said that there is a “great mixture of individuals from different cultures.” Because of this, usually in every first edition of THIMUN, there is a map to show where the schools attending THIMUN come from. It’s amazing to think about the distances traveled and how different our homes are and the fact that despite it all, at the end of the day, we come together and collaborate in a mind blowing conference. Unfortunately, PTD does not have a quick cure--you will have to wait it out. Most students who still

attend school the following year do end up coming back to THIMUN. It is very rare for someone to have an experience so bad that they don’t want to come back. If you’d like to wean yourself off of The Hague slowly, you could take some stroopwaffels and chocolate with you back home so that you can still have a bit of The Hague with you when you go home--wherever home may be. You can also add the friends you made in THIMUN on Facebook to keep in touch with them; you never know if you will end up going to the same college with someone you met in THIMUN. Finally, you can talk to the people who came with you to THIMUN from your school about all the experiences and memories that you’ve created together.

Tomas Clarkson, British School in the Netherlands

Uskudar American Academy, was born in New York and moved to Turkey when he was 7 years old. The cause for wanting to change his accent more may have come with age, Nalbatoglu suggested, saying “when you’re a baby, you don’t experience the culture as much but in your teens you absorb more.” Therefore, wanting to change your accent may also be measured by how aware you are of the environment and how willing you are to be a part of this culture. A survey was distributed randomly around the GA3 conference asking if any of the delegates’ accents had changed since they began their experience as MUN delegates. 63% of the delegates replied that their accents have strongly changed whilst 37% said their accents remained the same. Clearly, there is a large number of people who believe their accents still have not changed and are not impacted by the stream of international students THIMUN receives. Ollie Hirschfield from Hayleybury College, a delegate of Cambodia, said that in his case “you try to keep your accent to stand out for your country.” Heidi Anderson from St. Andrew’s College was asked if her accent changed from international experiences and replied, “I

Tamara Bastaki, American School of Kuwait

think it actually got stronger.” So there is evidence that many delegates have actually gone against the current in this situation, and actually attempted to stand out more by keeping their accents. Although there may be some studies that refer to the brain’s subconscious change to being more international, others clearly find the need to stay representative of their homes and therefore find themselves speaking with a stronger accent rather than diversifying like others. The conclusion to this mystery resides in dual answers. For instance, admin Christoph Winzer from the British School of Neth-

erlands, explained that he can “speak in a British accent, but depending who I talk to I can really easily slip into an American one.” But for his fellow admin, Ross Baillie from the same school, he told us his South African accent rarely changed. When asked why he could not justify it, he replied, “I don’t actually hang out with the South Africans in my school.” So for some cases the best form of making connections is to delve into a community through transforming accents, but for some others the goal has been to stand out, showing off a national pride that will be remembered.

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013


Megan Johns Grange Schools


n a Thursday morning, in one of THIMUN’s largest committee rooms, the atmosphere was certainly extraordinary. The General Assembly Committee 2 was filled with eager delegates, prepared and ready for another long day of discussing and debating. Members of the admin team rushed from row to row, collecting and distributing the various note paper that was being waved frantically at them from various delegates around the room. However, the admin team were not the only ones who were busy on this Thursday morning. Advisors, directors and members of the press filed in and out of the room frequently, wanting to experience the enthralling atmosphere that had been created by the dedication and enthusiasm of the delegates. Martin Goff, a member of the Advisory Board at THIMUN, who was initially just passing through this committee room, stopped for a moment to watch the events that were enfolding. On this particular Thursday morning


the debating topic was concerning the “role of the UN in the development of power in the context of a globalization and interdependence,” and this issue certainly seemed to capture the imagination of the delegates. Placards were waved enthusiastically on many occasions by delegates desperate to take the floor and demonstrate their potential and establish their position in the debate. Amid the apparent excitement, there is also a sense of competitiveness too. Each delegate wants to stand out and demonstrate why they have been selected to represent a particular country at this prestigious conference. However, watching the debate from the back of the room, it was clear after just minutes who were the most confident and capable delegates in the room. The delegate of Bahrain, Jack Espe commented that the Bulgarian delegate was particularly strong because he was a “good speaker” and was able to answer questions directed at him “efficiently.” It is understandable that those delegates who are able to communicate their ideas most clearly and effectively are those who are most likely to do the best at THIMUN.

Special Conference 1 and 2 Katelin Quanbeck Brussels American School


Anna Soer, Lycee Francais Vincent v. Gogh

Security Council Katelin Quanbeck Brussels American School


n a tiny room labeled Central America, heated debate has been taking place all week regarding issues vital to global secu-

rity. The Security Council consists of five permanent members— the People’s Republic of China, France, USA, United Kingdom and the Russian Federation—and ten elected members—Azerbaijan, Argentina, Australia, Togo, South Africa, Guatemala, Republic of

Christina Lennartz, John F. Kennedy School Berlin

Korea, Morocco, Pakistan, and Luxembourg. These countries are debating issues such as the question of Somalia and the matter of the conflict in Syria, working together to come up with a peaceful solution to the issues in question. “The best of the best are representing their respective countries here in the Security Council,” said Matthew Albon, delegate of the Russian Federation and student at the British School of the Netherlands. “With all the strong debaters, the discussions have gone great this week.” In their debates so far, the members of the Security Council have discussed resolutions regarding the conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Libya. “It’s great when there’s agreement,” added Albon. “But it’s when there is conflict that the most exciting things happen. And since we are the Security Council, conflict tends to break out a lot.” Although disagreements can be intense, the Security Council is not without its lighter moments.

