As soon as I finished my senior year I reflected on what was the most valuable thing our school has to offer, and after this summer I can definitely affirm that the answer is opportunities. Every single year St Andrew’s offers a stunning amount of extracurricular activities, some artistic, some involving community service and others that are more academically oriented. As I was fondly interested in international relations, I got involved in Model United Nations, a conference that simulates the United Nations and encourages students to develop their debating, public speaking, critical thinking and leadership skills.
In August, St Andrew’s delegation participated in EMUN, ESSARP’s Model UN, a conference held against other Argentine schools. During the conference the coaches evaluated us and in October, 22 students were interviewed. Finally, 11 of us had the privilege to travel to The Hague International Model United Nations, one of the most renowned and professionally organized conferences in the world including delegations from all around the world.
We, as the Argentine delegation, were representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an extremely challenging country as its political, economic, social, religious and cultural background is a completely different territory to what we are used to. After various meetings, a three-month preparation, a visit to the Saudi Arabian embassy and a lot of effort, we traveled to The Netherlands on the 24th of January.
THIMUN was an amazing experience. More than 2900 students and 369 directors from 190 schools representing 98 nationalities came together upon the World Forum Center in The Hague. It was absolutely impressive to be part of it and to have the possibility to meet so many people with such a rich diversity.
Moreover, the passion and commitment of every single delegate, each one representing and firmly debating the foreign policies of their country, thrilled me.
For me it was a challenge, as I was in the Human Rights Commission, debating child health, Islamic terrorism and migration issues. However, with a strong preparation I was able to contribute to the debate and to the resolutions.
In the opening ceremony two keynote speakers, a professor involved in the African development and the Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), reflected on the importance of international cooperation and youth participation.
As the Secretary General, Sarah Gharib, said: “Many don’t get the opportunity to instigate change or have a positive impact, as we do now. Do not doubt yourselves and the power you can hold, we are the future of the international community. Events like THIMUN allow us to truly understand the power that we hold: the power to make the world better, the power to advocate human rights and the power to achieve great things”.
As a conclusion, THIMUN was a truly excellent experience, as I had the chance to be immersed in the diplomatic life for a week as well as expanding my horizons at such an early age. This August, MUN will also be held in Uruguay, and I strongly encourage everyone that is willing to participate and start getting involved in worldwide issues that concern us all.
Nicole Grünbaum – Classs of ‘13