Organization: The Department of Homeland Security
Event: Yale-MUN 2004,United States Security Council Assignment
Student: Saja Fakral-Deen
Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the Model UN 2003-2004 page
The new department's first priority is to protect the nation against further terrorist attacks. Component agencies will analyze threats and intelligence, guard the borders and airports, protect the critical infrastructure, and coordinate the response of the United States for future emergencies. It is also prioritizing the need to analyze the level of preparedness of United States citizens, in order to establish the intensity of development needed in that sector.
Besides providing a better-coordinated defense of the homeland, DHS is also dedicated to protecting the rights of American citizens and enhancing public services, such as natural disaster assistance and citizenship services, by dedicating offices to these important missions.
The 22 organizations, listed below, that the DHS consists of, are what will be taking care of carrying out the DHS’ objectives. Each organization is dedicated to achieving certain goals; these goals vary from enhancing airport and border security to developing science and technology.
The Department of Homeland Security was created after the "Homeland Security Act of 2002" was enacted at the 107th congress in Washington, DC. on the 23rd of January, 2002.
The strategy behind the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) points out that today no one single government agency has homeland security as its primary mission. In fact, responsibilities for homeland security are dispersed among more than 100 different government organizations. America needs a single, unified homeland security structure that will improve protection against today's threats and be flexible enough to help meet the unknown threats of the future.
The creation of the DHS is the most significant transformation of the US. government since 1947, when Harry S. Truman merged the various branches of the US. Armed Forces into the Department of Defense to better coordinate the nation's defense against military threats. DHS represents a similar method of implementation. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks against the United States of America on September 11th, 2001, President George W. Bush decided 22 previously distinct domestic agencies needed to be coordinated into one department to protect the nation against threats to the homeland, and thus the Department of Homeland Security was created. The consolidation of these organizations into the new Department is the largest federal reorganization in more than 50 years.
The agencies slated to become part of the DHS were housed in one of four major directorates: Border and Transportation Security, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Science and Technology, and Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection.
The Border and Transportation Security directorate will bring the major border security and transportation operations under one roof. They include: · The US. Customs Service (Treasury) · The Immigration and Naturalization Service (part) (Justice) · The Federal Protective Service (GSA) · The Transportation Security Administration (Transportation) · Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (Treasury) · Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (part)(Agriculture) · Office for Domestic Preparedness (Justice)
The Emergency Preparedness and Response directorate will oversee domestic disaster preparedness training and coordinate government disaster response. It will bring together: · The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) · Strategic National Stockpile and the National Disaster Medical System (HHS) · Nuclear Incident Response Team (Energy) · Domestic Emergency Support Teams (Justice) · National Domestic Preparedness Office (FBI) The Science and Technology directorate will seek to utilize all scientific and technological advantages when securing the homeland. The following assets will be part of this effort: · CBRN Countermeasures Programs (Energy) · Environmental Measurements Laboratory (Energy) · National BW Defense Analysis Center (Defense) · Plum Island Animal Disease Center (Agriculture) The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection directorate will analyze intelligence and information from other agencies (including the CIA, FBI, DIA and NSA) involving threats to homeland security and evaluate vulnerabilities in the nation's infrastructure. It will bring together: · Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (Commerce) · Federal Computer Incident Response Center (GSA) · National Communications System (Defense) · National Infrastructure Protection Center (FBI) · Energy Security and Assurance Program (Energy)
The Secret Service and the Coast Guard will also be located in the Department of Homeland Security, remaining intact and reporting directly to the Secretary. In addition, the INS adjudications and benefits programs will report directly to the Deputy Secretary as will the US. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
On January 24, 2003, Tom Ridge became the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Tom Ridge was sworn in as the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security in October 2001, following the tragic events of September 11. The charge to the nation's new director of homeland defense was to develop and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to strengthen the United States against terrorist threats or attacks. In the words of President George W. Bush, he had the strength, experience, personal commitment and authority to accomplish this critical mission.
Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania, serving from 1995 to 2001. He kept his promise to make Pennsylvania "a leader among states and a competitor among nations." Governor Ridge’s aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state's advances in the priority areas of economic development, education, health and the environment.
