It's tough to have the whole world against you.
Sure, there are allies such as Cuba and Iran, but the rest of the world voted thumbs down to nuclear weapons in North Korea during a mock United Nations session at Greenbrier Middle School on Thursday.
"It's fun saying stuff you don't really mean. You can be completely negative and have some fun," said Johnny Wilson, a Riverside Middle School seventh-grader, who with William Reeve represented North Korea in the Model United Nations.
Eighty-two gifted pupils from Greenbrier and Riverside middle schools represented 40 countries in the event.
"It's a chance for them to participate in a mock conference on a real resolution the United Nations is debating. They have to go to the United Nations' Web site and research the resolution. They also have to research their own country to be informed delegates," said Sandy Woods, gifted social studies teacher.
Greenbrier Middle School pupil Hyu-Ji Park, representing South Korea, listens to a debate during the Model United Nations meeting at the school.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The resolution was: Should North Korea be allowed to have nuclear weapons?
"We were worried we would have a whole room against North Korea, but it's not been that way," Woods said. "They have to put aside their feelings and vote the way their country would feel."
The event began that morning with a feast of ethnic foods brought by the delegates. Caucus groups met twice during the day. During the session, countries presented two-minute resolution speeches. Other countries had the chance to debate the points presented and vote on amendments that were presented. The pupils practiced for two months and created native costumes to wear during the event.
Two sixth-graders shuttled messages between the countries.
"These are countries who are forming alliances: 'I'll vote with you if we change it to read this way,"' Woods said.
Cuban delegates Michael Cordier and Perry Kantor sided with North Korea in their argument: "We of Cuba believe that the U.S. is being hypocritical of North Korea, as it is the largest nuclear power in the world, and is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in wartime."
France's delegate Rachel Colbert of Riverside Middle argued, "We don't trust North Korea. They should not have nuclear weapons because they have a crazy leader."
North Korean delegate Johnny Wilson fired back, "Bush is just as crazy as Kim Jong-Il is!"
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