They say that the future is in the hands of the youth, and rightfully so. Especially now, they play a vital role in maintaining the fragile stability of our turbulent world and ensuring that society progresses steadily into the future.
Last February 12 to 13, the Xavier School Model United Nations hosted the 3rd Xavier Model United Nations (XMUN) conference with the theme Empowering leaders to forge a path toward sustainable innovation. Across the two days of the conference, delegates from schools all around the world were able to collaborate with one another to come up with outstanding and innovative solutions to address the various issues in their respective committees.
Throughout the conference, the 3rd XMUN secretariat also invited esteemed figures to share their experiences on innovation and sustainable development.
To start off the conference, Mr. Chase Cavanaugh,Vice Consul at the U.S. Embassy Manila, gave an inspiring speech about his childhood, how he came to be involved in politics, and how he slowly gained interest in programs like Model United Nations (MUN). He not only related his story to that of each delegate present at the plenary but also discussed future sustainable development in the Philippines, allowing them to more deeply understand the work and progress achieved through international cooperation, specifically between the United States and the Philippines.
Also among the keynote speakers was Excellency Enrique Manalo, permanent representative of the Philippines to the United Nations. Ambassador Manalo has served in the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs since 1979 and has an extensive background in international relations and the United Nations. In his address, he highlighted how enhanced multilateralism and innovative policy-making is crucial. Such was deemed as the “drivers of a global, inclusive and comprehensive recovery,” especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic which has laid bare various issues in our society and caused many more. He also shared how being an effective leader and diplomat entails being well-versed in the pertinent issues of our time and the workings of the modern world such as digital diplomacy in this time of pandemic.
Nearing the end of the conference, the final two keynote speakers delivered insightful and thought-provoking insights during the final plenary session. The first of which was Mr. Gabby Ramos, the marketing head of Google Philippines who shared his experience working with the technology giant and how technology plays an important role in modern times. Afterwards, distinguished Atty. Cecilia Guiao spoke about her work as an experienced lawyer who has worked for years on international and domestic climate change policy. She even worked with fellow diplomats to craft the Paris Agreement, sharing how difficult yet rewarding her work was. Both speakers gave their own perspectives and inputs on MUN, in addition to bringing new ideas from their respective lines of work. This served not only as a learning experience for participants, but also as a perfect way to conclude the conference.
After the awarding ceremony, xsMUN faculty moderator Mr. Julius Jacob Nolasco gave his final closing remarks, and the 2 days filled with laughter, tears, struggles, and joy finally came to an end. Although the 3rd XMUN may long be over, the experiences and lessons participants gained from it will surely remain for a long time to come. Not only will their experiences challenge them to be better delegates or correspondents, but the messages of the speakers will serve as an inspiration for all attendees to hold onto for the rest of their lives.
Though the experience of the delegates and correspondents has ended, it was far from over for the 3rd XMUN Secretariat as they implemented their outreach project. The proposed project was to donate different materials and equipment to the San Juan City Technical-Vocational and Livelihood Senior High School (SJCTVLSHS), a beneficiary chosen by the San Juan City Government.
In addition, the 3rd XMUN Secretariat also planned a leadership module to be shared to chosen students from SJCTVLSHS. The module began with an icebreaker wherein it helped the students have a better understanding of what happens in a MUN conference. After the icebreaker, it was followed by the module prepared by Farrel Tiu (XS ‘22), on his numerous experiences, highs, and lows as a leader in different extracurriculars.As the leadership module concludes, the Secretariat traveled to SJCTVLSHS for the turnover ceremony of cooking supplies and pieces of furniture. After the turnover ceremony and words of gratitude from representatives of SJCTVLSHS, the outreach project is finished, officially marking the end of xsMUN’sflagship project for the school year.
We hope the conference has been an unforgettable experience for all who attended. We also hope that students of SJCTVLSHS were able to enjoy and learn something new from the module prepared. We believe that given the context of current events in our country at the moment, a strong, compassionate leader is what the country needs. We hope the leadership module inspired SJCTVLSHS students to assert themselves, speak out their thoughts, and be an avenue of change. Lastly, the 3rd XMUN Secretariat wishes that through these experiences, everyone will be empowered to forge a path towards sustainable innovation.