Students Negotiate “Water Wars” at Mock Peace Summit

On Monday, April 23, Form III took a day away from classes to engage in a mock peace summit.
The boys wrestled with a hypothetical crisis scenario, where China has begun building a dam on the Brahmaputra River at the Great Bend, a section of the river in Chinese-controlled Tibet. The plan for the dam would be to produce power and to divert a substantial amount of water to the Yellow River basin and Gobi desert. That diversion would negatively impact downstream neighbors India and Bangladesh, while also posing other environmental and social risks to the region.

The peace summit asked the boys to represent one of five groups: China, India, Bangladesh, Global Water Partnership (an NGO focused on water issues), and the United Nations. Over the course of the day, the boys negotiated on several points and eventually produced and voted on a resolution. Awards were given to best delegates.

Over an Indian food lunch, the boys heard from a speaker, Sharmila Murthy. Ms. Murthy is a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, where she helps lead the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program. In an engaging presentation, she led the boys through an exploration of so-called “water wars,” water scarcity issues around the world, and the concept of access to water as a human right.

The day is designed with three goals in mind: (1) raise student awareness about world issues and instill global citizenship, (2) foster interdisciplinary learning, as boys in Form III study Indian and Chinese history along with environmental science, and (3) teach important lessons about negotiation, empathy, and leadership.

If you would like to find out more about the day, please contact Chris Kolovos, Director of Global Education at kolovos@belmonthill.org.
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