From February 8-11, Debate for Peace led a delegation of 18 students to the MEDIMUN conference in Nicosia, Cyprus. The delegation was planned with the help of the Embassy of Cyprus in Tel Aviv, and included a pre-trip briefing with Ambassador Shambos. Ambassador Shambos issued the follow remarks to the delegation on the occasion of their return:
Dear DfP participants,
I had the good fortune to first meet Steven and your wonderful team last summer, and learn more about the crucial work done through Debate for Peace, in bringing together Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian students from all over Israel and beyond, through your participation in Model UN conferences.
I was hence delighted to observe that students like yourselves debate, negotiate and aim to resolve the most difficult and pressing challenges in international relations as a perfectly unisoned team. It is this consiliatory team spirit that gave me the idea that the DfP participates at the Mediterranean Model UN (MEDIMUN) in Cyprus – something that I’m happy to learn proved to be an amazing experience.
I am honoured to actively second your cause because you prove that what you do matters. It matters because I represent a country of which a third has been invaded and that, after four and a half decades, still experiences the tragic results of foreign invasion and illegal military occupation, which forcibly continues to divide the two communities of Cyprus (Greek and Turkish Cypriots).
I hence understand how important it is to support young people that have the courage to look forward. Young people that break down stereotypes and cause paradigm shifts. Youth that builds bridges of understanding. That nourishes what unites us.
I hence salute your strength to be representatives of peace building. You are aware that your job is not easy. Because after all peace is not easy. This is why it is all the more important to support you as you cultivate messages of tolerance and integration, with respect to diversity and pluralism.
In this journey we cannot but stand by your side and do our little bit to help you make true your vision of a better and sustainable future for your generation and beyond .
What is also crucial is that as you grow older, and as from young participants in DfP you become responsible members of your societies, decision-shapers and decision-makers, you don’t lose sight of the vision you have today. I hope you carry the torch of a different, better reality with you, throughout your lives.
You are the shapers of your future. Make it your own. You have Cyprus ‘ unwavering support.
Thessalia S. Shambos