The Bullis Model UN team recently returned from The International Model United Nations Conference (THIMUN) in The Hague, Netherlands. There the students joined 3,600 other students from 40 countries around the globe in a five-day simulation of the UN, engaging in debate and diplomacy centered on the topic of Energy and Sustainability. Student delegations represent either member nations or non-governmental organizations. The Bullis team represented the UN Economic and Social Commissions for Asia and Pacific.
The conference included committee meetings in which delegates discussed resolutions on such topics as ways to save the environment through carbon capturing, youth employment, family farming, bio fuels and how they impact food security, and the millenium goals of eradiction of poverty and hunger. Sami Zimmermann ’16 enjoyed the experience, saying that the Economic and Social Council committee “made each debate both enjoyable and serious.”
The conference also provided opportunities for visiting museums and historic and cultural sites in The Hague and nearby Amsterdam and Delft, along with time to develop friendships with other delegates from around the world. Members of the Bullis team also had the rare opportunity to sit in with their chaperones on the trial proceedings of Radovan Karadzic. Karadzic is on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The trial was taking place in a building across from THIMUN and is open to the public so the world can bear witness to the evil and injustices of war.
This was the third internation conference for the Bullis Model UN team, and Bullis was one of only six American schools in attendance. Senior co-presidents Tyler Allen and Idrienne Walker have attended all three. Of the trip, Idrienne said, “Meeting people from around the world was the absolute highlight of my trip, jjust as it has been in any other year.Within the conference it is nice to discuss real world issues and situations, and representing an NGO gave us the opportunity to have a strong voice in each of our committees as our organizations would carry out the actions that other countries want to set into place.”
Tyler said the trip was “an amazing way to finish up my high school Model UN experience. Previous trips to Russia, Italy, and now the Netherlands all taught me lessons that I will forever cherish, whether it was participating in multilateral diplomacy with students from all over the world or being immersed in each country’s culture.”
Looking ahead to graduation in June, Tyler said he will miss the Model UN program: “Model UN is a great way to develop speaking and collaboration skills and to meet people from different parts of the world and from different walks of life. Through Model UN, I’ve made strong friendships with students from Egypt all the way to Russia. I am really grateful for everything that MUN has allowed me to do, for the person that MUN has molded me into, and the amazing people that it has allowed me to meet.” Sophomore Ashlyn Coleman agreed, saying “We have made life-long bonds with people all over the world; we have witnessed history, and have grown as people on this trip. The Netherlands has truly been a trip that we will never forget.”
View a photo gallery of Model UN
February 7, 2013