“Diplomacy is not a spectator sport.” That was the theme of the Vancouver Model United Nations Conference for 2018. Surabaya Intercultural School sent 15 students and three teachers to Vancouver to participate in North America’s largest Model United Nations Conference.

The adventure began way back in August and September as students signed up for ASAs and then had to begin researching and earning their spot on the SIS MUN Team. After months of preparation, the day of departure arrived and we all made our way to the airport. Three flights later, we landed in cold and wet Vancouver. Though half a world away, the students were ready for the temperature change and the jet lag. Our first full day was a day of rest and exploration. Then the VMUN conference began with 1,400 students from all over Canada, the United States, and countries around the world.

The SIS students each represented a different country and they were in various committees that were covering a wide range of pressing topics facing the world currently. Here are a few of the committees and the topics they were trying to solve:

  • World Health Organization (WHO)
    • Topic A: On the Ground Intervention During Epidemics
    • Topic B: Medical Black Markets
  • Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
    • Topic A: Tensions and Conflict in Post-Soviet States
    • Topic B: Preventing the Weaponization of Space
  • Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM)
    • Topic A: Negative Ramifications of Urbanization
    • Topic B: Social Impacts of Refugee Intakes
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
    • Topic A: Legal Aid
    • Topic B: Local Development in Traditional Societies
  • Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
    • Topic A: Famine in Four Countries
    • Topic B: Feeding 9 Billion by 2050
  • United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)
    • Topic A: Mining in the Arctic
    • Topic B: Environmental Repercussions of Fracking
  • Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)
    • Topic A: Strengthening Criminal Justice Systems to Combat Terrorism
    • Topic B: Extradition in the Case of Human Rights Concerns

Unlike THIMUN in Qatar, the VMUN schedule was busier and more intense. The first day of the conference the students began at 8:00 AM, and the students did not finish until 11:30 PM! Though tired from jet lag and traveling, the SIS students proved their worth and participated well. The second day of the conference was even more intense as the students had to show up to their committees at midnight for a Midnight Crisis that lasted until 2:00 AM! Sunday was a bit easier and the students finished the closing ceremonies at around 4:00 PM. After some rest, we went to a delicious Chinese dinner to celebrate our success at the conference.

On Monday, the students explored Grouse Mountain which was a winter wonderland of snow. The students played, ice-skated, snowshoed, and had many a snowball fight. After some hot chocolate, lunch, and shopping, we returned to our hotel.

On Tuesday, the students visited two universities in Vancouver. The first tour we took was at the University of British Columbia. Though a cold and wet day, we could see that this enormous university has a lot to offer SIS students. After lunch, the students visited Simon Fraser University. This university also had a lot to offer potential SIS students. We learned that the cost is more affordable than studying in the US and that the Canadian visa is also more generous. Students graduating from a Canadian university are allowed to stay for three years before they need to return home.

All in all, we had a great time on the trip. We are very proud of how the students conducted themselves both in and out of the conference. They represented Surabaya Intercultural School very well.

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