Between days of concentrated debate and painstaking alliancemaking, the delegates have found the time to write notes that, when passed by the admin, have brought smiles to the faces of the members of the Security Council. “I know somebody got a note with a drawing of a nuclear attack,” said Andro Mathewson, a delegate for the USA and a student at Schule Schloss Salem. “But he was just kidding, and most of the jokes have been constructive. I think the chairs are pleased with us.” As the conference draws to an end, the members of the Security Council plan to finish their debate on the question of Syria and continue their discussion over the question of Libya. “Things have been going well—we haven’t had too many veto threats, and countries have at least tried to work together,” said Martijn Swartbol, Deputy President and a student at the British School in the Netherlands. “I assume they’ll go the same way on the last day.”

he Question of Securing Equitable Access to Rare Earth Elements” and “The Question of Promoting Awareness of the Importance of Sustainable Energy When Creating Jobs” were only two of the numerous issues being discussed in Commissions 1 and 2 of the Special Conference. Located in the Amazon and Mississippi rooms, the SPC 1 and 2 are in charge of discussing topics that pertain to energy sustainability, helping LEDC’s, and regulating gas and elements, which their delegates have done with perseverance all week. The topics discussed in both SPC rooms aim to encourage environmental awareness and efficiency, and discuss how various improvements will be able to help us in the future. “Given the constructive air of our debates so far, I’d say that we work together well to find good solutions,” stated Gurcon Gulesoy, Assistant President of the SPC 1 and a student at Lycée Francais de St. Joseph d’ Istanbul. “I believe this is an important commission because it’s helping us improve what we have now, and promote more global efficiency,” said Veronica Mena, a delegate in SPC 1 for Croatia and student at Brussels American School. “Even though some of the topics discussed will require a lot of money, it seems as though it will be worth it in the long run.” Despite the seriousness of several issues being debated in the SPC, the sessions have not been without their humorous moments. “It’s always entertaining observing the tensions between the very serious delegates and the not-so-serious delegates. It’s generally enough to keep us awake during some of the more dull discussions,” said Karl Lonsdale Primus, a delegate to SPC 2 for Greenpeace, and a student at ACS Hillingdon. As the week draws to a close, both commissions of the Special Conference are looking forward to passing their final resolutions and wrapping up a week of encouraging, well-structured debate. “Even though strong speakers get the upper hand in debate a lot, it seems as though the less-strong speakers can get control if they have a solid argument and good reasoning” finished Primus. “It’s been a good week.”

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013

What’s Everyone Thinking About Your Room? Zeina Abu-Hijleh ACS Amman

Human Rights Commission: -Funny -Clap a lot -Use a lot of metaphors

Security Council: -Interested in subject -All notes are subject related/no social notes

ICJ: -Very serious -Very kind -Work very hard

Environmental Commission: -Half are into the conference and half aren’t -Same people talk -None of them agree

GA3: -Serious debates -No humor

GA5: -Loud -Funny -Offensive

GA6: -Chilled out -uninterested -Relaxed -lazy

GA2: -Chaotic -Sleepy -Uninterested

Special Conference: -Good at debating -Like sustainability

GA1: -Mostly guys -Very critical -Don’t pass resolutions easily -Most want to go to business school

GA4: -Conflict between US/Israel and other countries -Many scientists -A lot of British people

ECOSOC: -Funny -Inappropriate notes -Quality -Stop it -Sleep a lot in commission

Christina Lennartz, John F. Kennedy School Berlin

Closing Ceremony Preview Irene Yu Pacific American School


ust four days ago, delegates swarmed into the World Forum Center, feeling nervous about their opening speeches and barely able to find their conference rooms within the chaos. Four days later, delegates are ready to say goodbye to each other, ready to face their Post-THIMUN-Depression. Today will mark the last day of THIMUN, a conference that will be unforgettable for many delegates. Before delegates take planes, trains or automobiles back to their homes, they will all gather this afternoon at the World Forum Theater, joining the closing ceremony that the Board and Student Officers have worked hard on. Although it still required a huge effort, the Board stated that preparation for the closing ceremony was not as hectic as for the opening ceremony. “The closing ceremony is pretty much all planned and organized by the student officers themselves,” says Ms. Irene

Crepin, the Conference Manager at THIMUN. Yesterday at 13:00 pm, the ambassadors of each country met up at the World Forum Theater to practice walking their flags, and to make sure that nothing goes wrong. They are to be separated into six groups and come in from different doors within the World Forum Theater with colorful flags, joining the countries together in one room. “I think it is important for an event to have an opening ceremony, to set the tone of the conference and introduce the event and a closing ceremony to congratulate and thank everyone for participating,” says Mr. Alain Meidinger, one of the Co-chairs of the THIMUN Board. For those who have been to THIMUN before, the ceremony will not be very different to those of previous years, since it represents a tradition of the conference. “The closing ceremony will pretty much be the same as in previous years. The only new thing is the amazing student officer team on stage!” remarks Mr. Meidinger. On top of the enthusiastic atmosphere that the delegates will

create this afternoon, the Board has invited the band “Dutch Caribbean” to perform at the closing ceremony. With the colorful flags flapping behind the student officers and the drums vibrating in the room, the ceremony will no doubt be a grand and exciting closure for the delegates. “Our goal is to make the room feel festive and noisy!” says Mr. Meidinger. This year, THIMUN will also be providing funds for ‘Practical Action’, a non-governmental organization that uses technology to overcome poverty in developing countries. Through technology, the organization hopes to enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions; transforming their lives. (To learn more about the organization, visit


