In January, students from eight cities and schools around Israel traveled to Yale MUN as part of the second annual Debate for Peace delegation to YMUN. The students competed in one of the largest MUNs in the world, with over 1600 students in thirty nine committees. In addition to conventional countries like Italy and Germany, some students participating in specialized committees received placements like Facebook, the Admiral of the Austro-Hungarian navy, NGOs, and a member of the US Congress.
The delegation members spent weeks preparing for the conference, including a study day at the US embassy, before meeting in Holon for the pre-trip briefing. In addition to the competition, the delegation included several days in NYC, for meetings with NGOs, community leaders, and diplomats.
The delegation was hosted in New Jersey by the Hoboken Jewish community, and had the honor of speaking at the United Synagogue of Hoboken as soon as they arrived in NY.
In NYC, the delegation visited the UN headquarters, and met with the Mission of Cyprus to the UN, the US Mission to the UN, and the European Union mission to the UN. They also met with the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, and Immigration Equality, which helps LGBTQ immigrants, as well as talking to Sheikh Musa Drammeh, and singer Josh Blanco.
The highlight of the NY visit was a panel held at the UN, organized by the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development as the first UN75 discussion, in which the delegation members led an intergenerational discussion on how to use diplomacy and discussion as tools for peace and progress in 2020.
At YaleMUN, the delegation enjoyed lunch and a discussion with the Yale Council of Middle East studies, including Christian, Jewish, and Muslim students and academics, and were hosted for a meal by a local Jewish organization, JLIC. They also met with Yale professors Nathaniel Raymond and diplomat Charles Hill.
During the conference, the students three days in intensive negotiations, representing their respective countries, organizations, and characters, and responding to various international crises. The conference is one of the largest, and highest level Model UN conferences in the world, and there were 110 delegations present, included over 40 international delegations.
Yoad Hershkowitz, from Be’er Tuvia regional high school, told Diplomacy “The delegation to YMUN was an amazing experience, I have met people that have taught me so much about the world we live in. I learned a lot from my fellow participants in the delegation, and I was very happy to be a part of it.” Husni Grere, from Atid Lod MUN club, added that “as a person who's been done a plethora of MUN conferences, I can safely say that the YMUN delegation was one of my favourites, even with the very tight schedules that we've had, we were able to find times to bond, times to get to know new people, and just times to laugh a stressful day out. A truly unique and unforgettable experience.”
Debate for Peace expresses its gratitude to the many wonderful individuals and organizations who made this delegation a success, the various NGOs, diplomats and communities who met with the delegation, Rabbi Rob, Rabbi Naomi, and the United Synagogue of Hoboken community, and the Kinrot family for hosting the pre-trip meeting.
A very special thanks to Hassan Hassan for helping lead the delegation, to Samantha Glass for all of her help, to the YMUN Secretariat for helping make this delegation possible, and to Margo LaZaro, President and Chair of the NGO Committee on Sustainable
Development-NY, for empowering youth and connecting MUN to the UN. For more information please see DebateforPeace.org