Thirteen ASM students attended the sixth session of Platon School Model United Nations Conference (PS-MUN) in Athens, Greece on March 4-6. The main theme of this year’s conference was migration, and ASM students represented Italy and Venezuela on several different UN committees: Disarmament & International Security, Social Humanitarian & Cultural, Special Political & Decolonization, Legal, and Environmental, as well as on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Security Council and in the Special Conference on Migration: A Movement for Change. Over 650 students from 45 schools in 12 countries participated in this year’s PS-MUN Conference.
ASM students were well-prepared to discuss such diverse topics as the maritime border dispute in Chile and Peru, humanitarian relief and protection of migrants and internally displaced persons, EU border control controversy and policies, reform of the U.S. immigration system, the impact of natural disasters on the environment and agricultural production, labor migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the situation in the Middle East, and migration and human trafficking. Several ASM students had their resolutions passed in their committees or in the final day’s General Assembly.
As MUN participants, students are expected to represent the countries they are assigned, demonstrating knowledge of their countries’ actual positions on matters under discussion at the conference. This requires preparation in advance of any conference. Students are expected to write position papers on each committee’s assigned topics, draft resolutions that propose solutions to problems that will be discussed in each committee, and prepare speeches and talking points to be used during the conference. Model UN provides students with many opportunities to learn about other countries, consider other points of view, find ways to compromise, and improve their public speaking and writing skills, all of which are highly useful skills as our students prepare for university and life beyond.
Supervised by Dr. Brovkin and Mrs. Halladay, students transited through Italy on the way to and from Greece, which allowed then a few extra days to explore and see the sights in Bologna, Piacenza and Rome. Of note were visits to the Asinelli and Garisenda Towers in Bologna, various medieval churches and cathedrals, and famous Roman destinations such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Spanish Steps, the refurbished Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum. Although students did not have enough time to climb up to the Acropolis in Athens, students were able to see it lit up at night from just below, during a group visit to the Plata neighborhood.