DAVIMUN Press Release On the 13th and 14th of April 2013, the Da Vinci College in Leiden, The Netherlands, will host its second annual session of DaViMUN. The theme of the conference is “A World in Crisis” and the debate will focus on various on-going crises such as Europe’s debt crisis, the world’s financial crisis, and the Syrian and Malian conflicts. Upcoming crises will not be forgotten either, as debate will also concern issues such as the earth’s carrying capacity, population aging, cyber warfare, and the environment. The participation fee

for DaViMUN is €50. This includes 2 lunches, participation in the Touristic Programme in the city of Leiden and access to the DaViMUN party. Housing is free and will be provided if necessary. Registration forms and Student Officer application forms can be found on our website More information can also be found on the site or you can email us at Be sure to register soon because school registration closes on the 8th of February! We hope to welcome you at DaViMUN 2013!


Le Munde

Friday, February 1, 2013

Le Munde

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Photos by MUNITY photographers

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013

Closing Ceremony Preview Cont’d Unlike the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony will not include any guest speakers. However, chairs from each committee will make short speeches about what happened in their committees throughout the week. The International Court of Justice, led by President Damla Ozdalga, will also summarize the court cases. Finally, Secretary General Thomas Evans will present his closing remarks and his words to all the delegates, congratulating them and giving them advice for future conferences. “The conference this year went really well and all the student officers kept to the schedule. I’ve seen delegates passing great resolutions and participating in lots of successful debates and amendments,” says Evans. Evans also reveals that THIMUN will mark his last MUN conference. Although reluctant to accept the fact, Evans believes that his MUN career has been helpful in building his character and skills as an individual. His advice for future delegates? “Get into it, enjoy it and you will be able to take things as far as you want!” He is excited about the closing ceremony this afternoon and hopes that delegates are satisfied with everything and enjoyed this week’s conference. So, get pumped for a fun and final gathering of delegates, student officers, directors, and staffs and don’t forget to take pictures for unforgettable memories at THIMUN 2013!

What Made THIMUN Worth It? Nicole Lester British School in the Netherlands


HIMUN opens a door for the chance to meet new people, get involved in debates and witness a few embarrassing moments throughout the week which leads to the creation of great memories that will last a lifetime. There are some moments during THIMUN that seem to be memorable for many of the delegates. The flag walk and the opening ceremony have imprinted itself many of the delegates’ hearts including Mina Haugli from Skagerak International School who said, “The opening flag ceremony with the great speeches and the choir singing was my most memorable moment.” The feeling of success from a passed resolution raises spirits and for many will be a moment never to be forgotten. Tom Hartmann (Bonn International School) felt “the passing of a co-submitted resolution concerning the mutilation of women for which I spoke in favor of and listening to Korea’s opening speech in the opening ceremony” earned a place in his most memorable moments. To many, simply the debating was enough to form a memorable moment. Alexander Wolf from The American School in Switzerland said “The most memorable moment of my week was the debate every day as it is a perfect way to understand how the real UN works and it has really inspired me to look further into the UN.” During the half day on Wednesday many delegates received the opportunity to visit embassies including the delegate Ciara Haba, (American School of Valencia) who had the pleasure of

meeting “the ambassador of El Salvador.” Others felt the tediousness of the debate perhaps a little overwhelming as Taty Akiko (Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest,) found that “delegates fall asleep during debating and continuing to sleep for most of the day” Was a sight that will not fade away. On the lighter side of THIMUN, different approaches to opening speeches seemed to be popular among delegates. Divya Jethwani (Dubai International Academy) said that “The use of funny analogies and karaoke during opening speeches and debates was my most memorable moment” and Nicole Johnston (Atlanta international school) agreed by adding “listening to the funny analogies that were used in speeches in order to make them more interesting” were the most memorable moments. Embarrassing moments have left delegates with red faces and unforgettable events. Note passing throughout THIMUN can be a bit tricky if one takes a break from the seriousness of a debate as the middle man admin gets to look over the notes one passes. Sarah Axelsen, from the Herlufsholm Kostsleole confirms that her most memorable moment was “getting caught trying to send a flirty note by the admin.” Divya Jethwani (Dubai International Academy) shares a similar situation with the ADMIN staff witnessing “inappropriate content”. Not only do the delegates contribute to the embarrassing moments but chairs also play a part. Delegate Yasmin Khalil (Nicolaus-Cusanus-Gymnasium) said the best moment for her this week was “when the chair spilled her water over her laptop!” The memory of many delegates has been fading and contributed to

the list of embarrassments. Sophie Elizabeth Black’s (International School of Berne) memory failed and created that embarrassing moment many wish to avoid as she said “Going up to make a point of information and forgetting what I was going to say was my most embarrassing moment”. Jasper Kamradt, (John.F.kennedy-School)

