Last weekend, from January 27 – 30, the Bedford High School Model United Nations team went to Harvard’s Model United Nations Conference, HMUN. We were accompanied by thousands of other students from around the world for a weekend full of debate across all sectors of the United Nations, along with some fun committees. We had delegates in the Special Summit on Terrorism, the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee, the European Union, the Soviet Night Witches, the Advisors to Harry Truman, and the Roman Senate. Personally, I was in the World Health Organization and I represented the Republic of Slovenia on the Future of Drug Policy. It was an amazing experience that exposed me to many different people and ways of thinking. I met people coming from across nearly every continent, with delegates from Brazil, Tunisia, Venezuela, Syria, Japan, Germany, and many more. In my committee, we debated the social aspects of drug policy, specifically whether drugs should be fully banned, decriminalized, fully legalized, or somewhere in the middle and the effect of a country’s social, economic, and political implications on their level of conservativity or leniency on the matter. Throughout the conference, we had crisis updates, not typical for a General Assembly, such as the WHO, to push us to think in the views of our countries based on new policies being implemented in “real-time.” After four long days of debate, we voted on a final resolution based on neutrality to acknowledge that different nations have varying views on drug policy. It established a drug classification system, education programs, safe needle programs, and a plan for reallocation of funds from overpopulated prison systems to rehabilitation programs. Since the United Nations has no power to enforce any of its policies, this plan was created to, not only strongly encourage its implementation, but also to leave the level of drug legalization and rehabilitation at the discretion of the country based on each nation’s varying social, economic, and political implications. We ended the conference with closing ceremonies, in which several delegates from Bedford High School won awards. Sydney Buffett, Camille Kuo, and Matthew Pemberton earned Diplomatic Commendations, I earned an Honorable Mention, Sam O’Leary earned Outstanding Delegate, and Matt Plyukhin earned Best Delegate. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I hope to return to this conference next year for another unforgettable weekend.
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