Interview with a World Traveler

Interview with a World Traveler

by Dara Gleeson and Natalie Towba –

Think Global School is one that travels across the world to study in different areas, such as the Galapagos Islands, Tanzania, and different cities in Europe! Imagine what that life is like! A reporter on the Press Corps Staff, Yada Pruksachatkun.

 

Interviewer (Natalie): How did you hear about the Think Global School?

Yada: I heard it through my school counselor who heard about it through and advertiser.

Interviewer: Where are you originally from and when did you hear about the school?

Yada: I am from Thailand and I was twelve years old.

Interviewer: Were all of the students at your school informed about the Think Global School?

Yada: No, I am not sure but I was one of the only students told.

Interviewer: How long has this program going on?

Yada: I am going to be in the first graduating class and has actively been around for three years but has existed for ten years.

Interviewer: How will the graduation program class?

Yada: It has been yet to be decided because we are in the first graduating class, so it is in our hands.

Interviewer: Where do you stay when you are traveling?

Yada: We will stay in hostels, hotels, or in school dorms.

Interviewer: How do you reach your destinations?

Yada: We have done many methods of travel, car, plane, train, bike, or even hiking.

Interviewer: What is the most life changing experience you have had so far?

Yada: I would have to say, speaking to the son of the last son of the Shah of Iran because he had so much hope for the future especially in a country such as Iran. 

Interviewer:  What do you do in terms of religion?

Yada: The school is very accepting of different religions. In some of the countries that we travel to, we are on our own to find different places of religious worship, which can be difficult, but religion is always inside of you no matter where you are. 

Interviewer: Where are some of the coolest places you have been?

Yada: With TGS- The Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Lijiang, China, Saltzberg in Europe (where The Sound of Music was filmed!)

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1000 Days and Counting

1000 Days and Counting

The Deadlines of Millennium Development Goals

by Annie Scherba, Emma Loss, and Arslan Tarar –

Guest speaker Josh Cooper offered his input to the delegates in the Western European Development Goals. Mr. Cooper works at the UN and often lectures on human rights. Today he spoke to the delegates about the impending deadlines of the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr. Cooper explained to the delegates that countries will be able to reach their goals faster by taking the Millennium Development Goals and connecting them. These goals empower people, especially indigenous populations. Mr. Cooper emphasized the importance of indigenous people in society and how they are affected by these goals and implement these goals in their culture. One example is the problem of climate change. In order to solve this problem of climate change, big cities can contact indigenous farmers and collaborate with them to grow and transport food faster. This collaboration will reduce the amount of carbon that the city will use and help the environment. Climate change and pollution affect the indigenous people. Farmers are losing their crops due to changes in weather which creates a food shortage.

Developed western countries need to assist in the matter of climate change. Without the basic necessities, even the most powerful economies cannot function. If farmers are unable to grow food to supply the country due to changes in weather, then the entire country’s economy will falter. The collaboration between the farmers and cities solve many problems simultaneously. The committee proposed connecting necessities with technology as one possible solution. Mr. Cooper spoke of islands that previously relied on developed countries but became self sufficient due to advancements in solar energy. This advancement reduced the carbon in the atmosphere. Mr. Cooper also said that climate change should be on the forefront of western debate because it affects anyone and everyone.

Countries reach their goals with a holistic approach. With the 1000 day deadline approaching countries are now pressured to achieve their goals and develop their plans to continue progress in the future. 

 

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Happy IDAHT Day!

Happy IDAHT Day!

Ryan Kaminski in the Human Rights Committee 

by Dara Gleeson–

In June of 2011, the first resolution on Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) Rights was passed, making history in the United Nations and the LGBT community. On May 17, the World Health Organization (WHO) created the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHT) Day after it declared homosexuality to be a non-mental health issue. To break away from the split debate of the committee, Ryan Kaminski, the UNA-USA Human Rights Fellow, spoke about the impending issues of LGBT Rights.

To begin, Kaminski showed a video by the United Nations Office of the Commissioner of the High Human Rights Committee. The video showcased members of the LGBT community speaking of the criminalization and disrespect of LGBT people. The video exhibited how homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries and how these individuals could be tortured or possibly given the death penalty.

In these 76 countries, the LGBT people are treated as second-class citizens, being considered abnormal and abused by the other members of their society. The United Nations set goals to protect human rights of these individuals.

To show support, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said, “you are not alone.” Kaminski stated how every region of the world has faced vicious attacks, leaving citizens scared to report these attacks for fear of further prejudice. Kaminski believes in spreading awareness to the youth of today through social media and especially through GCIMUN committees as a way to spread awareness of the challenges faced by LGBT people and promote efforts to help them. The differing cultural views and religion views of homosexuality cause tremendous hindrances to the solutions of this issue. Kaminski said, “cultural issues cannot override human rights and that they cannot replace the efforts for the equal rights of LGBT people.”

The tremendous efforts that support the rights of LGBT people worldwide impressed Kaminski because previously the international community tended to shy away from the issue of homosexuality. Kaminski believes that the Human Rights Committee could pass the resolution being negotiated spread awareness and help to the LGBT people. He also hopes that in the short term, dialogue and increased awareness of the issues of the LGBT community continue to officially eradicate the discrimination they face.

 

Photography by Natalie Toba.