in the process. On the slow and dreary early mornings ADMINS were entertained by a small game of cards, followed by a small nap from time to time. Also, the rebellious act of playing music through the speaker for ADMIN’s such as Suzanne Ros (British School of the Netherlands) became a memorable moment. For the Head of A D M I N, Fe d e r i c a Fe l i c i a n i , the moment she would take away from THIMUN that embarrassed her greatly was “during voting Tamara Bastaki, American School of Kuwait procedure found “that the awkward moment I pulled the cable from my walkyduring a debate, when you get a talky which filled the room with text and the sound of it is like a white noise”. During the conferdying bird,” was an embarrassing ence, ADMINS and delegates moment he will not soon forget. tend to drift from the debate and A popular quote among fe- notes become a means to bring fun male delegates is “pain is beauty”. to the conference. Ed Price (British In THIMUN, this is definitely School of the Netherlands) told taken into account concerning the story of how he convinced the footwear. Anastasia Schev (Bril- delegate of DPR Korea to think lantmont) applies it to her week he was a girl and gave him his perfectly as she tells her embar- number. Not only will this remain rassing moment was “Walking a funny story to tell over time but down any flight of stairs because perhaps texts will continue to reof how long it takes but you have mind him of the memorable moto suffer for beauty”. Stephane ment for him in THIMUN. Paterson (The Grange School) Participants of THIMUN learned the way of Karma as she have all endured their fair share was “laughing at someone falling of cringe worthy events or created up the stairs and subsequently trip- memories that they will take away ping on the stairs myself.” with them back to their home The ADMIN team receives country. Even though THIMUN an overall view of the delegates is coming to an end and it’s time allowing for chances to see and to say goodbye to new friends hear everything that goes on in the made from all over the world, conference from notes to sleeping these memories will be cherished delegates and also many possibili- forever. ties of embarrassing themselves

Best Notes of the Week THIMUN would not be the same without Antoine Lebrun Int. School The Hague note passing. Serious notes always make their way to delegates. However, amusing notes lose their way, ending up in the hands of different delegates; mostly because of boredom or the need to entertain. The following selection of notes have been collected, and can be considered as some of the “best notes” of this year’s conference.

From ECLAC: “H ey good morning. I would like to talk to your boyfrie nd, where could I find him?”

From Adm Head of in Koro , Nikola o v put m ilas: “Can s y cla I u your resol se in ution ?”

public de From Re to Spain: la Guatema awake but y ta s y “I can’t tapped m ir a h -c o c e th ut her way o head on .” p u e me and wok

From Germany to Ukraine: U making me Kraizy

in: Adm world o t my tria Aus ights up way it m o l r e me F h N lse t MU akes THI obody e pied m now u t n From like me occ but righ an’t Fiji to c s d p I C kee helme m and an’t your d c w ad an a had: “Is o r I o e r , v o strona becaus the ’t solve n i u t e damn I’m e I can ku. y v o out of ou’re belie the sud Fro this ve l m o s w

to h alia ustr flirt wit A m t ’ a o on Fr ve : “D u ha Peru tine! Yo s Pale iend!” r y o b f


From Adm Greenpea in c have : “You s e to hould just a sked you w m that b anted the e if Sudo adly. ” ku

Ch hav in e Sev to go a to I en t r b forg oni ack to an: “I g o (do t my ht be Club c n’t lau bag an ause I gh) d coa .” t to From Sri Lanka ri Lan“S South Sudan: army s ou ka and its vici ” u! yo is coming for

From Senegal to Chair: “Your eyes are so divine please lock them with mine, your hair is so lush and dark. In my heart you light a spark. Your voice sounds like 1000 angels and as strong as 1000 Bengals. So honorable chair, ry to unga Would I do declare only with you my H m a: “ Fro From love I share.” Afric fine ‘torLesoth h t u So de o to So d “The d tione Fr uth Af ike to el you l was men rica: om Fr like to egate of Les as oth co a ture’ se?” of Sou ngratulate th o would o pia: “D nce to Ethiu th Afri a e l d c e legate in ca on a resolut c de ne just far id you guys io publi pain: e Africa n, however b xcellent R t? n myse e From ala to S just ble Because you lf, doe ing South but m go aga e e t k a a s u w c in a G la w me a my t stay Africa st the basis o use 9 not way.” I can’ air tapped n justic f the S “ outh e syste ut -ch o o c y e a m?” h w t r on he head ke me up.” o and w

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013

Spirited Debate Why alcohol should be present at the THIMUN dance Alice Tow Ellesmere College


