Echoes of Our Time
by Amelia Obermeyer, 9E1
A Salem delegation was at Model United Nations (MUN). An academic simulation of the United Nations.

On 22 February, Ben, Himan, Sophie, Cindy, and I (Amelia) all met in Genoa, Italy, to take part in the first Model United Nations (MUN) conference for Salem middle school students since the Covid-pandemic began.

As we arrived, we were greeted by the mesmerizing architecture of Genoa. The following morning, the conference was to begin. This year it was held at the Palazzo Ducale. We felt incredibly lucky to have our conference take place in this marvellous building, where our delegation was assigned to represent Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. The first morning of lobbying was a hectic but exciting time-sharing resolutions and ideas and teaming up with delegates from other schools to submit our carefully crafted work for consideration by the approval panel.

After a morning of lobbying, we gathered in the grand Maggior Consiglio for the opening ceremony. This ceremony offered further insight into the inspiration for the theme ‘Echoes of our Times’, with speeches by a variety of guest speakers discussing current world crises and the actions being taken to tackle these dilemmas. We were reminded that, as young people, we should not feel passive in the face of these challenges but rather empowered – it is up to us to work together to come up with solutions.

The next two days involved intensive debating of the selected resolutions. It was exciting to stand up in front of so many students from across the world to discuss and debate solutions to real-world problems. This year, again, there was a rich selection of topics for each committee, for example, a reoccurring topic was tackling disease control in humanitarian emergencies and conflict areas and addressing the extreme climate vulnerability of communities below the poverty threshold.

But it was not only political work. Each evening, we went to a local Italian restaurant and ate a variety of typical local dishes. One evening, a group of students from a local Italian school gave us a guided tour of the area: we saw the many palazzos, and the iconic old port and even took an elevator to a lookout point giving us a wonderful view over the entire city. This experience for all of us has been thrilling, and we have learned what it is like being at a conference with various students from around the globe discussing real-world issues.

There were many schools from all over the world represented at this conference, and it was great to be able to work with other passionate young people on the problems of the world today. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Mrs. Mücke and Mr. Parker. We can’t wait for the next GeMUN conference in 2024!