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Conference Services: The Proud, The Few, The Hidden

Conference Services: The Proud, The Few, The Hidden

by Cassy Jagroop –

 

Delegates always see the members of their dais, but the dais members aren’t the only ones that contribute to the conference experience. Many other intricate roles need to be filled for the success of the event. One of these roles is known as Conference Services (CS). Conference Services are the hidden members of the Global Classrooms International Model United Nations staff who ensure every committee’s needs are resolved. This year the Under Secretary-General of Conference Services is Melissa Clemente.

Before any the conference proceedings begin, members of the Conference Service team are the friendly faces that greet you during Conference Check-In. They guarantee advisors have all the information needed for their delegates and the conference.

During conference sessions, CS ensures that all committees have everything from pens to projectors, which they may need during the sessions. They also offer extra hands in setting up the room to ensure it is organized and ready for the delegates. CS also teams up with members of Logistics to act as guides for delegates. While committees are in session, members of the CS team will split up and act as pages in each committee if work slows down. Pages are in charge of helping out with note passing during committee.

The most challenging aspect of being apart of the Conference Services is typing and printing the resolutions. Over the years, Conference Services have streamlined the art of resolution typing to ensure that the committees have as many draft resolutions as possible in a timely fashion. Once the delegates have their resolutions approved, dais members send resolutions to CS. CS is tasked with typing up the resolutions and making copies for the committee. CS faces a huge challenge typing resolutions from 17 committees, each with 50-120 delegates. It can become highly overwhelming, but Conference Services manage to pull through every time.

The problem-solving portion of conference is one of the greatest aspects of being a part of Conference Services. According to Melissa Clemente,“My favorite part about being in CS is solving problems and knowing that if you’re efficient in doing so, very few people even know the problems existed in the first place.”

Every staffing role at GCIMUN plays a unique part in the functioning of the Conference. Conference Services are the behind-the-scene players that help make the conference sessions as great as they can be. They are the extended hands of the dais members and have a huge impact on how well a committee can run. Even though, they may not always be seen, Conference Services offer so much to the dais and the delegates. They are the Proud, the Few, the Hidden; they are Conference Services, and you can always count on them for all our conference needs!

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Stories from the Desk of the Secretariat

Stories from the Desk of the Secretariat

by Carol Lim –

Why you should stay involved in MUN.

As a timid 14-year old girl, Shareen Khaliq, headed nervously to her first Model United Nations conference not knowing what to expect. Little did she know that it would be the first of her many MUN experiences. She first got involved with the Global Classrooms program six years ago as a delegate and has participated in its conferences year after year. Today, she sits on GCIMUN’s Senior Secretariat as the Deputy Under-Secretary-General (DUSG) of General Assemblies as a more confident and articulate speaker. Shareen expressed that Model UN has “shaped the person she is today and continues to do so” by teaching her how to voice her opinions, even if they are not popular. Indeed, many MUN veterans state their improved public speaking skills to be one of their greatest takeaways.

Model UN not only helps you to become a better public speaker; it also trains you to effectively network with others whom you may have just met 5 minutes ago. Through note-passing and informal caucusing, fast friendships are built over the course of the conference. Shareen delightfully talks about how she now has an “international network of friends” due to her Model UN experiences, who constantly “inspire [her]” and whom she will “keep for life.”

This year’s secretariat comes from all over the world, from the United Kingdom to Japan. Gaby Leal, from Logistics, hails from Monterrey, Mexico, and studies at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. With 7 years of MUN experience, Gaby first came to GCIMUN in 11th grade as a delegate. Like Shareen, Gaby shares that she has met some of her best friends through Model UN. One of the many unique things about Model UN is that it convenes highly motivated individuals who share a similar passion for international affairs and politics—a huge reason for the many friendships forged over a short weekend. In conferences like GCIMUN, the opportunity to make friends transcends national boundaries and cultures, making it an even more enriching experience.

Global Classrooms in particular, has a certain charm for many of our staffers. For crisis staffer Armen Hazarian, his first exposure to the world of MUN was at a Global Classrooms conference. “The approach Global Classrooms took was the right combination of competitiveness and education so as not to scare away [first-time participants] like myself,” Armen noted. He shares that “[GC] has followed [him] from high school in southern California right through university in the heart of Texas and has taken [him] places like Houston and New York.” Now, Armen is eager to give back and share what he has learnt with the younger generation.

Lincoln Islam, the USG of Programs and Funds, also commented that his primary reason for staffing GC conferences is to inspire kids. He wants to “[give] back to [the] community that raised [him] and changed [him] into a different person” by helping the delegates in their learning journey. Model UN, he says, has made him more confident. This ability to communicate effectively has and will continue to help him to excel even outside Model UN—in college and even in the workplace—and he wants others to be able to benefit from it in the same way. He also adds that he looks forward to working with the staff because of its great dynamic. Armen too, shares the same excitement in meeting the rest of the Secretariat and notes how Global Classrooms “recruits some of the greatest talent from around the country to staff the GCIMUN conference.”

Model UN is truly an amazing experience to have. I believe I can say that on behalf of the rest of staff. The valuable public speaking skills, the fun and stimulating way to learn about an issue and the lasting friendships built makes every conference a conference to remember. As Gaby notes, “Don’t doubt it for a second that GCIMUN will be the BEST simulation you ever participate in, and never stop loving MUN, especially because it is not something that can easily stop being part of your life; embrace it and enjoy it.”

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