High school students attend a model UN conference in Prague

by Stewart Coard
Ramstein High School

Students from Ramstein, Baumholder, Vicenzia and Patch American high schools visited Prague recently to debate in a simulation of the United Nations with other students from all over the world.

Students were able to write resolutions themselves, then give speeches and ask questions promoting or challenging these resolutions.

“We were split into committees,” said Kenneth Magana, Ramstein High School senior. “I was in environmental, so we debated biofuel. Once your resolution is passed by the committee, you just present it in general assembly.”
The assembly included every committee with more than 300 students from across the globe.

“What really stuck out was all the people we met,” Magana said. “They’re from all over the world. We had kids from Russia, Egypt and California.”

It wasn’t the participants’ differences that brought them together though, it was their similarities.

“I enjoy opportunities to interact with other kids my age from different parts of the world,” said Katie Rice, Ramstein High School senior. “I debated with them and engaged in a thoughtful banter.”

When they weren’t speaking in committees with each other, students had the chance to explore Prague.

“The Golden City is the most beautiful in all of Europe,” said Bobby Ramirez, Ramstein High School senior.

As part of their study of the city, students were shown a documentary on the Velvet Revolution in Prague and got to speak with Monika Pajerova, the spokeswoman for the University Strike Committee during the revolution.

“It was really interesting to see someone who was not just part of the documentary, but part of the Velvet Revolution,” Magana said. “When she said she had been afraid, I realized at one point she was just like us students.”

The documentary resonated with many of the students who hope to use their experiences in Prague to become actively involved in solving world issues in the future. This shared enthusiasm for working with others from different cultures to resolve difficult situations made the conference a meaningful simulation of the real United Nations.