T’S PARTY TIME GUYS”, shouted a delegate as he walked out of the World Forum on Friday afternoon last year. Finally, the long week spent debating, voting and listening to resolutions was coming to an end. Luckily for delegates, the week was not finishing on a tiring low; it was finishing with a bang (with alcohol to help?). THIMUN participants would come together to celebrate their new experiences and interact with new friends they made during the five day conference. But will the week end with a bang tonight? This year, the Board of Directors decided to stop all methods of purchasing alcohol in the closing dance. Yes that is right, not a single drop of alcohol will be available this year. Many of the reasons behind this decision are quite legitimate, such as the purchase of alcohol does not fit in with the concept of THIMUN and does not reflect its true meaning, as explained by Peter Loy, a Board member. However, does it not seem a bit over the top to ban a legal source of fun when delegates all over the globe have come to THIMUN to have fun? An anonymous delegate representing Lesotho said, “I think alcohol should be allowed. People should limit themselves and drink responsibly, but it is not the same without it”. This delegate admittedly has a point, would you go out to a party and drink nothing but Cola or Sprite? Most people in Europe do that in the day time rather than at night. The Alcohol Licensing and Catering Act of 1964 in The Netherlands allowed the minimum of 16-year-old teenagers to buy low alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine. It was introduced by the government to reduce the amount of strong alcohol consumed. This seems like a good way to help youngsters appreciate little amounts of alcohol, rather than abusing the law if they were allowed all types of alcohol at 18 or 21. Anna Belle Moenen, a Dutch student from the International School in The Hague, explained that she thought because young adults are allowed to drink alcohol at a younger age, they are less likely to drink vast amounts of alcohol at an older age like people living in Britain or the US. So if this law is so well thoughtout and actually proves that citizens from The Netherlands do not binge drink as

much as college students from the United States, why should low alcoholic beverages be banned in an organization that wants to teach young adults to be more responsible? Another delegate, who wished to remain anonymous, told MUNITY that because alcohol is so widely available in The Netherlands, it is unlikely that THIMUN people will go to the dance, but instead they will go to other places where they can actually drink. He told us that he has been to Qatar where alcohol is not as available as it is in Holland. It is also extremely frowned upon to drink or get drunk in a public place. So at the dance at MUN conference in Qatar, people have a good time because they know they have no way of drinking. The Qatar MUN dance obviously shows that fun can be achieved without any amount of intoxication. However, in a country that accepts drinking at a younger age, it is most unlikely that the people of THIMUN will make an appearance at the dance. This is a shame because the THIMUN dance has the potential to be well attended to create that positive atmosphere that THIMUN should reflect. Maybe instead of completely banning legal alcohol, they could just limit the amount of alcohol consumed, like allowing everyone to drink a certain amount. Maybe even letting people in who have been drinking before but not letting them drink inside. Surely there is a way to please both adults and teenagers when addressing the alcohol issue. And when both sides are happy, maybe the enthusiasm for the dance will increase and really reflect the ‘spirit’ed atmosphere of THIMUN.

Anna Soer Lycee Francais Vincent v. Gogh

Why Alcohol Should not be Present at the THIMUN Dance Jack Blethroad John Burroughs School


he THIMUN dance is a perfect finale to an exciting but challenging week at the conference. After five days of intense lobbying, debating, flirting, and sightseeing, participants need a way to unwind and celebrate their final night in The Hague before they return home. The dance, held Friday night at the World Forum, provides everyone with an opportunity to socialize and reconnect with all the friends they have met throughout the week, and even meet new people who were in a different room. With only one night remaining to enjoy the THIMUN experience, there is no doubt that everyone will try to make the most of it and let go. However, this year, the degree to which THIMUN participants can let loose is somewhat less than in past years. For the first time ever, there will be no alcoholic beverages served at the dance. And yes, that does include wine and beer. The decision, made by the THIMUN Board of Directors, to omit alcohol from the dance has certainly sparked some spirited debates at the conference this week. Although many THIMUN participants are taking a stand against this new rule, I agree with it and cannot imagine why it was not put in place sooner. Mr. Peter Loy, a THIMUN Board member, spoke with MUNITY about the decision. According to him, the Board determined that serving alcohol at the dance “contradicts what THIMUN stands for.” The Board has been considering the booze ban for many years. However, we were told that this year, the decision was made entirely independently from the proposed law in the Netherlands which would raise the legal drinking age from 16 to 18. In the Board’s opinion, the question of the “moral value” of selling drinks to young people at an MUN conference carries more weight than the question of its legality or health risks. Personally, I agree with the Board’s seemingly radical decision. Ostensibly, it may seem that the Board is a group of stingy adults who do not want to deal with a dance full of hundreds of delegates who have spent the evening drinking. I was surprised to learn that this is really not the case, and it is certainly not the reasoning behind the decision. In theory, it is not drinking that the Board members have a problem with. The true source of their inhibitions is the principle of them, the ones who have hosted thousands of teenagers and organized the dance, being the ones to provide the alcohol. Originally, I interpret-

ed this as being a way for the THIMUN Board to deflect their responsibility for participants who have become dangerously intoxicated or have gotten in serious trouble because their school groups forbid drinking. This, however, is not the way they feel. They explained that, in general, there have been no health issues with drunk delegates in the past. I imagine they also feel that it is the responsibility of the delegate to conform to their school’s specific system of rules. No, what truly bothers the Board members is that it is not their place to serve alcohol to young people (some as young as 14), and that it goes against the spirit of the conference to ‘indulge’ in such a way, especially when it is facilitated by the conference itself. This view is not only reasonable, but essential to the professionalism and prestigious reputation of this conference. To see if there were others who understood my side of the argument, I did some mingling during lunch on Thursday and asked ten anonymous participants how they felt about the ban. As it turns out, I am not totally alone on my views. A few delegates, who, like me, live in the United States, said that they were not especially upset about the ban because they were under 21 and could not legally drink anyway. However, one sheepishly admitted that he would have consumed alcohol had it been offered at the dance. To my question, “How do you feel about alcohol not being served at the dance?” another group exasperatedly replied “What! Why not?”After giving it a few moments of thought, they concluded that they could easily pre-game at some point before the dance and were somewhat less perturbed. Regardless of their stance on the issue, one thing that held true for all of the delegates I spoke to was the belief that THIMUN is not obligated to serve alcohol. Although some believed that they should serve it, because it is their legal right to drink in the Netherlands, they were able to understand why the THIMUN Board did not want to be the ones to provide it onsite. Whether you support the new ban or not, you will not be served any alcohol at the dance. Whether or not you decide to drink, ultimately, is still up to you. Although many participants are adamantly against the new rule and may try to protest against it, after speaking with the Board I can guarantee that the chances of it changing are very slim, as they seem to be very content with their decision. I am as well, because upholding THIMUN’s good name means moving forward with responsibility and integrity. Selling alcohol to delegates simply doesn’t fit the vision of this conference. However, I can be sure that the THIMUN participants will find a way to enjoy themselves, ending the week with a good time.

