World peace, international trade, global climate change and atomic energy… not the topics one would normally associate with teenagers. But, all were front and center at the 12th Annual Southwest Florida Model United Nations conference. More than 300 of the area’s brightest high school students gathered at Florida Gulf Coast University to test their communication and negotiation skills in a simulation of the UN. Twenty high schools participated. Each student represents one country. Lemon Bay High School Junior - Laura Davis – spoke for Ivory Coast on the question of international intervention.
“The Ivory Coast of course is having a lot of problems right now in Africa of the militia fighting…could we go in there and help them? Because half their government is corrupt…it’s split. Do we have the right as other nations to go in there? And of course I’m going to oppose because you know, I don’t really want them trying to run my own country. However, do other nations have the right to come in there?”
Davis refers to the strife in Ivory Coast… where rebel militiamen have controlled half the country for the past 18 months. She says fellow delegates passed a resolution against her country.
The Naples Council on World Affairs developed the Southwest Florida Model UN in 1989. The council provides volunteer judges to evaluate student performance…and awards scholarships to top student delegates.
Monday, 14 March 2005 00:00