The President has requested a budget which reflects his clear commitment to supporting the priorities and the mission of the Department of Homeland Security. The Fiscal Year 2004 budget supports the Department's effort to implement the objectives outlined in the President's National Strategy for Homeland Security including: · Preventing terrorist attacks within the United States; · Reducing America's vulnerability to terrorism; and · Minimizing the damage and recovering from attacks that do occur.
The budget seeks to maintain funding for critical operations of each of the Department agencies and organizations since their individual missions will enable the Department to achieve its overall vision for securing the homeland.
The Fiscal Year 2004 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security is $36.2 billion. This represents a 7.4% increase in funding over FY2003, and a 64% increase ($14.1 billion) over FY2002, with over 60 thousand staff added to the department in order to help in the DHS’ mission to protect the country.
The Federal Government will allocate $325 billion in 2002 to defend the United States, its citizens, its allies, and to protect and advance American interests around the world. Compared to national defense, the budget of the Department of Homeland Security is relatively low. There is a large marginal difference between the two budgets despite their similarity in the use of such large amounts of money.
Each individual agency’s budget averages around $2.39 billion. When multiplied by 22 (number of existing agencies), the total is $52.58 billion dollars. The Department of Homeland Security requested 2004 budget is $36.2 billion, which is $16.38 billion dollars less than the budgets of the agencies combined.
The total revenue that was lost due to tax expenditure of all the member organizations for the FY 2003 was somewhere around $820,948 million according to the Office of Management and Budget. When divided by 300, each person would pay $2736.49.
FY2004 budget highlights:
1. Improving Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection
This budget will support the Department's ability to analyze and identify potential threats, assess vulnerabilities, map those threats to vulnerabilities and provide the information from which to organize protective measures. $829 million is requested for this initiative - an increase of $652 million (370%) over the FY2003 level.
This funding includes approximately $500 million to assess the nation's critical infrastructure (e.g., nuclear power plants, water facilities, telecommunications networks, and transportation systems) and to work to ensure that our highest priority vulnerabilities are addressed.
2. Advancing and Harnessing Science and Technology
$803 million is requested for the Department to use American ingenuity and develop new partnerships with the private sector to research, develop and deploy homeland security technologies that will make America safer - an eight-time increase over 2002.
The Science and Technology Directorate's Advanced Research Project Agency will direct $350 million in new funding to address gaps in high-priority operational areas like protecting critical infrastructure and our borders.
3. Preparing for and Responding to National Emergencies
One of the Department's top priorities is to ensure that the nation is prepared to respond to incidents throughout our country. The budget requests $5.9 billion for Emergency Preparedness and Response, an increase of 16% ($838 million) over FY2003.
The Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate will coordinate all necessary response efforts quickly and effectively, including maintaining and strengthening the Strategic National Stockpile of drugs, vaccines, and equipment with $400 million requested to continue this initiative. An additional $890 million is requested to pre-purchase critically needed vaccines and medication for bio-defense.
4. Securing the Nation's Borders and Transportation System
$18.1 billion is requested for the Border and Transportation Security Directorate to meet the strategic goals of improving border security and transportation security, while at the same time facilitating the unhindered and reliable flow of commerce and people across the borders and through the airports, seaports, highways and railways. The budget also supports the Department's effort to restructure the border security agencies to enhance efficiencies and create greater accountability in one faultless border service.
$4.8 billion is requested for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an increase of $160 million from FY2003 after subtracting one-time costs from its start-up. TSA will build on its success of hiring and deploying a new professional screening workforce to strengthen its operations for enhancing security for the nation's transportation system.
The budget request also includes funding for the comprehensive Entry-Exit system, which will enable the Department to track the entry and exit of visitors to the United States. $100 million in new resources is requested in FY2004 for a total of $480 million.
The Department recognizes that state and local governments face new threats. This budget will help them obtain the tools, resources, and information they need to do their jobs. $3.5 billion is requested to support the nation's first responders, including $500 million in grants for assistance to firefighters, $500 million for state and local law enforcement terrorism prevention initiatives, and $181 million for the Citizen Corps.
