I was able to attend the Model United Nations Conference of the Far West in San Francisco, California during April 20-23, 2018. Being my first time, I didn’t really know what to expect going in to the conference. First, because our delegation represented Japan, myself and the other representatives from Utah Valley University (UVU) were able to meet with the representatives of the Japanese Consulate-General in San Francisco.
Utah Valley University students with Mr. Shoichi Nagayoshi, Deputy Council General of Japan to San Francisco ( R )
We were able to talk with them and ask questions about some of the different issues about Japan that we were preparing to discuss through this four-day conference. They informed us and reiterated some of the stances of Japan on different policies, including the question of Palestine, the struggle of dealing with North Korea, as well as such issues as climate change and humanitarian ones. Concerning North Korea, we discussed and compared the nuclear deal the United States made with North Korea back when President Clinton was in office, and the nuclear deal President Barack Obama made with Iran. The Japanese Representatives said that the largest difference between then and now is that the nuclear world is developing long-range missiles, which were not available years ago when the deal was made by Administration of the President Clinton. They also made clear to us that Japan is a very peaceful country and desires very much to demilitarize modern day international politics and only desires to promote peace and security throughout the world. Another interesting issue that the consulate shared with was the importance of Japan to consistently strengthen its relationship with the United States as well as the United Kingdom. They also stressed the importance of pressuring China to be more transparent when it comes to nuclear power. Meeting with the members of the consulate was one of the most productive part of the conference, which prepared me better for debates, and discuss hot issues in modern-international politics today.
For the remainder of the days, including Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, all day Sunday and all-day Monday we were able to be in our committee meetings. I had the opportunity to be on the 4th Committee. We discussed some of the crucial issues our international community faces today, including the question of Palestine, food security in conflict zones, as well as decolonization in the modern era. When we started out by debating in what order we would like to debate and discuss the different topics, it was clear that the majority of the delegates wanted to address the question of Palestine. We should have known better than to start with the question of Palestine, as this topic only came to a passing resolution on the last day of the conference. A few different aspects that I specifically didn’t enjoy about the conference was how ineffective the process of the United Nations seemed to be. I didn’t understand why so much time was needed to have unmoderated caucuses. It seemed that the process of coming to a decision on any matter was very slow. In general, I admire the overall goal of the United Nations. The only way that these types of problems can be solved is by complete cooperation by all member states. By the end of the last day, we were finally able to pass the resolution on the question of Palestine, but the resolution was not pointed towards a two-state or a one-state solution; the resolution dealt with humanitarian aid. Representing the state of Japan, we did our best to involve our self, providing financial support for both Israelis and Palestinians.
UVU students with Slanczka Achievement Certificate
I am happy that I was able to attend the Model United Nations of the Far West conference, because it helped me understand exactly how the United Nations works, at a more specific level. I also understand exactly why it is hard for the United Nations to get things done in a timely manner, and why there are so many countries, which have a hard time supporting it, including the Russia Federation.
Nathan Erickson, Utah Valley University student
STUDENT REFLECTIVE ESSAYS