SLC Community and Justice Services student Maria Eduarda Machado Ferreira de Castro attended the Change the World Model United Nations (CWMUN) Conference in New York March 24-26.
The CWMUN is an annual international meetings program attended by more than 5,000 students from all over the world, in which they debate the major issues of the international political agenda. Participation in the CWMUN Conference presents students with the opportunity to grow, learn to relate to those who think differently, and become citizens of the world.
“During the conference, participants are assigned to one Committee, which are United Nations agencies, such as UNICEF, UNESCO, and WFP, and to a delegation/country. From the moment the conference starts, you forget about your name, where you came from, and your biases, because you must become a diplomat representing the country you are assigned to,” explains Maria.
Maria was assigned to represent Costa Rica on the UNICEF Committee, where they discussed measures to take urgent action to reverse the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children and young people. Prior to the conference, Maria studied Costa Rica's history, political views, position on the matter, and international relations. She also studied the structure of United Nations speeches and the rules and laws of the organizations.
“We had to present concrete solutions to the matters under discussion in the Committee, as if we were in a real-world forum at the United Nations, studying and discussing key geopolitical issues,” says Maria.
“As students participating in the conference, we learn more about geopolitics, international affairs, as well as how develop skills in leadership, research, writing, public speaking, and problem-solving. At the conference close, President Bill Clinton spoke about the war between Russia and Ukraine and how the young generation can change the world.”