KHS attends model UN

Story and photos by Frank Porter
KHS Social Studies/Model United Nations adviser

KHS Social Studies/Model United Nations adviser Eighteen landed in Dublin, Ireland, ready to debate their ideas with some of the world’s best.

They gathered at the historic Royal Marine Hotel, overlooking Kingstown Yacht Harbor, a suburb of Dublin, to debate with over five-hundred students from 38 international schools representing 95 countries.

Each delegate is expected to represent the viewpoints of their country as they debate. Kaiserslautern High School represented Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. An Irish school represented Germany and a British School represened the United States.

Of course, strange things happen when viewpoints are not clearly appreciated or supported. Sometimes debating makes for unusual bedfellows.

For example, China and Russia voted against a resolution which the United States voted for; however, in the real world the positions would surely have been reversed.
The activities began with lobbying in which delegates attempted to gain support from each other for their respective resolutions. In early lobbying results, 11 of the 18 were still standing, with their ideas incorporated into resolutions offered by other countries or their resolutions incorporating others’ ideas.

Seven slipped, but the work before them – to create new ideas for solving world problems – still laid down a formidable challenge.

Their role became helping other. Kaiserslautern High School delegates got their resolutions though committees and helped delegates from other schools improve their resolutions by incorporating some of their ideas and reported progress back to their ambassadors so that coordinated positions and efforts could develop.

The second day began early with an opening ceremony for the general assembly. The delegates heard the executive director ofAmnesty International present his views on what he believed were the critical issues of our age.

Each delegation ambassador spoke to the assembly and then the delegations headed to their respective committee meetings.

Now the undaunted but slightly dented 18 were back in action thrashing out issues, seeking resolutions and attempting to build a package from their respective committees that might improve life for millions. We knew that 11 of those final products might well contain the ideas or the total package produced by Kaiserslautern High School students.The next few days were crucial.

Kaiserslautern High School was represented on each of six committees by three delegates, each representing a different country, and they supported each other by working resolutions through those committees.
The committees debated each resolution that was submitted, approved those good enough to be sent forward to the general assembly and then chose one, the “Best of the Best,” to go forward.

Kaiserslautern High School had several reports approved and one, submitted by Jacque McCall, was voted “Best of the Best” and sent forward for debate in the general assembly. Her resolution was on cleaning the world’s oceans.
In the third and fourth days of the general assembly, Kaiserslautern High School debated with delegates to get those resolutions passed that they had helped create.
Jacque McCall’s resolution fell in debate from a strong effort by Belgium and Germany.

Despite the disappointment, the students learned and will be better prepared next time they go to a Model United Nations conference.

The last day in Ireland was spent touring Newgrange, a UNESCO heritage site, to view five-thousand years of Irish history, an ancient Irish cemetery with carved stone crosses (but no ghosts) and the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and Dublin T-shirts.
A tired but happy crew returned home Saturday.