5. Other initiatives for Border and Transportation Security include: · $62 million of new funding for the Container Security Initiative. · $307 million additional investment in the Automated Commercial Environment. · $119 million additional investment for non-intrusive inspection technology. · $40 million of new funding for Atlas/Chimera to address requirements in the Border Security Act. · $18 million for the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism initiative.
6. Securing the Nation's Ports and Ensuring Safety in our Waterways
The Coast Guard will work with the Border and Transportation Security Directorate to ensure that the safety and security of the nation's waterways and ports. $6.7 billion is provided to recapitalize the Coast Guard, an additional $615 million, which is 10% above the FY2003 level-supporting the deployment of Maritime Safety and Security Teams, the deployment of coastal patrol boats, and continued development of the maritime "911" system. $134 million is requested for the maritime "911" system.
The budget includes $500 million to continue the "Deepwater" program, which is upgrading the Coast Guard's fleet of cutters, aircraft, and related systems to improve performance across DHS as the Coast Guard's activities become more integrated with other DHS components, and as the Coast Guard becomes a more active member of the DHS.
7. Improving Immigration Services
The Department is committed to greatly improving immigration benefits to the more than seven million annual applicants. The FY2004 budget continues the President's $500 million initiative to reduce the backlog of applications, while at the same time ensuring that our nation's policies for issuing visas to visitors are consistent with security and foreign policy interests.
The US Department of Homeland Security is rather famous among nations. It has been subject to minor criticism; however it has received plenty of praise and support. The support was openly expressed by some of its major support political allies. First of all, the President of the Philippines, President Arroyo, explicitly reiterated her support during a press conference held in the Oval Office in Washington, DC. while she was visiting the President. She stated:
"It's my honor to be here. And the occasion is the 50th anniversary of our mutual defense treaty between our two countries. And this treaty just demonstrates how we've been allies for so long. Allies in the Second World War, allies in the Cold War, allies in the Korean War, allies in the Vietnam War, and now allies in the war against terrorism. We're allies, too, in the economic front. The US. is our number one trading partner; cumulatively, our number one source of investment. And the Filipinos who live in America are number one in income earning, and also number one in education. There are 3 million, and 1.5 million of them are voters -- 1.5 million.So I know that they're very happy about this partnership."
Another political ally to the United States is China. The most recent talks held between the two countries have generally been about weapons. They discuss missile defense, and they were both part of the six-way talks that were held in order to discuss the issue of weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear weapons, in Iran. China and the United States have been allies for a long time. The war on terrorism is only strengthening their relationship by making them work closer together in order to combat this issue.
Another one of the US’ closest allies is El Salvador. When the President came back from his trip to El Salvador, he stated: "El Salvador is a stable, developing democracy and among our closest allies in Latin America. We share a common outlook on most topics, including counterterrorism, democracy, law enforcement, open economies and free trade. The United State is always generous in providing aid to El Salvador in times of emergency or when natural disasters have struck. In FY 2001, the US providing El Salvador with $20 million dollars after two consecutive earthquakes struck in one month; 1,159 people died and 334,866 houses destroyed. In regards to the economic relationship between the two countries, it has been stated that El Salvador has been a regional leader in economic and trade policy reform, and will be a key partner for the United States as we continue to take the necessary steps toward negotiating a free trade agreement with Central America. President Flores has set as a core objective of his administration the negotiation of free trade agreements with El Salvador's top ten trading partners by 2003.
The United States is the last -- but the biggest -- on El Salvador's top ten list. The Prime Minister of Thailand, PM Shinawatra also reiterated full support during a meeting between him and President Bush in the Oval Office. He stated: "Thailand and the US. has been treaty allies since 1833. This is very right for me to visit and giving full support to US., which is our very long ally. And it's very right for me to discuss war against terrorism and also -- economic issues that we should further enhance the cooperation among our two countries."
Of course there are many other allies of the United States and the DHS, however, these are the most prominent, and have been the most to openly express their support of the DHS. Other avid supporters include the United Kingdom, Spain, and several countries in the Middle East.