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013

Global Warming: What the Globe Thinks Thomas Rososchansky ACS Hillingdon


lobal warming; it is a subject that has increased in importance at an incredibly fast rate. From the very first signs, such as the hole in the ozone layer, to Al Gore yelling out in his Paul Revere-style to the masses, “The ice caps are melting! The ice caps are melting!” Being well-informed on this subject has become vital. But what are the opinions on global warming from around the world? What is actually being done by governments? Nationally, how do people approach it? Well, we’re glad you asked that, reader. Here at MUNITY, we focus on answering all of your questions and queries, so we asked around to update you on government policies towards global warming. Many countries’ governments do not worry about the future of their people regarding the environment, as they are far more concerned with other problems. Azerbaijani Aslan-Raan Mirzayev, from Baku-Oxford School in the

Environment Commission 2, explained, “Azerbaijan is a developing country; therefore, it’s now based mostly on the major issues such as developing its economy. Global warming and the environment are minor issues to us now and therefore we don’t care now”. In fact, there are several countries which have so far paid no mind to the devastating effects of global warming. Sung-A Lee from the Amsterdam International Community School, representing Tajikistan, is pretty aware of her delegation’s political stance on the environment, telling MUNITY, “Tajikistan is one of the developing countries. The topic of global warming hasn’t been discussed in depth yet. Not much has been done.” However, being from a more developed country, Sung-A went on to say, “Korea recognizes the danger and urges to reduce or stop it. They are working on developing and encouraging the usage of renewable energy sources.” Going to a school in the Netherlands, she also said the Netherlands is “one of the world’s widely known countries to use renewable energy sources. Such as, but not limited

to: wind, water and solar power.” John Santiago, from Lancaster Country Day School said, “My home country is the United States. Our current president has made one of his main goals to decrease the amount of negative effects commercial and private practices have on the environment”. Furthermore, Janina Dahl from Kathe-Kollwitz-Schule Hannover, said, “Germany is highly aware of the consequences of global warming and is very open-minded towards any solution regarding this issue.” Many countries which have been known as developed nations are now recently going through the straits of economic depression. Clara Haba, from the American School of Valencia, told us that her country was not up to the task of environmental care, saying “Spain is aware of the importance of this issue, although it isn’t one of their priorities at the moment, since they are actually struggling through an important financial crisis.” Therefore, the lack of money has rearranged their direct priorities, so that the nation of Spain may develop again economically to the point where they

are viable to perpetuate a plan for environmental improvement. Until now, the many problems which directly attack developing and economically struggling countries are enough reason to ignore the issue of Global Warming. This also may be due to the fact that developed countries which are in a more stable economic state have the availability to sustainably invest in projects worried about the environment. Nevertheless, there are many developing countries which have reached an economic stage where positive action to combat global warming has been possible. Chelsea Spampinato, from Hellenic Academy, explained how deeply affected her country was. “I am from Zimbabwe, which in the past years has experienced severe droughts. Kariba Dam was built in the 1990’s and produces hydroelectric power that supplied electricity to the capital, Harare! The use of this renewable source of energy has created a more sustainable lifestyle in Zimbabwe.” The developing countries’ success in protecting the environment is becoming more notable throughout the world, such as the popular-

ized public transport in the pedestrian city Curitiba, Brazil, and the building of the Three Gorges Dam in China. With the current issues that have been troubling countries, such as terrorism, financial losses, riots and war, the direct safety of the people is undeniably justifiable. However, what is concerning is that for many of these countries affected by their individual issues, there is not even a single major governmental focus towards some kind of environmental improvement. The effects of global warming are very real and compounding at a faster rate each day. Ironically, we the students are taught by these governments to constantly be aware of the environmental changes going on around us. How can we act upon it when those same governments essentially do nothing to impact the scheme of things? Leaving it to the more developed countries and pretending the problem is not there is not a solution, and hopefully, more countries will begin to change this attitude and embark on a journey to a greener planet. Graphic by Tamara Bataski, American School of Kuwait

