Seventeen students from four Columbia Union Conference academies in the United States recently participated at The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Conference in the Netherlands.
Students from Highland View Academy, Pine Forge Academy, Spencerville Adventist Academy (SAA), and Takoma Academy participated.
The trip, organized by the Washington Adventist University (WAU) Honors College, was the first in-person THIMUN conference trip by a Seventh-day Adventist school delegation.
“I was so proud of each of the students as they almost immediately began contributing to the debate at the conference,” Jonathan Scriven, Model United Nations (MUN) director of the Honors College at WAU in Takoma Park, Maryland, said.
“From day one, they were engaging other delegates, asking points of information, making speeches on behalf of their country, and generally pushing for meaningful solutions to the issues at hand,” Scriven said. “Columbia Union academies were very well represented in a conference that included students from more than 200 schools from around the world.”
The Adventist student delegation, which represented the country of Equatorial Guinea during the conference, participated in United Nations committees, including the Human Rights Council, the Economic and Social Council, a Special Council on Disarmament and International Security, the Sustainable Development Commission, and several General Assembly committees. The delegates spent four full days debating global issues and searching for international solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.
To prepare for the conference, delegates attended a briefing at the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea in Washington, D.C., on January 20. Members of the Equatorial Guinea diplomatic staff spoke to the delegates about the international goals and objectives of the country and provided insights on how to best represent Equatorial Guinea at the THIMUN conference.
In addition to the THIMUN experience, the group visited a local Adventist church in The Hague for worship and delivered sermons. They also spent time with a youth group from the church.
“The conference was a great experience,” Leighvanni Kennedy, a junior at SAA in Spencerville, Maryland, said. “While attending, you not only got to learn about the culture of the country that each delegate was representing but also about the culture of the country they themselves came from. I have a better understanding of the world because of this experience.”
The WAU Honors College actively participates in the Model United Nations program through its own WAU MUN, which allows university students to participate in national and global conferences each year. The Honors College also hosts a conference for high school students each spring called CAPITALMUN. This year’s CAPITALMUN conference will be held on WAU’s campus, March 21.