Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mr. Marszalek's Class 11/12 - International Response to the Crisis

Today's class was about the international response to the crisis in Darfur and the impediments to humanitarian intervention.  Cait, Josh, and I started the class by presenting information about the Responsibility to Protect, the UN and UNAMID and the ICC, respectively.  We each wrote our main points on the white board, and some students took notes while we were speaking.  Then, we erased our notes and made 4 columns on the board (R2P, UN, UNAMID, and ICC).  We passed out different facts related to the four topics, and had each student tape his or her fact under its appropriate heading.  Overall, the students did really well with this activity.  They got a few of them wrong, but someone in the class was always able to correctly identify where the fact should have been placed. 

After doing the activity, we made three small groups and went over the discussion questions.  My group did really well with this part of the class - they were engaged, inquisitive, and talkative.  For the last few minutes of our small group discussions, we asked the students to identify some challenges or obstacles to humanitarian intervention and aid.  We reconvened as a class with about 10 minutes left to make a list of these obstacles on the board.  Among the things that the students brought up were: al-Bashir preventing non-African peacekeeping troops from getting visas, the severe problem of under-funding of the UNAMID force, the roadblocks inherent in the structure of the UN (the P-5 have veto power), and the lack of enforcement power of the ICC.

Josh, Cait, and I were impressed with how well the students conducted themselves in this class. I think they walked away with a lot of very useful information and a better understanding of why the genocide in Darfur is still occurring. 

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