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Eastern Participates in Model UN

Imagine, if you will, a hotel lobby filled with chattering college students, talking in various languages, dressed in various styles of clothing, yet all are there in the common goal of working together to talk about some of the world’s most pressing issues from the standpoint of all countries, giving a voice to all peoples in the world. That is what Model United Nations is all about. This year, we had the honor of being one team in the sea of hundreds of schools to spend a long weekend in conversation and cooperation with people from almost 70 countries about topics, such as nuclear waste, the rights of linguistic minorities, land mines, and more. 18 students and one professor braved the cold Boston air to fight for our position as Australia, speaking and debating and playing politics for hours at a time in an effort to make the world a better place (at least in our minds). Though the speaking skills and the ability to represent Eastern on a global stage was a great honor, it is the encounters we had outside of committees that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

The typical layout of a conference is this: it runs from Thursday evening to Sunday morning. There are six committee sessions during this time period, in which you represent a given country and debate from that country’s viewpoint on a given topic. Each committee has separate topics relating to their committee, and the ultimate goal, at the end of hours of debates and speeches and conversations is to come up with policy and procedure to solve the given topic in the form of a long, formal document. Points are assigned for how well you do in all aspects of the committee, and at the end there are awards handed out for the three best delegates in the committee, as well as an additional prize for best diplomat.

Now, don’t get me wrong, debates and writing resolutions are a great time, especially when you have good people to write with; however, there is so much more to this conference then just attending committees and going through the motions. Like I said prior, there are almost 70 countries represented at this conference. The spirit of the United Nations is to bring the world together, to be in community and learn from one another, much like how the body of Christ should be. Paul talks about how one body part can’t look down on the others, and this conference tries its best to accomplish this, both with the countries that a team represents and with the country of origin for each team. For the span of about 36 hours, the divisions that artificially seperate the world drop, and we see each other for the people that we are. Are there people that come for the sole purpose of winning an award to prove they are better than everyone else? Sure, this is a competition after all, but the majority of people do not have that mindset. The majority of the people who come are there to make the world a better place. The artificial divisions set up by society drop; gender, sexuality, religion, country of origin, etc. all fall to side, and for a weekend we see each other as equals, all on the same ground, all trying to make the world a better place.

Ultimately, as Christians, this is the world that we must strive to live in. A world where divisive speeches are not heard, a world where people are reaching across the aisle to reach a compromise in which all people are heard, a world where all people can live in peace, without fear of their lives or safety. A world where God can truly work in the lives of all people, and a world where everyone can feel God’s presence.

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