High school students learned how to tackle the most troubling issues in the world today at the University of Denver Model UN Conference. But more importantly, they had the chance to experience the dynamic power relationships between countries and self-interests.
Pressing issues such as Myanmar’s ethnic conflict and Venezuela’s drug trafficking occupied a a full-day of students’ resolution-making. But at a deeper level, they were becoming more accustomed to giving and embracing power, learning what it was to protect themselves, and serve others.
Leaders approached other countries with resolution proposals they hoped to get signed, many times having to turn back, re-evaluate their thoughts, and take a backseat on another resolution. Often times, protectionist policies were taken by the country with the issue at hand – Congo, for instance, had no interest in foreign relations or military intervention in their conflict – and other delegations wouldn’t sign a resolution that said otherwise. They learned that countries’ issues came first, external issues came second, and usually, an integrated and well-formulated resolution resulted.
A great conference and exercise for these up-and-coming leaders who showed perseverance, determination and that little word we so commonly mistake as negative – power.
(Click on pictures for most clarity.)