GCD: Global Understanding at MUN Conference

During the days of 2017 November 8th to 12th, the YIS MUN team traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the 2017 IASAS MUN conference. This was my first time attending a major conference overseas. It was a very nerve-wracking experience, as there were more than 2o countries in my human rights committee, and I had to read out several speeches in front of all of them. However, after overcoming the first full day, I was able to be more comfortable working with other delegates in my committee.

From this experience, I was able to engage with people who represented different countries with a range of beliefs and stances on international affairs. Some of the topics we debated were promoting the livelihoods and education for refugees and displaced people, and the question of strengthening rehabilitation and reintegration of youth offenders. The conference provided a place for us delegates to come together and exchange perspectives to further understand the complex situations of these global issues at hand.

Debating on these topics with multiple countries, and settling on a mutual resolution expanded my thinking of the world. For example, another delegate had a completely different stance to what my country believed in,

However as he came through with his points, I started to understand where that country is coming from, as his points were incredibly well structured which helped me recognize that my own bias was obstructing my way of understanding of other stances.

We also had refugees from Syria that came in as visitors to talk to us which was a very valuable experience, as they talked about the issue and the challenges they had to face when they became displaced.

This is a picture of me and my fellow delegate Auni at the General Assembly, representing Colombia.

This is how the UN headquarters at Bangkok looked like, and the General Assembly room.

This is the position paper I wrote for my human rights committee.

Honorable chairs and fellow delegates, the delegate of Colombia expresses her support for promoting the livelihoods and education for refugees and displaced people. Currently, Colombia is facing many difficulties in terms of this matter with having the second highest number of internally displaced people in the world. Colombia recognizes this large humanitarian issue and is working towards improvement through policies and measures in areas such as public health and education. However, with the current economic situation, Colombia is not financially stable enough to accept refugees and promise a good livelihood and education for them.

Moreover, Colombia is in favor of strengthening, rehabilitation and reintegration of youth offenders. The juvenile justice system in Colombia emphasizes rehabilitation and restoration over punishment, indicating how Colombia has a developed rehabilitation and reintegration structure with promoting a pedagogical approach for youth offenders.

Furthermore, this delegate acknowledges how Colombia has been behind on ensuring accountability for crimes against women and children with the imperfect execution of regulations. However, in 2008, Colombia passed a law to prevent and punish violence against women recognizing that all government entities have the duty to work in coordination to provide integrated services to female victims.

To ameliorate the present condition, this delegate believes that all nations should come together and financially assist these refugees and displaced individuals.

Learning about the world and its issues by collaborating with others in a debate style environment made learning fun for me and more approachable than the conventional classroom learning. I am looking forward to attending this conference again this year.