I just got to be something most girls dream of. I had the opportunity to be a model. As a model, I got to dress up and meet all of these wonderful world representatives. I got to chit-chat and socialize, and eat catered food by Middle Eastern and Italian Chefs. Now I must add, I am only 5'3", and not exactly "modelesque." So how did I become a model, you might ask? I did so by attending a Model United Nations conference at Columbia University in New York City this past weekend.
The Model United Nations is literally a model of the United Nations. High schoolers from all over the United States join together as representatives from different countries from around the world to discuss debatable topics. I thought I was going to be a representative from some cool, hip country like Paris or Abu Dhabi, but no... I was a representative of the Russian Federation. I didn't even know what that was! Every time I thought of Russia, I thought of Communism, Vodka, and Bears (Oh My!).
This year's topic for debate is sustainable forest management. Globally, we need to stop people from cutting down forests and make a switch from non eco-friendly methods to more environmentally sufficient alternatives such as solar power energy and electric fuels.
So how can we achieve this goal on a world-wide level? My committee's goal was to get everyone out of the timber industry and gradually move them into safer alternatives like using electric and wind turbines. Some of our methods to getting to this goal included taxing people who refused to make an effort to have more eco-friendly habits.
After we were done with our group resolution, we had to go into yet another stage of problem-solving called the crisis mode. This is where the they give you a real-world scenario that completely affects your resolution. Basically, we had to go back and do more work on the resolution. We learned that China just bought a large chunk of Brazil, including the Amazon. It is not yet known what China's intentions are with the forest, but signs are pointing straight to them cutting down the forests. After learning the shocking and game-changing plan, my committee had finally come up with several rules that we felt would please those who were clearly upset by China's plan to cut down a vast majority of the Amazon forest. This was also a relief to us as a committee, because we had been working on finalizing our solution for over 10 hours!
Being a part of my first Model United Nations conference has given me a broader understanding of global issues that affect us all. I'm now thinking outside of my little New York City box. So, I'm off to save the world from environmental predators who use too much energy. Meanwhile, my mother is threatening to charge me $0.25 every time I leave the light on in my house.