The US has already canceled several flights flying in from France over security threats and alerts, the French government has been extremely cooperative and has met our requests kindly, as are UK officials, Canadian officials, and many others. Saudi Arabia started to fully cooperate after the terrorist attacks that occurred during the holy month of Ramadan struck in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia now realizes that some of its citizens that are held in Guantanamo Bay may actually prove to be terrorists.
As for friends and enemies within the United States, the Republicans are those who voted for the creation of the department. Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas said the new Cabinet agency "will focus the resources of this government on our safety and on our security on the defeat of villainy." The proposal passed with a vote of 295-132.
Democrats were not very happy with the passing of the bill; many Democrats were dissatisfied, saying the bill could undermine worker civil service and union protections. "I know we all have a common goal. We have a different way of reaching it," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic whip. Conservatives have also sided with the formation of the department.
Despite the dispute, most lawmakers of both parties had predicted that a consensus will be reached, and their predictions were right as is proven by the presence of the current Department of Homeland Security.
A non-political ally that is worth mentioning is the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP), which is the principal component of the Department of Homeland Security. It is responsible for preparing the United States for acts of terrorism. In carrying out its mission, ODP is the primary office responsible to providing training, funds for the purchase of equipment, support for the planning and execution of exercises, technical assistance and other support to assist states and local jurisdiction prevent, plan for, and respond to acts of terrorism.
The DHS and its Science and Technology division and the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) announced today a contract award to North Carolina State University (NCSU) for the development of the next generation of structural fire fighting personal protective equipment, which will include chemical and biological agent protection. Democrats have presented their concern, however have not taken any serious action to prove that they are totally against the proposal yet.
The ACLU seems to be displeased with the Department of Homeland Security as well as with other major US departments. It has already sued the DHS as well as the Department of Defense over several legal files from Chicago.
Ever since its creation, which was not so long ago, the Department of Homeland Security has not yet shown any signs of weakening. It has tackled all obstacles head on, and has responded to all threats and pressure intelligently. This is evident in the fact that no terrorist attack has occurred in the United States since the formation of the department. However, the DHS is still oblivious as to the objectives of certain terrorist groups, namely Al-Qaeda. This places the DHS in the dark, and hampers its own objectives, and that is preventing any terrorist attacks from taking place. We cannot safely say that the DHS has stopped all terrorists from even considering entering the US, no one can. However, we can say that the DHS is limiting the chances of a terrorist attack as much as is possible comprehensible.
Another weakness that is not only present in the DHS, but is also creating problems for worldwide organizations and departments dedicated to national security, and that is hacktivism. Hacktivism refers to the merging of political activism and computer hacking. The use of hacktivism has been noted in protest activities since the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) launched a series of so-called network direct actions (especially web page defacements and denial-of service attacks) against web sites of the Mexican government in 1998. Since then, the larger protest community has shown skills in computer-based support capabilities for protest events in general, and network direct actions in particular, both of which have been increasing steadily.
To date, the only indication of planned hacktivist activities is a report that hackers are targeting computers in Australia and the United States during the Olympic Games. In addition, interfering with banking and finance infrastructures has been identified as possible in conjunction with protest activities against the IMF & World Bank 55th Annual Summit. This limited indication (thus far) of computer network protest activities may be the result of growing concern among activists for their own operational security. However, emerging trends suggest that the use of computer network ("cyber") protest activities in connection with upcoming events should not be discounted. Traditional physical protest activity during the events will likely be accompanied by various types of cyber disturbance. Protests could include denial-of-service attacks, web page disruptions and defacements, and so-called virtual sit-ins (i.e., bombarding a targeted web server with multiple, simultaneous requests, using specialized software designed for the purpose of overloading the server). Cyber protests could also target corporate, financial and U. S. government web sites and computer networks, particularly those related to banking, finance, or economics. Beyond this rather focused cyber and parallel physical protest activity, it is not expected that there will be problems which would disable large segments of U. S. infrastructures.
The DHS is facing difficulties in these aspects because of the US’ lack of experience in them. However, the DHS is actively working on turning that around, and avoiding any form of casualties along the way. Despite these weaknesses in regards to the experience of the Department, it is still attaining its other goals while trying to figure out solutions to these weaknesses.
