By: A. Behar
From the 3rd to the 5th of April, Form 3 St Paul's School students, along with their teachers, attended the POSMUN conference, which took 14 hours. Many other schools also participated in the debates regarding global pressing issues, at the school of Porto Seguro.
Since it was my first conference, I was worried that three days debating only one topic would take ages, however, time flew by. We had little time to prepare and to learn how the proper way to debate and how to behave as a delegate, thus, all of us were a little worried.
There were six committees: Security Council, UN Women, ECOSOC, UNESCO, Human Rights and UNODC. St Paul's students were representing the school in all committees. I was assigned to the UN Women committee and represented the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, which discussed the topic of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).We needed to address questions like: why was the elimination of FGM urgent for the life and freedom of women? To what extent should cultural barriers being respected? Being the delegation of Ethiopia, my position was quite complex, since more than half of Ethiopian women practice FGM, and Ethiopia is attempting to eliminate this practice. I was very nervous at the start, however, as I gradually started to participate in the discussion, clear my doubts and respond to chalneging questions made by oppositions (POI’s), I felt more and more confident regarding what to do and the subject I was dealing with.
Throughout the conference, we had 30-minute coffee breaks, which allowed us to make new friends and relax. Waking up at around 05:30 in the morning, was quite tiring, however, at the end, it was without doubt worth it
In my opinion, it was an amazing and rewarding experience, where I was given the opportunity to improve my research, speaking and debating skills and, at the same time, make new friends. In the end, I was very surprised when I heard my name being called for a prize.