Over an exciting weekend, unfolding from the 27th to the 28th of April, Sean Green, Corey Jones, Lenie Chin and I woke up in the early hours of the morning to compete in the 2019 Model United Nations Assembly at Swinburne University of Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre in Hawthorn.
A week before the holidays we were allocated our countries: Israel (Sean and myself) and Iran (Lenie and Corey), two warring countries that we frankly (aside from Lenie) knew very little about. We then had to take on the roles of these countries’ delegates, and adapt to the values of these countries’ leaders, for we would soon have to debate in favour of them and set our own beliefs aside.
As the holidays passed, the event approached. We waited in nervous apprehension, but we found the experience quite the opposite of what we expected. The day was challenging, but also enjoyable, highly amusing and memorable - never again will we pass a diplomatic note to the Russian Federation or listen to the delegation of North Korea speak of their ‘glorious and wise leader Kim Jong-un’ (...or will we?)
Moreover, we were greeted by 56 intelligent and friendly people donning fantastical kilts, sombreros, snazzy pants, berets and more, and the fact that we were provided with a myriad of free food couldn’t receive any complaints.
As united nations, we debated, listened to our peers and shouted points of order for 7 of the possible 29 topics or ‘resolutions,’ including a resolution that proposed the condemnation of the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people (which Israel had to argue against) and one that called for Donald Trump to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; all pertinent issues and questions that face the world today.
Because of this, we also found the weekend an enlightening experience that broadened our knowledge of other cultures, and allowed us truly understand some of the unfortunate circumstances around the world - when as a society we may not tend to hear the whole story - and even allowed us to acknowledge that there are some things countries unfortunately will never be able to agree on.
The impressive team representing Saudi Arabia from Swinburne Senior Secondary College did an amazing job and won the day; heading to Canberra to compete and represent our district very soon.
Corey Jones (Year 11) speaks of his experience:
“I, the delegate of Iran at MUNA 2019 would like to address Elwood College about this experience. While it was such a fun experience to be there and face problems that the world is facing today, it was very challenging to argue for the opposing side of your own beliefs. Nevertheless, it was extremely enjoyable, everyone I met was really nice and the experience overall will stand to be one of the most fun, but most challenging experiences, I have ever been a part of. It’s an easy thing to argue for something you believe to be true, but it is much harder to debate on something completely outside your beliefs. I would like to thank my team member Lenie Chin for being there with me to put forward the points and views of Iran, her determination and dedication to this very challenging experience should be noted and congratulated. Without her help, this experience would have been impossible for me!”
The whole experience was extremely enjoyable and couldn’t have been as successful without each other, the support of Ms. Liddicoat and of course our sponsor, the Melbourne South Rotary Club. All four of us are extremely thankful for this amazing opportunity and can’t wait to do something like this again (or even return for a second year)!
Zeta Hamilton-Durkin, Year 10