As the Consular and Diplomatic Affairs (CDA) program held its 19th annual Benilde Model United Nations (Benilde MUN) last July 12 to 14, the Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines reminded students how history paves the way for the future.
The commencement of the three-day conference featured a keynote speech from the guest of honor, Canadian Ambassador H.E. John Holmes, in which he reminded students of the youth’s power, saying, “young people and idealistic people can make a difference.”
Holmes then urged the delegates to remember the role history plays in setting the course for future events. On the proliferation of misinformation on social media, he urged students to ”note the importance of history. Lack of awareness of the past is the emergence of fake news.”
“Be aware. Be sensitive. Study your history. Be passionate and be ready to change the world,” he said as he closed his speech.
Meanwhile, Geraldine Acuna-Sunshine, a Filipina and founder of the esteemed Harvard Model United Nations, emphasized the relevance of finding solutions in this conference for the increasingly interconnected world, through a video message. According to her, the solutions we create today will affect future lives to come.
In line with the theme “Promoting Sustainability Amidst Shifting Global Trends,” this year’s Model United Nations had over 350 registered participants from Benilde and other educational institutions invited to resolve global issues in the simulated UN conference.
Under the direction of the Secretariat and the Secretary-General Mikaela Cloie Perez, Benilde MUN conducted its sessions in five plenary committees namely: the General Assembly (UNGA), Security Council (UNSC), Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL).
The output of the said committees are the committee resolutions passed by the respective body in the form of collaborative papers. The committees also provide students with firsthand experience of the inner workings in the UN.
Notably, this was the the first year participants from senior high and the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS) participated in the conference. 15 registered delegates from different high schools and two SDEAS students namely, Angela Bianca Recio and Aguila Erika Lauren, were among them.
Benilde MUN is the country’s largest and pioneer collegiate United Nations. The yearly conference organized by the students of the CDA program, under the School of Diplomacy and Governance (SDG), invites student delegates from local and abroad to find solutions to concerns in the international community, more specifically those concerning the UN.