ASV hosted it’s third annual VALMUN conference on the weekend of November 20 – 22. It was the largest conference to date seeing over 150 students participating. Visiting schools including Oporto British School, Izmir Middle School from Turkey, International School of Luxembourg, American School of Madrid, and Cambridge House arrived on Friday November 20 and were quickly guided by admin staff to their committee rooms after receiving their official badges. Saturday morning began with an official opening ceremony led by secretary general Carlos Guemes and ASV Director Michael Smith. We were honoured to have Mr. Byron Perez from the UN BASE Valencia as the keynote speaker share his encouraging words with the delegates.
Throughout the day the delegates debated the real world issues facing each committee. In the evening the students received a special SKYPE call from Gabo Arora a UN Senior Advisor who is creating award winning UN sponsored virtual reality documentaries to raise awareness about global issues. On Sunday all participants gathered for G.A. debates at the UN base Valencia where we were treated exceptionally by the staff there. After the closing ceremonies and awards the students enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun on the grounds of the base. ASV student leaders and organizers were very please with the weekend’s activities and are thankful for all of the support the office and maintenance staff at ASV provided, As well as we are forever grateful to the UN Base staff members and Virginia Falces for hosting us on the final day.
VALMUN offered to students “the opportunity to understand how diplomacy”, ASV director Michael L. Smith explained. “By participating in VALMUN, students also improve their problem solving skills and the search of balanced and effective solutions”. Current themes such as the migration of refugees from Middle East to Europe, the re-opening of combat operations in Afghanistan, or the dispute over militarized islands at the southeast of China were discussed in VALMUN. According to Mar Hernández, student in 12th grade and Co-Secretary General, “everyone worked very hard to achieve what basically you are trained to do solve world issues, and I think everyone really did a great job”. His colleague Carlos Güemes, also in 12th grade and Co-Secretary General, added that “debates were very productive. Topics were chosen in order to be easy to research and students managed to get better results.”