Day 2 - Geneva Conference
The students were split off in to their various committee rooms today, attached are a few photos of them at work. They had a very productive day with each committee seeing their mock UN resolutions take shape. There was some intensive lobbying taking place as each country tries to push their agenda forward and there is a lot of give and take in the drafting and re-drafting of their proposals.
William and Sophie scored some notable successes, managing to get their proposals adopted in their committee which was looking at the suppression of international drugs trafficking. Zoe and Vinnie also got their amendments adopted in their committee on terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa. This is quite an achievement as they have to address the whole committee, make their case, deal with some pretty rigorous questioning from fellow delegates and, finally, win majority support in a vote. Anastasia and Maddie were disappointed not to get their proposals adopted although they felt there was some underhand dealings going on between France and the USA in their committee. Grace was busy with the press team producing the in-house magazine of the conference and our translators were also much in demand translating draft documents from French to English. All in all they had a really constructive, if tiring, day.
All the teaching staff were really touched to hear from a teacher from Kenya who had brought six students with her to the conference. We learned that their participation was only possible because the organising students from Ferney Voltaire had made it their own project to raise the funds to sponsor these students to travel. Apparently, raising the money was the easy part. They had a much tougher time dealing with the authorities in obtaining travel documents for the Kenyan students. The students themseleves made all this happen, telephoning embassies and pestering obstructive officials until they got the permits. When we heard from the Kenyan teacher just what it meant for these students to be involved with a project like this, and just how difficult it was for them to obtain the visas, it really put things in perspective for us and made us realise how lucky we are to be able to travel and take our students almost anywhere without hindrance.
Tomorrow is the final day where the big gatherings of the General Assembly take place and final votes are taken before the official closing ceremony. We are keeping one eye on the weather. We had a snow fall this morning with more forecast for tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed for no flight details at Geneva!