This time around; students from our school’s MUN club went on a journey that was
quite long and tiring, but also educational and amusing in order to participate in the 26th
Deutsche Schule Athen Model United Nations Conference hosted by the German High School of Athens between 17 and 22 October 2023.
Over the three days the conference took place, 15 of our students took on a variety of roles including Deputy Secretary General who directly determined the orchestration of the conference, delegates who participated in discussions on global issues, and dynamic members of the press team who recorded the most unforgettable moments of the conference with their cameras. The journey of Saint Benoît students began on Tuesday evening, October 17th. After both our students and the members of the teaching staff who came to see them off in addition to those who were going to accompany them on their journey had completed their final checks, everything was ready for departure. Proud to represent their school as well as their country in an event that will take place on Greek soil, Saint Benoît students worked on the relevant academic materials even during their journey in order to be well prepared for the conference that awaited them. Having started their journey on Tuesday evening, our students arrived in Thessaloniki on Wednesday morning, October 18th. Aiming to make the most of their trip, our students spent the day visiting many symbols of Thessaloniki such as the Church of Saint Demetrius, Atatürk’s House, the Walls of Thessaloniki, the Monument of Alexander the Great, and the White Tower feeling the cultural texture of the city. After spending the night in Thessaloniki, our students excitedly set off for Athens on Thursday morning, October 19th. After another productive bus ride, our students arrived in Athens on Thursday afternoon. Upon their arrival in Athens, they visited the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Athens and had the chance to freely ask questions to the most esteemed Turkish Ambassador to Athens, Mr.Çağatay Erciyes in a friendly atmosphere. By doing so, they gained a more concrete understanding of how MUN and its principles translate into real-world diplomacy. On Friday morning, October 20th, the big day arrived – it was the first day of the conference. In line with their ecological vision, Saint Benoît students, keeping carbon emissions in mind, used public transport for going to and coming back from the German High School of Athens where the conference would take place. Thus, for three days, the M3 Metro line accompanied by the A7 and 550 buses were the Saint Benoît students’ travel companions. Even though some of the students participating in the conference were attending their first ever MUN conference whereas some of them had already passed their tenth conference, all the students quickly got used to the conference’s climate thanks to the various activities that the members of the MUN club organized before the conference, namely an MUN workshop that was held in their high school. After these three days which were as enjoyable as they were intense, three days where our students learned as much as they had fun; the conference ended with the closing ceremony on Sunday, October 22nd which also included the speeches of Saint Benoît students. During the conference, not only did our students connect with students from the German High School of Athens and other high schools participating in the conference, but they also strengthened their ties with their friends from their own high school regardless of their level and reminded us once again why they call themselves the “Saint Benoît MUN family”.
Our students described their experiences at this conference as follows:
“It was my utmost pleasure and honour to participate in this remarkable conference. As a Deputy Secretary General, I had the opportunity to assist the Secretariat Team in maintaining the conference’s structure while ensuring that all participants have a productive and enriching experience. This required me to have strong organisational skills, the ability to effectively manage a diverse group of participants, and develop leadership abilities. The highlight of my experience was watching our school’s delegates and advocates working together to come up with innovative solutions to real-world problems and seeing their growth throughout the conference. I believe this opportunity gave our delegates the chance to observe real diplomacy on stage.”
Ece G, 11-G, Deputy Secretary General
“I think that this conference was a very interesting experience for me since we were the only school from Turkey that participated. I’ve made a lot of new friends and met a lot of interesting people. Besides that, the delegation that we were given, the French Republic, was a pretty fun delegation to represent. I’ve had a lot of amusement in the Security Council committee since France is a P5* country and has a veto right because of that. I was very active in the debates on the topic of “The Crisis in the Central African Republic” since France is closely linked to that subject. Lastly, I’ve received an award thanks to my efforts and performance on the committee. By that, I can say that this was a great experience in my MUN journey.”
*P5 refers to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Erdinç A, 11-H, Delegate of France
“The trip was already a lot of fun, but my friends who were around me made it even more fun than I had imagined. Our stay in Thesselanoki with the tourist activities was very educational. When we arrived in Athens, we met the Turkish Ambassador to Athens. It was an unforgettable experience for me. The conference gave me the chance to make Greek friends. I had to be quick-witted to understand the different procedures. It was a challenge, but well worth it.”
Yaprak K, 10-F, Ambassador of France