Sunday, April 01, 2007

NMUN, SIDS, Project PEACE and other obscure acronyms II

Meltdown Tuesday:
{Tuesday's child is full of grace;}

On Monday, I wasn't able to get as much sleep as I'd love to have, for Tuesday was going to be a long day.
The committee was scheduled to begin at 8 in the morning and continue till 11 at night, with about an hour and a half for lunch. We, being hyper competitive, needed to be there and "place our placards" by 7... so we got the seats we wanted and the break was supposed to be a "working lunch" so that we work with people and develop our reports.
I began the day with a five shot venti caramel mocha. I knew I'd need it.
It was officially the second day and we did not have any supporters outside a select group within the AU (African Union) which was mostly garnered by my partner alone. So, technically, I did not have anything to show for being in the committee. And the committee as a whole was going nowhere. It was divided among various blocs all of which focused on the region's specific issue. The delegates from Iraq led a group of Middle-Eastern countries focusing on desertification. Russia led a group of Eastern European nations focusing on a UNWTO certification, (which is a good idea but too specific).
That's when I decided to go overdrive. I found out that my partner was among the first speakers to speak that day. I quickly developed a broad framework within which any country could function and develop their own ecotourism project. Mauritius happens to have one already. [By the way, I can find no definitive website/wikipedia article on this project.... I think I will need to write one]. Even using our Uni's databases I wasn't able to find much on it. During research however, I came across this one book that was a publication of the UNWTO itself and it had articles on several eco-tourist facilities in a whole list of countries. Mauritius was among them. I realized how important this book would be and tried to get it.
I couldn't get it anywhere.
I found through worldcat that there was a copy in Texas A&M University. Bingo. I have a friend there who agreed to email me those 7 pages (that is fair-use). At the Conference, these seven pages were worthier than gold.
Anyway, I built a framework and called it the PEACE project
(which stood for
Poverty Eradication
Environmental Conservation
Awareness of existing projects
Conservation of local heritage/culture
Education of natives, tourists and personnel
My plan was to make everyone connect Mauritius with the PEACE project. Taking a page from Goebbels' notebook, I wanted every member in the AU to talk about this project in their speeches. During that first session, 12 speakers spoke about the PEACE project how Mauritius came up with it.
I know. I know. This is way too competitive even for MUN and the whole educational aspect of it is lost. But our University has been getting the outstanding delegation for the past 14-15 years and they might lose it if any team loses in even one committee.
The effect of the PEACE project was phenomenal. The director was very happy with our work. He wanted a consensus and we had the broadest framework of all.
Mission Accomplished.

Coming next:
What about Tuesday night?
and would the lack of sleep finally take its toll on our delegate? Or will Nitin brave it all and give a scintillating performance even when he's dead tired?
To catch this and more... stay tuned for the next episode:
Ash Wednesday

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