“Forbidden Fruit” in The Hague For many, crossing the Dutch border means entering into a world with fewer restrictions. With the Netherlands’ young drinking age, those whose respective schools do not issue rules concerning alcohol consumption must confront moral decisions and face the subsequent consequences of their actions. Nora Stai American School of Paris An Opening Door: In comparison to many countries, Dutch laws concerning alcohol are quiet lenient; with a drinking age of sixteen, the Netherlands is one of the few countries where teenagers are permitted to consume and purchase alcohol. For this reason, Dutch cities, such as The Hague, become popular destinations for adolescents wishing to drink legally; such circumstances are reputed as often becoming quite delicate. “The fundamental problem,” explains Adam Willems, President of Special Conference, “comes down to foreigners visiting a country with more lenient laws and different products available than in their respective countries. In being from a country with laws that are radically different they are not habituated to the drinking age or what products are available. Therefore the situation can quickly become dangerous, as one can become quite reckless. This is something that must be considered.” It is therefore clear that with this new door opening, one is consequently exposed to a series of unfamiliar situations— circum-

stances in which one is expected to make responsible decisions. Ian Chase, the delegate of St. Kitts and Nevis (General Assembly 1) confirms that going from the American legal system to that of The Hague is indeed a difficult transition. Many are thrown into situations that they are not equipped to deal with, because of their lack of exposure to such situations. That being said, this disparity between nations’ cultural norms can create particularly risky situations. Just Because You Can: In being adolescents, we often experience both first and secondhand the infamous “Rebel Complex.” As President of the General Assembly, Adam Umemoto, stated, “We often engage in situations just because we can get away with doing so.” That being said, making irresponsible decisions when visiting a country that allows greater freedom is therefore a grave misuse of a privilege. Willems affirms that, “Drinking simply for the sake of being able to do so is always unwise.” In not being restricted by law, it falls to the individual to make the decisions concerning their actions. “Dealing with such situations ultimately becomes a big test of who you are,” explains

Umemoto, “Many of us have lived sheltered lives in the sense that we haven’t been exposed to situations that many Dutch teenagers would otherwise experience. In visiting The Hague, one steps out of one’s comfort zone; doing so without carefully considering one’s actions can quickly become quite dangerous, so it is important that you do not succumb to pressures.” A Mutual Contract: Despite the legality of being permitted to drink alcoholic beverages in the Netherlands at 16, many schools take concrete measures to ensure that their students follow the rules that apply to their school. In allowing students a great degree of freedom at THIMUN, schools commonly issue either explicit or unspoken contracts with the assumption that it is upheld. Many MUN Directors, particularly those from the United States, ask the students traveling to The Hague to sign a “Contract of Conduct,” stating that they will not engage in activities that are considered illegal in terms of American law. Thus with such regulations school rules dictate your ability to engage in many of the activities available in The Hague; the breaking of which can have serious consequences,

including suspension, and even expulsion. However, what many fail to realize is the risk one’s MUN Director takes: putting their professional career at jeopardy, they are faced with the dilemma of permitting their delegation a certain degree of freedom while still ensuring that they comply with school rules. “THIMUN is a special opportunity for students to socialize,” explains MUN Director, Mr. Ouriel Reshef, “We hope that our students will network at this conference, but in allowing unsupervised time, we ultimately hope that they live up to the responsibility and the trust to which we are assured.” In the end, there is a general consensus that MUN Directors hope that their students will uphold their contract, not out of fear of the consequences, but because they understand why they shouldn’t do it. “Similarly,” expounds Mr. Reshef, “One does not refrain from running a red light when driving (or so one would hope) because one fears that a police officer may be watching, but because one fully understands the reasons for which one shouldn’t do so.” A Personal Decision: As the legality of the action

isn’t a restriction for those whose schools do not have rules on alcohol consumption, the matter of indulging in the activities Dutch laws permit becomes a personal, moral issue. Alexandra Goffard, Deputy Chair of the General Assembly 6, affirms that it ultimately comes down to an individual’s choice: does one stay true to the country of one’s origin’s laws, or does one attempt to fully experience the culture of the country one is currently residing in? The delegate of Ecuador from Special Conference 1 explains that it “is generally accepted to follow the law of the country you’re in rather than that of your country of origin.” However, one might argue that it comes down to a question of morality in the sense that one may feel uneasy engaging in something that in one’s home country one is technically not permitted to do at one’s current age. According to Umemoto, “It isn’t a general moral or ethical issue; it ultimately comes down to if they view what they are currently doing as morally right or morally wrong.” Yet, as Willems, expresses so eloquently, “it is ultimately a very controversial and nuanced topic, with a case-by-case sentiment to it. One cannot generalize and make sweeping statements.”

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013

Be the Bridge You Wish to See in This World Suh Young Choi Mont’Kiara Int. School


n the outside, I am a South Korean, born in Seoul and the daughter of two Korean parents. I look like any other Korean girl, with straight black hair and dark brown pupils. When I visit Korea every summer, I even tend to blend in perfectly with the rest of the Korean population. However, such characteristics say barely anything about who I actually am. When people use these physical traits to define me, I become extremely confused and bewildered. As a 16 year-old that has lived in South Korea for three years, Singapore for two, and Malaysia for the rest, I cannot comprehend those who make judgments of others by first glance. I have grown accustomed to understanding the diverse backgrounds and experiences that truly define the people I meet. Having friends who are one sixteenth Spanish or have come to Malaysia after living in Alaska for their whole lives, I am a “third culture kid” that absorbs and accepts the beliefs of a wide array of acquaintances and nations. A clear presentation of how appearance has caused prejudices is with the question of whether or not I like Korean pop music (Kpop). Every time I express my dislike for the genre, I am met with looks of shock or disbelief. Although I take pride in the popularity Kpop has garnered, I personally do not like the music and do not believe that it adequately represents the rich Korean culture that largely remains undiscovered. Another example of how appearance has affected others’ perception of me is through the languages I speak. Many times,

