Appose MD of Class XII attended the People to People Leadership Summit during the month of June 2013.
Given below is his experience about the trip to Washington DC
The People to People Leadership Summits are a life changing experience. My advice to all those reading this is, if given an opportunity, you must attend one. As a brief introduction, the People to People ambassador programs are conducted three times every year by the People to People Organisation. It hosts programs for Science and Technology, Medicine, Community Service, International Leadership & Diplomacy and Entrepreneurship.
I was sent for the International Leadership and Diplomacy program which was conducted over a period of ten days. We spent five days at the Colombia University, New York and the rest of the time at Washington University, Washington. Each participant of this Summit was given a country and a committee to represent. I was entrusted to represent Saudi Arabia in the Economic and Social Committee. It was basically like a Model United Nation session where we debated on topics that are a great concern to the global community today. Some good examples would be the global freshwater crisis, the crisis in Syria, the problem of human trafficking and such.
We were organised into groups of twelve. A committee consists of three groups and a bus was assigned to each committee. Our task was to draft a resolution that could be agreed upon by all the countries in the committee so that the given problem could be solved ‘Diplomatically’. The debates got really heated up and from time to time, resolutions failed to pass. Our resolution passed in our committee but, to our disappointment, failed to pass in the General Assembly.
The Summit taught me much about international diplomacy, what it means to be an ambassador to my country and how important it is to have friendly relations with many people. This programme has given me the exposure that I believe nothing else can provide.
Through the People to People Leadership Summit, I was provided with an opportunity to better myself in various aspects. It has taught me discipline and how to get rid of inhibitions. I have come to realise that school life is the best time to learn humility. There were people of many races and cultures at the program. I learnt about their diverse cultures, lifestyles and definitely about America.
During our visit, we visited a lot of iconic places in New York, Washington. We toured the Holocaust Museum, the Vietnamese War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr’ Memorial, the Parliament House, the Organisation of American States, Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial, the Museum of Tolerance and many other places as well.
The Organisers of the Summit make each day of the program delightful. We had volunteer sessions with SERRV, a non profit organisation and attended a talk by Dr. Hamid Al-Bayati, the Iraqi ambassador for the U.N, where he spoke about the Work of the United Nations. We also heard recounts of the holocaust times from a survivor from Cracow, Poland and had interactive sessions with a high ranking official from New Zealand Embassy onboard the USS INTREPID battleship. At Broadway, we saw a play and even made our own Harlem Shake video during our free time! To add on, we had a chance to experience an exhilarating Staten Island Yankees’ minor league baseball game.
One main attraction there was the food. The food there is just awesome and we were presented with plenty of it. My plate was filled with a variety of food items that we haven’t seen here in India.
On our last day, we presented our resolutions to our peers at the French Embassy and had our last lunch together. All of us had mixed feelings realising that it was the last day of the program.
I have certainly benefited from this program and am eternally grateful for all those who made this trip possible for me. Thank you for enabling me to widen my perspectives and making me a better person.
Thats about it.
Appose M D