Diplomatic Love

As the Harvard Model United Nations 2017 is coming to an end, I must say I enjoyed the best out of the experience. I have seen it all: cover all kinds of committees, interviewed and talked to a lot of people, made friends from all over the world and built connection with people that I really don’t want to lose. I traveled more than 15 hours just to be here. To simulate and to learn from the best delegates, the best chairs and the best directors in the world. I couldn’t pass an opportunity like that.

This is my 7th simulation overall and my 6th as a member of the Press Corps. Since I got into this whole new world of simulations and debates about the United Nations, I simply loved and got addicted to it. I’m a freshman now and I want to take part in this at least until the end of high school. And as my story here meet others people stories, I will tell a brief case about two people who helped and mentored me along this short path. This couple, just like me, have discovered the wonder world of MUN and met lots of people, but not as special as one another.

Camila “Caull” Sobrinho and Luis Clayton Mourao are dating for one year and two months now. Clayton took part in 12 MUN conferences and Camila, 10. The Harvard MUN is their first simulation as partners and they are representing Panama in the Human Rights Council. However, they are just finishing high school, so HMUN is their last event of its kind.

I did an interview with both together and the primary thing I could notice were their eyes. Caull’s eyes shine when she is talking about her partner and Clayton pass an air of peace and joy in his look. They are the cutest couple and are reunited for a very noble reason. Clayton will study Public Policy Management at the Universidade de Brasilia (UNB) and Camila will attend in law school at the same university. She plans to be director of an MUN simulation and be a public defender. He wants to get a double graduation and work in the Brazilian Senate.

They first met in their sophomore year, as Camila just founded out that an average high school boy was more handsome than the others. For her eyes, at least, he was just so gorgeous she couldn’t just stay looking at him. It was love at first sight. And Camila knew she had to talk to him and built a friendship tie between them if she wanted to approximate and get something serious. Their first meeting was a disaster. She couldn’t stop laughing at his funny way to talk and behave. However, she couldn’t control her heart and although she was already in love, Clayton was far from even considering her a close friend.

So, she was now in love. Her heart betted faster when he was near, her smile was brighter and her life was better. And it is beautiful to see how the feelings for Clayton haven’t change. At the time she described her emotions for him in the interview; it is clear in her eyes, her smile and her body language that the feelings are still intact.

However, Clayton was still a high school student not looking forward to a serious relationship. So Camila was accepting doing anything to impress him. And it’s here where the passion for simulation begins.

Clayton was doing applications and tests for being the delegation chief in a high school MUN in Brasilia, named SINUS. Then, Camila asked to go with him, saying that she was interested in participating in SINUS and was also doing applications. Lie. Camila had no idea on what she was taking part in. She showed up for her first test there just to impress and call the attention of her biggest crush.

And it worked to perfection! Clayton even quotes “it was the first time I really paid the due attention to her. She deserved it! And as she was admitted to participate in the SINUS with me, it was when she really started to make the difference in my life. She was so kind and wonderful… And that was when it happened”. As an unexperienced delegate, Camila shocked her teachers, advisors, the whole delegation and her major high school crush. “Well, it changed my life! And I’m not talking only about Clayton, far from that. By entering that room to make the tests, I met new people who divided the same passion as I do and a few of them who I can now call my best friends. The Models have given me a new life’s perspective” says Caull.

In their first conference together, they helped each other out, even though they were in different committees. It was Luis’ favorite conference overall, because it was his first experience simulating and debating on one of his favorites committees: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Camila had also a good experience debating in the International Labor Organization (ILO). During this event, they got even closer and realized they had something special among them.

Later in 2015, after lots of dates and stories, Clayton would be finally ready to take the next step on November 18th: he finally asked her out. “I really wasn’t expecting at that time. I was almost giving up and letting it go. But he surprised me like he always does”. She was very shocked and emotional as she accepted it with tears of joy dropping from her face. “I just felt it was the right time. I started to realize since that day in SINUS training she was the person who I wants to stay more time with and the one I loved”, said Clayton when asked about why he did it.

Since then, they always simulated together- but not as partners. Camila’s favorite event was Mundo CM 2015, in Brasilia, and her favorite committee overall is the WHO. Clayton’s favorite committee is G20. “What’s funny about we two is that we have very different preferences when talking about committees or subjects. I like economics the most but I don’t really enjoy committees about health, human rights or war. Caull is totally the opposite! But as our first and final time simulating as partners, I wanted it to be special. So I gave up committees like World Bank or IAEA to stay in a committee she enjoyed the most, like the UNHRC.”

I also asked both on what the MUN conferences have added to their life as individuals and as a couple. “We both learned a lot about how to work with others and to help each other, even when it is a subject that is not your favorite”, Camila declared. “To sacrifice and to offer your time to other are things those make you a better delegate and a better person. In addition, I’d say I learn much more when I’m with him than I would learn being by my own”.

As my final question I asked “what will you guys miss the most about simulating in the MUNs?” Without any hesitation Clayton answered for both: “the knowledge added in our lives by challenging ourselves to discuss topics that mostly people wouldn’t discuss in their everyday lives and the connections we made along the conferences.”

So, as Luis and Camila are simulating in their senior year, a lot of others are too. For those, I wish you had an amazing experience, such as me or the couple and took the most out of it. And for those who can still take part in a Model United Nations simulation, I will say to go for it. Leave your mark, show your thoughts, say what you want to say, make friends. Because in the end, the only thing that really matters is to have fun and to learn. Thank you all for making the 64th HMUN the great conference it was and I hope to see all you guys as soon as possible.

Future Nuclear War Ahead?