The budget proposed will hopefully be enough to protect the United States, the budgets over the last two years, which were less than this year’s, proved sufficient. The DHS is composed of 22 organizations and over 600 workers; they have successfully been able to fulfill the requirements of the enormous task of protecting the US for two years until now, and hopefully they will be able to protect the US for years to come. The DHS is prepared to face opponents head one. It is well-equipped with all that is required to face the opponents, and will do so when the time comes in order to protect the nation.
One of the strongest points of the Department of Homeland Security is its seriousness as to the threat level posed by terrorists. It is also dedicated to ensuring the safety of the citizens of the United States. It takes all necessary measures to achieve its goals. One of its strongest actions was on May 10th 2003, when the Department of Homeland Security launched a five-day, full-scale national exercise in Chicago and Seattle to measure and analyze the nation's response to a mock terrorist attack. This kind of exercise helps the nation analyze and determine its stance as to emergency preparedness. This information is vital if the US wishes to overcome casualties if a real terrorist attack was to take place. This strategy is known as TOPOFF. The TOPOFF exercises are an important part of the national preparedness strategy. If the US is going to make its response system stronger, they first have to identify where strengths and weaknesses exist. That is what TOPOFF is designed to do. These challenging scenarios forced the US to gauge their readiness, test their internal communications, and reinforce relationships. The TOPOFF crew even simulated distribution of information to a fictitious media outlet to test the US’ ability to provide timely and accurate information to the public.
Ever since the formation of the DHS, the United States has not yet encountered any terrorist attack. The airport security level has highly increased. Fewer immigrants are being allowed to cross over the border; however immigrants within the US are enjoying extra privileges. US citizens are feeling safer by the day. The DHS has fulfilled a lot of its goals as of now, it has been successful.
Despite the strength of the DHS, this does not mean that they are 100% confident that there are zero chances of a terrorist attack from occurring. Otherwise, all the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay would be let free, and there would be no fluctuations in the threat level. However, the reason behind the captivity of the prisoners and the fluctuations in the threat level is not because of the weakness of the DHS, it is because of the terrorists and their plans. The DHS has already halted some of these possible attacks, and it has cracked down on terrorist financial networks, but it still cannot rest assured that no terrorist attack will occur. By keeping the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, the DHS is decreasing the chances of the occurrence of such attacks, and that is the extent of its ability to protect the US at this time.
Committee: National Security Council
Author: Tom Ridgeway
Resolution Topic: Civil liberties in the wake of the war on terrorism
Pointing out that the Department of Homeland Security has only recently been founded after the September 11th attacks, it merges 22 agencies,
Bearing in mind that the issue of terrorism is most directly dealt with through the Department of Homeland Security, however, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center which was announced to the public in President Bush’s State of the Union Address in January, is supposed to coordinate information flow between DHS, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense,
Stressing on the fact that the most efficient tool needed to combat terrorism is intelligence,
Further stressing on the importance of direct intelligence reception from all corners of the protected area at all times seeing as every single additional piece of information may prove to be vital to the operation at hand, which in this case would be the protection of the nation,
Bringing into perspective that "… if we can work through governors down through mayors and local governments, we will get stronger and more secure every single day in the future as we have every single day since 9/11",
Pointing out that in order to achieve peace and stability, sacrifices are going to have to be made by every single member of the community, only through full cooperation and readiness to forego what is necessary to achieving the goal, will the goal every be reached and completed,
Bringing to your attention that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 and works as the nation’s guardian of liberties,
Pointing out that both the National Domestic Preparedness Office and the National Infrastructure Protection Center, as DHS member agencies, work under the FBI,
Bringing to your attention the fact that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) awards competitive grants to critical national seaports/terminals to support efforts for Port Security in the area of Enhanced Facility and Operational Security only, the TSA is coordinating this effort with the US. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration,
Alarmed by the figures indicating the DHS’s budget, the DHS is being entrusted with a massive task, and needs sufficient funds to undergo the projects necessary to fulfill the task,
