By Xavier George
On April 1, 2017, Columbia University held its annual spring CESIMS (Columbia educational simulations) Model U.N. Conference. Attending this conference and representing Half Hollow Hills High School East was none other than president of the HSE Model U.N. Club Jordan Busch, public relations officer Xavier George, and Matheos Xenakis, Nicolas St. Onge, Raif Ahmed, and Dylan Young. These six individuals were immediately transformed from ordinary students into sophisticated delegates.
The day kicked off with an opening ceremony in one of Columbia University’s very own lecture halls. The opening speech was delivered by the CESIMS Secretary, General Nausherwan Aami. He challenged the delegates who attended to speak no matter how nervous they were. Following the opening ceremony, the delegates were sent to their respective committees to begin the conference. Matheos Xenakis, Dylan,Raif, and Nicolas St. Onge were assigned to DISEC (The Disarmament and International Security Committee) where they discussed militarization in the arctic circle representing the Czech republic, Russia, the United States, and Slovenia, respectively. Additionally, Jordan was assigned to the committee on German Unification 1848 where he represented the Kingdom of Prussia as it’s interior minister. In contrast to Jordan’s committee assignment, I was assigned to the United Nations Security Council where he represented France. In this committee, I and my fellow delegates discussed North Korea’s missile program and the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother, Kim Jong Nam. The committees ran from 10:30 A.M. until 1:00 P.M.
Next, there was an hour break for lunch as being delegates definitely causes an appetite. Other activities such as a student panel and tour of the campus also took place during the lunch break. The committees then resumed battling in the U.N. conference at 2:30P.M., and it ran until 5:30 P.M. During this time frame of competitive play, delegates in every committee debated with opposing delegates from different schools. Then they participated in a written portion and voted on resolutions as well. In the committee on German Unification, Austria, and Prussia went to war over Austrian influence in the German states. Also, in DISEC, the U.S, Russia, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic passed a resolution on putting military bases in the Arctic Circle. In the Security Council committee, the first resolution failed due to being vetoed by Russia as a permanent member of the security council, the second resolution was vetoed by both France and the U.S. as permanent members of the security council , and the final resolution, despite every other nation voting in favor of it, failed as a result of France using its veto power. The committees ultimately reached the conclusion of the conference as the closing ceremony began.
Getting recognized for their remarkable work, Dylan and Raif received a verbal commendation award for their work in DISEC, while Matheos and Nicolas received an honorable mention award for their success in DISEC. In the end, High School East was able to walk away from spring CESIMS 2017 with four awards and feeling like real champions. They can’t wait to see what next year’s conference brings!