The SPECPOL (Special, Political and Decolonization Committee) met one more time this Friday night to continue their discussion about colonization in of outer space.

Many developed countries agreed to send help to developing countries, especially in cases of asteroid extraction crises. The committee then propose colonizing other planets, developing a monetary fund and a new organization to control, and encouraging the privatization of space. Although working papers and speeches were made supporting these ideas, many delegations found the discussion on space colonization unfair on the part of developed countries because environmental concerns on Earth are more pressing.

“There are developing and colonized countries supporting imperialists counties when the topic is exploration and colonization of outer space, which is absurd. by doing this, they are ignoring our world and the sustainability of it. They are all just trying to find a ‘escape valve’ to all these problems and make profit over it”. The statement by the Equatorial Guinea represent the indignation of some delegates about some actions taking place in the committee. He also said that the developed countries are using the poorest ones to develop their own spatial race.

Bolivia, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa wish to found an international organization to regulate and inspect outer space exploration under international jurisdiction.

However, while these discussions were taking place, Donald J. Trump himself showed up in the committee room talking about the USA delegation plan of building a nuclear power plant on lunar land. He also declared that all the profits used in the construction, transportation and storage of the necessary materials will all be provided by particular enterprises. Giving that, at the end, the United States president mentioned that there was no need for the people to pay taxes or duties for these projects.

Yet the announcement generated turmoil and unease. some delegations claimed that the United States was trying to take nuclear weapons to the moon, infringing on UN laws. Others think that was at least disrespectful for a president to come to a committee to say the USA would not be paying for the program. A few groups are also afraid of facing a probable future nuclear war that can devastate both the Earth and the Moon territory.

Space Crisis

The United Nations Office on Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) was surprised by a crises this morning. The acclaimed Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson asked for the committee help on a video, informing that the satellite USA-266 (lunched just under a year ago) is in a collision course and out of control with partner USA-248, lunched two years ago. Dr. deGrasse Tyson urged the committee about issues, highlighting the fact that “without a full constellation of active GPS satellites, services in almost every related sector are lost”.

As GPS boosts our productivities and make the people lives more connected and practical, US Air Force, NASA and privates enterprises are doing everything they can to save and protect this technology, tough the collision is almost certain and is just a matter of time. there are 31 GPS satellites in the Medium-Earth Orbit, around 20,000 kilometers up and it is only needed 24 of them operating to have full Global Positioning System. The collision would be life changing.

UNOOSA seemed worried about the crises. However, as it was said by the delegate of Democratic Republic of Congo, the resolutions and working papers were all almost complete and satisfactory for the situation. “A couple more clauses should be enough for us to solve the issue”, he said.

Including the satellites problem, the resolutions are trying to define terms like “space objects”, develop and systematize taxes for Debris cleanup, advance in the scientific divulgation of the topic, standardized the dispatch of space objects.

Future Nuclear War?

The SPECPOL (Special, Political and Decolonization Committee) met one more time this Friday night to continue their discussion about colonization in of outer space.

Many developed countries agreed to send help to developing countries, especially in cases of asteroid extraction crises. The committee then propose colonizing other planets, developing a monetary fund and a new organization to control, and encouraging the privatization of space. Although working papers and speeches were made supporting these ideas, many delegations found the discussion on space colonization unfair on the part of developed countries because environmental concerns on Earth are more pressing.

“There are developing and colonized countries supporting imperialists counties when the topic is exploration and colonization of outer space, which is absurd. by doing this, they are ignoring our world and the sustainability of it. They are all just trying to find a ‘escape valve’ to all these problems and make profit over it”. The statement by the Equatorial Guinea represent the indignation of some delegates about some actions taking place in the committee. He also said that the developed countries are using the poorest ones to develop their own spatial race.

Bolivia, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa wish to found an international organization to regulate and inspect outer space exploration under international jurisdiction.

However, while these discussions were taking place, Donald J. Trump himself showed up in the committee room talking about the USA delegation plan of building a nuclear power plant on lunar land. He also declared that all the profits used in the construction, transportation and storage of the necessary materials will all be provided by particular enterprises. Giving that, at the end, the United States president mentioned that there was no need for the people to pay taxes or duties for these projects.

Yet the announcement generated turmoil and unease. some delegations claimed that the United States was trying to take nuclear weapons to the moon, infringing on UN laws. Others think that was at least disrespectful for a president to come to a committee to say the USA would not be paying for the program. A few groups are also afraid of facing a probable future nuclear war that can devastate both the Earth and the Moon territory.

Conflicts and Crises Put African Education in Danger

Many countries in Africa struggle with providing extensive access to education because of violent conflicts, extreme poverty, and emigration. The African Union has recently met to specifically discuss barriers to primary education.

Delegates initially struggled to set the agenda and decide what to do first. Delegations such as the United Republic of Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire pointed out that basic and indispensable topics like funding, child transportation and gender violence should be prioritized. They agreed that aspects like technology should be discussed later in the committee as they were “less urgent subjects”.

After passionate debates, the committee started to divide itself in two groups and  formed resolutions. The first bloc was led by Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt and the other was directed by South Africa, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second bloc emphasized support for the International Institute for Capacity Building for Africa (IICBA), efforts to reeducate teachers, installation of oral education transmitting systems and the creation of a student protection program in war areas. The first bloc suggested similar proposals but instead focused on different sectors and workmanship according Camilo Neto. This group also highlighting seeking funding from governmental-private partnerships to bring education to marginalized groups and protect conflict areas in a meaningful way.

The committee was stunned by the last minute invasion of Nigeria by a terrorist group. The Nigerian representative entered the room saying his county lost military and educational funds from the attack. Delegations are now looking forward to work together and resolve this crisis as soon as they can.