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Four members of the Model United Nations team competed at the Harvard Model Congress Europe (HCME) in Madrid on Mar. 15 to Mar. 18. At this conference, high school students from around the world were given the opportunity to discuss some of the world’s most pressing issues in committees through parliamentary debate.
In order to qualify for HCME, the four members were required to be on the All-American Model UN team, a selective travel team that people apply to in order to attend international conferences. “We were a part of the All-American delegation, which is comprised of 12 students from around the US,” junior Iman Shumburo said.
This international conference was different from normal conferences that the model UN team attends. “HMCE is a two-day international Model UN conference run by Harvard and sponsored by the UN,” senior Dimagi Kottage, who was awarded Honorable Delegate, said. “It’s different from other conferences because delegates there are mostly from Europe and the topics are more Eurocentric.”
Junior Joel Shapiro, awarded Best Delegate at the conference, represented a country in the Caribbean. “I participated in a committee known as the Group of 24 as Trinidad and Tobago where we debated the medical black markets, the closing of international markets and how to best alleviate the effects of both,” Shapiro said. “My favorite part of the conference was definitely visiting and experiencing the culture in Madrid.”
Not all the members were on the same committee. “I was in the Group of 20 committee representing France, so I debated the regulation of crypto currencies and offshore tax evasion,” Kottage said.
Shumburo was in the British House of Commons. “I debated about the UK’s national health service and Brexit, and after months of research and preparation, we debated intensely before drafting resolutions and bills to confront these issues,” Shumburo said.
Asides from debating, the members were also able to experience the city of Madrid and its culture. “We were able to explore the city for the first one and a half days, but the following three days were full of committee sessions from around 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Shumburo said.
At international scale competitions, delegates are able to learn, experience and meet many different types of people. “My favorite part was the incredible people I met. From the staffers to the delegates to my new All-American teammates, it seemed that everyone I came across had an incredible story. Not only were in-session discussions interesting, but the personal out-of-session conversations gave me insight on so many difference topics and issues in the world,” Shumburo said. “I still keep touch with the friends I met who live in places like Greece, France and Russia.”