GRADE FOUR GAZETTE
SJI International Elementary School, Singapore
SUMMER TERM - WEEK 7 - Friday 12th June
Congratulations to the Environment Committee – we lobbied, we merged, we resolved!
Over the past eight weeks, over 40 Grade 4 children have been working hard as Delegates of the Environment Committee, representing 13 countries from across the world.
Having spent the first two sessions learning more about the United Nations and knowing and understanding the role of a Delegate, we then began to investigate the current and pertinent topic which we were gathered to discuss:
Should the ban on the killing of elephants for ivory be lifted?
Delegates were provided with ‘secret’ information which they were not allowed to share with other delegates, and used this to prepare a few statements regarding what their country wanted to happen. After this, they turned their point form ideas into operational clauses, for example We, the delegates of Papua New Guinea strongly urge member states to ban the use of ivory and encourage the government to pay sellers’ income as well as health care and education.
Then it was time to work with other Delegates, otherwise referred to as lobbying. With over 40 delegates from 13 countries, this took over three hours! I have never met such diligent and compassionate delegates and negotiations were taking place left, right and centre. Clauses were merged and Delegates worked cooperatively and with respect.
This week saw the culmination of our 8 Environment Committee meetings and a resolution was voted on. The resolution that received the most votes was the result of collaboration between the Delegates of England, South Africa, Belgium, Syria, New Zealand, Argentina, Thailand, Pakistan: We highly recommend a license to kill elephants and the citizens who have licenses can only kill an agreed number per year and these have to be old and sick. We strongly urge that elephant hunters can only use a traquilizing dart to put the elephant to sleep and elephants can only be killed after 3 to 4 mating seasons.
Papua New Guinea, Netherlands and USA cooperated and collaborated on the resolution: We strongly urge to ban the use of ivory and encourage the government to pay sellers’ income as well as health care and education. The UN will teach people in ivory trading countries trade like farming and building instead of ivory. For the countries who stop using ivory we will give them education to make money in different ways and if they are desperate, they can use limestone, which looks similar.
Indonesia and China found a common ground and agreed on the resolution: We strongly believe the ban of ivory should be lifted. However we believe that we should give licenses to people and the birth rate should be higher than the death rate. If there is any illegal ivory trade, people will be jailed or fined. We will also breed elephants purely for their ivory and set up special reserves for this purpose.
Unfortunately, due to time restraints, we didn’t have time to organise an event for parents to come in and see us hard at work finding solutions to world problems, however next year MUN will be offered as an after school ECA and we will have more time to organise such events as well as attend conferences at other schools – perhaps we will even host our own!
On a personal note, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Delegates for making the first ever SJIIES MUN Committee meeting an exhilarating and empowering experience. Your children were such effective and thoughtful committee members - I cannot wait to get started again in August.
Congratulations again, Delegates, you reached a considered and just Resolution.