Christina Lennartz, John F. Kennedy School Berlin

people have presumed that as a South Korean, I would speak or learn Mandarin, which is closely related to Korean itself. As such, when I reveal that I have been learning Spanish for over four years, people are amazed almost to the extent where they wonder how the feat is possible. By debunking the assumptions these people hold, I am also teaching them to realize that there are differences between people of the same race. Using my ability to recognize and accept differences from what is expected is essential in today’s rapidly developing world. I am thankful for the experiences I have had in not only Malaysia and Singapore but many other countries in between, such as Thailand, France and the Netherlands itself as well. They have helped open my eyes to the distinct beliefs of people that help distinguish them as unique individuals. Although I have been exposed to this kind of mentality, I also need to understand that others may not think the same way. Such a disparity in thought may cause conflict, but at the same time can also provide opportunities for learning by both parties involved. I am not the only one who can learn from and educate the people I encounter. All participants of THIMUN can be considered “third culture kids”, and hence, “mentors”, of the 21st century. We have been fortunate enough to take part in such events as THIMUN to interact with a multicultural crowd, and the knowledge we acquire should be put to good use. Rather than criticize those who do not understand the difference between appearance and actual identity, we have the responsibility of sharing our mindset with these people.

Transported Around the World Transportation in The Hague

completely flat country. Some might argue that the best public transport system in the world is that of Tokyo. With 40 million passengers a day, it is also the most used public transport system. The system is extremely extensive and well-organized. The subways are clean, a fact attributed to the Japanese culture by some, and the seats are heated. A delegate from Tokyo, Yurina Gomi, affirms the fact that the system is efficient, although she states that Wi-Fi spots at subway stations could be improved. She continues saying that she travels to school by train and by bus. With such an intricate system, it is not surprising that cars and other road-based private transport aren’t that popular in Tokyo. However, at peak hours, the Tokyo train system is so busy that people will literally be pushed into the train! This myth has been confirmed by Gomi. An intricate public transport system may depend on cultural factors. Some scholars have suggested the high use of cars in the US is attributed to not only the large area that has to be covered, but also to the fact that American people are very attached to their individualism, which is expressed when driving the car. The same may go up for Dutch people; however, their cars only have two wheels and no engine. This is possible because the distances are so much smaller, and having a car is much less important in Dutch society. Driving a car has its perks, but with an extensive public transport system and constant congestion on roads, why would anyone living in the Netherlands drive a car? Substituting a car for a bike is something a lot of countries should consider, not only is riding a bike good for your health, but it also contributes to a better future. It contributes to a future where a country really tries to be sustainable. Substituting the use of automobiles with public transport should also be considered. The use of public transport is not only more cost efficient, but also cleaner energy can be used. The Netherlands, Tokyo and Switzerland are setting an example the world should follow so the world can be a place with sustainable energy!

Michel de Jong Gymnasium Haganum


or people living in The Hague, THIMUN is known as ‘I can’t get a seat in the tram week’, because many of the THIMUN delegates travel to the World Forum by public transport. In the Netherlands, public transport is used by many, for the public transport system is very large and intricate. Dutch people however, can rant till the end of time on how three flakes of snow can shut down the entire public transport system, or how the trains are always tardy. This may all be true, but the fact remains that they are still incredibly lucky, because there are many countries that don’t have such an intricate, far-reaching, and well-organized public transport system with only four major towns not connected to the rail system. In the United States, for instance, a large public transport system is limited to the metropolitan areas. The rest has to be done by car. Of course, we should put this into perspective. For the United States to have a public transport system that reaches all but four major towns, the system would have to cover an area disproportionally larger than that of the Dutch public transport system. So maybe, a well-organized public transport system that covers most of the country is only possible in smaller countries? Switzerland, for instance, as a small country, has a very dense and very well-organized public transport system. The trains are always on time, and the large cities also have a very dense public transport system. In Zurich, the public transport system is fast, efficient and almost always on time. A delegate from Switzerland travels to school by public transport, although it takes 45 minutes. The fact that the system works like a (Swiss) watch, is reflected by the fact that the Swiss people are the people that use public transport the most in the entire world. Although there could be minor improvements on the system, like bigger buses or better ventilation, the Swiss are content. The Alps that the transportation have to cross makes the system even more complex and intricate than that of the Netherlands, which is a

Anna Soer, Lycee Francais Vincent v. Gogh

Le Munde


Friday, February 1, 2013

THIMUN Word Jumble uimynt : ____________________ niumht: _____________________ loodrruwmf: _______________ nyrgee: _____________________ ruooltnsei:_________________ cmmetieto: _________________ snimad:_____________________ uslsitibyatin:_______________ rastaeiecrt:________________ arhic:_______________________ lygoibbn:___________________ taeeeldg:___________________


Can you identify them?

Solutions Politicians 1) Peter Tomka, President of the International Court of Justice 2) Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN 3) Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands


4) Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council


5) Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of the NATO



munity, thimun, worldforum, energy, resolution, committee, admins, sustainibility, secretariat, chair, lobbying, delegate


Solutions Word Jumble

Le Munde  

The final edition from the Munity Press team for 2013.