THE CENTRO Cultural de Belém was thronging with students on Armistice Day, as once again the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL) hosted the 11th Annual Iberian Model United Nations Conference (IMUN).
With schools from mainland Portugal and Madeira, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Italy, and Norway, it will be interesting to see if this conference can get any bigger. The Resident’s Bob Hughes spoke to Blannie Curtis, principal of CAISL who said that many more schools had been turned away this year in order to keep the conference manageable. And yes, it clearly was manageable, as the organisation was certainly as good if not better than last year. This year’s Secretary-General, Joana Hissa, oversaw the conference, ably assisted by her deputy, Giovanna Kossakowski.
This year’s keynote speaker was Hussain Salih Mualla the Iraqi Ambassador here in Lisbon. Born in Najaf and a graduate of Baghdad University, he has served in Athens, Brussels, Brazil and Jakarta. In 2000 he acted as the Minister Plenipotentiary and Chief of the United Nations Human Rights department. His keynote speech was excellent and most informative of the bygone and most recent years of Iraq. He pulled no punches in his answers to the delegate’s many questions on Iraq and received a hearty round of applause.
Other issues and topics covered during the event included: the situation in Central America: progress in fashioning a region of peace, freedom, democracy and development. International co-operation with regards to humanitarian assistance for natural disasters, from relief to development. Measures to eliminate the use of child soldiers in combat and working towards the elimination of crimes against women and girls committed in the name of honour, among others.