Exhibiting critical thinking, effective communication, and diplomatic negotiation skills, Josiah C. Garcia, member of Batch 2022 of the Philippine Science High School – Central Luzon Campus (PSHS-CLC) in Clark, Pampanga became one of the recipients of the best delegate award in the North American Invitation Model United Nation (NAIMUN) Southeast Asia III held virtually last May 28-30.

Garcia and his teammates tackled the 2018 Simulation Crisis Committee of Donald Trump’s Cabinet on how to navigate the economic dispute on unfair trade practices between this contentious relationship with China while protecting Americans from economic hardships.

“As a delegate, I primarily learned how to compromise. Diplomacy is not about getting what you want. It is about getting what the majority wants. Another realization is that despite all of us having the same goal in mind, it doesn’t mean that we are going to agree on the means of reaching it. Balancing your personal goals, others’ opinions, and the greater good is what being a delegate is all about. It was an eye-opener to the complexity of diplomacy at the international level. It was challenging because we have to think on the spot of our stance about the matter on hand, intended solutions for those problems, and the significance of our roles as cabinet members,” Garcia said.

In 2018, after years of rhetoric accusing China of unfair trade practices, Trump finally launched a trade war against Beijing and expanded the American protectionist trade policies to level tariffs on steel and aluminum from all countries. In response, Beijing imposed tariffs on agricultural goods from the United States.

“It was a great learning opportunity for me. It was also a very fun experience because you get to interact with students all over the world who embody different cultures, different ways of living, and therefore, different opinions. The formality, and the meticulousness of the procedures also stunned me because for us to create a sound and effective directive, we have to compromise sometimes our views,” Garcia added.

NAIMUN has been the cornerstone of American Model United Nations since 1963. The recent NAIMUN SEA III was its third iteration, and the conference was attended by more than a 100 international students.

The international event was co-hosted by MUN Inc. and the Georgetown International Relations Associations (GIRA). MUN Inc. is a regional education provider in Southeast Asia (founded in 2014) which focuses on developing Model United Nations.

(Aries N. Oliveros, Executive Assistant)