The motto “Festina Lente” which translates as “make haste slowly” or “more haste, less speed” was the motto of the emperors Augustus and Titus and also the Medicis. I believe the saying “slow is smooth, smooth is fast” is also used by the US Marines.
Personally, in life, I have always learned a new technique by practising it slowly to get the form perfect, then progressively speeding up. For me, it has worked that if I need to deliver activities quickly, I have needed to focus on making the processes smooth, develop the skills of young people, and obsessively drive out waste and delay. It is simple- concentrate on achieving great technique and form before trying just to do things quickly.
The world is recuperating from a massive jolt, it is time to reset the haste buttons, pause, and re-evaluate where we are going and how to reach where we would go. It is important to know how we would feel once we reach our perceived goal. Would we be alone? Would we be morally satisfied? Would the path be just and the results true? Would it lead to a better, happier world? Our actions could be led by personal interest but they should never ignore the larger good, a better world order.
Right now, the world seems to be more fragmented, with war, political turmoil, and economic bankruptcy. We are running a race, fighting for our share of resources, power, arms, and ammunition, of race superiority. It is frightening how religion, linguistics, and even culture are polarising countries in places.
I am reminded of the poem Keeping Quiet in which the poet Pablo Neruda urges humans to take time out to think as the race itself threatens both the runners and the spectators, the power centers, the high, the mighty, and all those around them:
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Swami Vivekananda hoped repeatedly, “My faith is in the younger generation”.
Let WELMUN'22 be the clarion call of the young, the voice of reason and caution. Let us hope that we see the emergence of a fresh new perspective through the deliberations of the various committees. That the delegates would think through, strategize, and then arrive at a workable, well-thought-out solution.
All the best WELMUN'22. May you make haste slowly and savour this journey!
Secretary General's Message
It is my great honour and immense pleasure to invite you to join us for the eighth edition of the Welham Boys’ Model United Nations Conference, 2022.
For nearly a decade now, WELMUN has served as an annual forum for over 300 school-level delegates from across the nation and beyond, to discuss the world’s most pressing issues and devise solutions to difficult challenges in international affairs. Over the years, WELMUN has grown into an exceptionally important event at School which shapes life for many people, in many ways. Since its inception it
has strived to signify collaboration, negotiation and innovation; these are still integral values which our Executive Board will toil towards conserving. As WELMUN remains to be one of the most prestigious school-level conferences of its kind, we are excited to continue our legacy of excellence as we embark on the journey to the Eighth Edition.
As I sit to write down this message, something that I read in the eighth grade crosses my mind-- the words of Jimi Hendrix and the message of one of my predecessors, “When the power of love overcomes the love for power the world will know peace.” However, this has never been achieved. Thousands of treaties have been signed, hundreds of conventions have been held and innumerable organisations have been formed and desecrated, but, the concept of world peacestill evades us. All members of the international community even today, lamentably speaking, are plagued with the hunger for unending power and for that reason, are working towards proving themselves to be the most powerful in the entire community.
This is when the world needs a body like the United Nations, which is possibly the only remaining difference between conflict and war. At the end of the day, it is hope that such an organisation is built upon, the hope with which different nations who were otherwise ready to slaughter each other, came together to form one organisation, the hope with which they sat down to constitute a charter that would one day determine the fate of the world, the hope with which they sat in committee rooms to deliberate over issues using a pen and a tongue, rather than a warhead and a grenade, has made all the difference today.
Despite the necessary restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite two years of endless online conferences, the Secretariat is preparing for a return to a fully in-person WELMUN. Nevertheless, we are closely monitoring vaccination rates and are cautiously optimistic that, following proper health precautions and Covid protocols, we will successfully be able to host a traditional Model United Nations Conference this August.
Time is short. Action is required. The people of the world are on notice. If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response. We should not forget, we should not delay and all the delegates should work together to cultivate the ideas, which the forefathers of the United Nations wanted to establish.
It is with this very philosophy that we have formulated the theme of WELMUN’22, i.e. “Festina Lente” an axiom and oxymoron, adopted by the emperors Augustusand Titus, the Medicis and the Onslows, the phrase essentially means ‘proceedexpeditiously but prudently’ or ‘to make haste slowly’.
With this, I promise you three days of exemplary debates and intense discussions, vigorous diplomacy and some of the most magnificent memories.
Welham Boys’ School Model United Nations Conference