150 students from seven international schools participated from Friday, November 18 to Sunday, November 20, in VALMUN 2016, the Model United Nations conference organized by the American School of Valencia. VALMUN’s main educational goal is to educate students on relations among countries within the structure of the UN. Delegates follow official UN parliamentary proceedings, and this frequently means that knowledge and collaboration are the most valued skills for a MUN event: “Students show thoughtful commentaries on the issues but the most rewarding thing in the conference is that a lot of students from varied schools, not knowing each other, are able to collaborate on real world issues and create solutions”, KyleAnne Kiraly (ASV MUN Co-coordinator) explained after finishing the conference.
Delegates debated on eight questions taken from current affairs (North Korea’s nuclear program, legal and security framework for refugees) or UN’s agenda (Arctic protection, global cyber security). “Debates were satisfactory and delegates showed openness to constructive discussion, and that they were able to come up with creative solutions”, Secretary General Pedro Bonet said. Lydia Cabo, Deputy SecretaryGeneral, explained that public speaking “contributes to an improved English level” and committee proceedings “invite open-mindedness”. She added that “each year VALMUN improves as activity and delegates enjoy and learn”.
ASV has organized VALMUN since 2013. The activity is addressed to students in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. Students in other grades are invited to collaborate as admins or, if they have MUN experience, as chairs leading the committees. The conference is supported by the UN Global Service Center in Valencia sending the keynote speaker and hosting the General Assembly and the Closing Ceremony. The American School of Valencia Foundation contributes with funds for materials and logistic needs. Counting delegates, admins, chairs, and teachers, 170 people transformed the ASV into a small UN filled with enthusiasm and commitment to our world.