Model ambassadors to the United Nations
The Mercury: Model ambassadors to the United Nations [30sep05]
FOUR young Tasmanians are heading to Europe in January to take part in the world's largest Model United Nations conference in The Hague.
They are part of the Australian delegation of 17 students who will travel to the Netherlands.
Former Tasmanian delegate Claire O'Halloran, 21, of Sandy Bay, is heading to the Hague conference again, this time leading the delegation as director.
The other three members are James Walker, Hannah Stevens (both of Elizabeth College) and Clara White (Hobart College).
The delegates will leave Australia on January 9 and meet up with the rest of the Australian team in Europe.
The group will then go on a two-week bus tour to meet the Australian ambassadors to a number of European countries before arriving in The Hague for the week-long conference.
"We don't know which country we will be representing yet," Miss O'Halloran said.
"Last year it was Namibia, previously it's been Ireland."
The delegates will need to write and present resolutions on various topics to the model UN which could cover anything from acts of aggression to illegal fishing.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself will read the resolutions.
One of the major challenges for the young delegates is accurately representing the views of a country other than their own.
"You can't go as a country and then act in a way that's completely contrary to the way that country thinks just because you don't believe in it," Clara, 18, from Kettering, said.
"It's about realising that different countries come from a different point of view."
Hannah, 17, from Lauderdale, said the trick was to do lots of research.
"You need to know a bit about the country, know the history, how they came to be where they are," she said.
"If you read enough about it and put yourself in the right mindset you can justify it, and it's great to debate some issues that are a bit controversial and that you might not necessarily stand for."
James, 17, from New Town, said he had always been fascinated by European history and politics and was looking forward to exploring the workings of the UN from the inside.
The Tasmanian delegates are busy fundraising for the $5000 needed to make the trip and will be holding a quiz night next Wednesday. For more information, call Claire on 0407 420 164.