Young students wearing distinguished suits, walking gently over the halls of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem -- it is no accident. IMUN (Israel Model United Nations) is a special project, one of a kind, and has taken place for six years now. Simulating the UN work is a hard work -- but we can handle it. As the Secretariat General, I want to share with you the moments when it was announced I got the job, and what has happened since then until now, half a year later.
We have entered a time when opportunities are endless and a new way of thought is emerging. "Borders are no longer barriers (since the global village has grown), and challenging the status quo is the only way to grow," says the commercial for Etihad Airways. In a way, they're right. In accordance with the great changes the world is facing at the moment, young students in Jerusalem have the passion to deal with them and get prepared for the real world.
2012 is my third year taking part in IMUN. At first, I began my activity as the ambassador of China in the Security Council (2010). Talking about the pirates who threatened the Indian Ocean was the hottest issue all over the globe. A year later I became the President of the Historical Security Council. The concept of the council was easy -- talking about an issue that has been discussed at the council years ago. One of the issues I chose for the committee was the Falkland War (1982). Last June, I was told that I was appointed to be the Secretary General of the UN (model UN, of course).
At first I was very nervous, as well as happy and full of energy to begin to work on the conference. As I said, the convention is held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, and more than 200 students take part, as delegations, chairs, or secretariat.
What's most remarkable about IMUN is that it has the power to gather students of all types: Jews and Arabs, Orthodox and Secular -- all of them are gathered to talk about issues that are now leading the headlines of the newspapers, dealing with the international zone.
This past year demonstrates the power of change in a dynamic world: people who are fighting for democracy and freedom, which we saw with the Arab Spring. We witnessed the rise of the character of "The Protester," according to TIME Magazine.
From Egypt to Yemen, through Israel and the United States, people fought for what they saw as most important values in their lives. Arabs all over the world protested against dictators and their miserable lives. Let's keep fingers crossed that more democracy doesn't, in fact, lead to less freedom.
In Tel Aviv and New York, people took to the streets in order to wake up those in charge of the country -- and tell them that living doesn't necessarily mean paying with no limits.
IMUN is the place to talk about those issues. This is the place where debating, standing in front of many people and saying what you think and presenting a policy of a country, is the main formula to change things. Of course, speeches held won't be seen live on your TV screen, and real ambassadors won't sign resolutions. But this is how a change begins. This is how people start thinking global -- and making local changes. I believe that MUN, as it is known all over the world, is a very important instrument that can shape the leaders of tomorrow.
I'm extremely proud that MUN has arrived in Israel, thanks to the sponsorship and support of a variety of organizations and official ministries in Israel. If even one of the participants will decide to work at the international zone, where the real decisions of how to lead the world take place, then I'll be satisfied and happy that I was one of the people who helped him choose this way in his life.
With so much to do, we have no time to lose.