At the recent Global Vision Summit, 14 of our Waipahu PAAC club students stepped into the world of high-stakes diplomacy. They joined nearly 200 students from across the state to role-play as diplomats, journalists, activists, and peacebuilders trying to reach a peaceful solution to a nuclear diplomacy crisis.
Students negotiated for their fictional countries, working around their different national interests and histories of economic and political tension. Other students staged protests, while others worked as journalists covering the breaking news. Through rounds of formal and informal negotiations, the players were — thankfully — able to overcome tensions and misinformation and agree on a last-minute compromise.
The simulation was based on actual nuclear diplomacy negotiations between the United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, and China. During the conference, which was hosted at UH-Mānoa, students worked directly with real-life experts including foreign service diplomats, U.S. ambassadors, and faculty from the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.
For those of you who are wondering, PAAC stands for Pacific & Asian Affairs Council. Please scroll on to hear more about the GVS conference through our students’ eyes.
“The best thing about PAAC (in my opinion) are the connections that you can make. At events such as GVS or WorldQuest, I was able to meet new people from all over the island and state. Even at regular meetings, I can connect with my classmates whom I never talk to. Being in PAAC is one of the best things about my high school experience.” ~ Owen
“Watching the situation escalate was pretty entertaining.” ~ Zav
“I learned how hard it is to debate and communicate with others who have completely different goals.” ~ Teru
“What surprised me the most was how friendly everyone was and how much everyone collaborated. The best part of the GVS was learning negotiation skills and being able to meet new people, some of whom I will be staying in touch with.” ~ Xyandri
Mrs. Francis has been supporting HTA Waipahu’s PAAC club since fall 2017. She started with just four members; the club has continued to grow in size to today’s 30!
PAAC empowers Hawaiʻi teens with the skills to be the global leaders of tomorrow. PAAC’s award-winning High School Global Education Program uses non-traditional, experiential learning to engage and excite students about global issues. PAAC strives to develop student leadership, empathy, critical thinking, and cross-cultural collaboration skills. Since 1954, PAAC has served more than 100,000 Hawaiʻi high school students.