1. Resolves the formation of a subcommittee within the Department of Homeland Security, called the Department of State Representatives (DSR), every state will have a representative in the DSR, this representative will act as a mediator between that state and the DHS, he/she will have been elected by popular vote, the representative should not be the current governor or mayor of the state, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) will also have a representative in the DSR, as will the FBI and the CIA, the representatives of the states will be responsible for: A. Transferring any intelligence the state might have acquired regarding any sign of terrorist activity, B. Keeping track of any attack, either major or minor (meaning it has affected no human life, and had caused simple damages in terms of non-living things) that might have occurred within the state, C. Turning over any suspected terrorists to the DHS where they will be tried, I. If found guilty, they will be sent to Guantanamo Bay, II. If found not-guilty, they will be exiled from the US, never to be allowed to return;
2. Further resolves that the state representatives will also be responsible for taking care to report details of any event that might have occurred that would stir chaos within the region, for example protests and things of the sort, if the protesters wish to be heard, then they must write a paper including A. The problem they are concerned about, B. How they propose to fix it, C. These papers are to be presented to the state representatives who will put them forward during a meeting that will be held twice a year;
3. Proclaims that all state representatives will have collected the papers from all protesters in their region, during the meeting which will be overseen by the Secretary of the DHS, the papers will be discussed, and solutions will be set out, each meeting will concern only two states, moving in alphabetical order, so as to have the time to provide adequate concrete solutions and not hasty rushed ones, the ACLU representative will provide the meeting with the ACLU’s opinion regarding each issue that will be addressed during the meeting, as will the FBI and CIA representatives who will be contributing greatly to the issue of controlling any riots occurring in any state;
4. Further proclaims that the TSA grants will continue to be awarded to any nation from whom the USA will not face any problems/ issues with regarding border control, the grants’ amounts will range depending on the country discussed, and the extent with which it has cooperated.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Honorable members of the most prestigious and active National Security Council of the world, the National Security Council of the United States of America; we, as the Department of Homeland Security, the newest member of the NSC family, would like to welcome you all to this extremely important meeting of the Council. We have been drawn here today on account of two issues that are of great concern and controversy to the United States, the issue of the doctrine of preemption, and that of the war on terrorism.
Honorable members, it is our job, as the National Security Council of the United States to protect its people against any harm. Regardless of the source of the harm, we must ensure the safety of our country and of its people. As most of you are probably aware, the Department of Homeland Security has already engaged on several tasks in its attempt to lower the threat of the occurrence of a terrorist attack. The level has been elevated several times in the past, only to go back down again to the point of stability.
The main goal of the Department of Homeland Security is to keep that level as low, stable, and constant as possible. In order to achieve that goal, we require assistance from each and every one of you because "The War on Terrorism is being waged at home as well as abroad.."
Together, we can obliterate any skepticism regarding the safety of our beloved homeland, and the well-being of its people, and with your help "…we will get stronger and more secure every single day in the future as we have every single day since 9/11"
While attending the Yale Model United Nations XXX conference held in New Haven, Connecticut, I was a member of the United States National Security Council (NSC). The NSC consists of 13 members including the president of the United States, the attorney general, the secretary of state, the national security advisor, etc… I represented the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Mr. Tom Ridge. In this session of the NSC, we debated two issues: the doctrine of preemption and civil liberties in the wake of the war on terrorism. Being a representative of the DHS, I naturally wrote a resolution about the second issue seeing as it affects homeland security more directly than the doctrine of preemption does. While setting the agenda, the delegates voted on the doctrine of preemption as the first topic to be discussed. We successfully passed a resolution concerning this topic on the fourth of five sessions. The resolution was proposed by the senate majority leader and the attorney general.
During the event, we had at least four emergency situations that occurred during the sessions themselves, and another major emergency situation that occurred at 1:30 a.m., at which time members of the NSC were called in to solve the problem. It concerned the Indian/Pakistani issue (mainly focusing on Pakistan, though), and the Chinese elections. We had been given six hours to reach a solution. We successfully wrote out a resolution, at 6:00 a.m. We arrived back at our hotels at 6:30 a.m. At the fifth and last session, I had time to submit my resolution, which already had been signed on by three people, and had been verbally commended by three others (therefore guaranteeing passing). We did not however have time to debate it. At the awards ceremony held on the last day of the event, I received a certificate for honorable mention. Overall, the event was somewhat disorganized, but rather enjoyable.