Alina Veladini and Paola Rojas made second in the Big Debate competition on November 24 at the Association des Jeunes Monégasques. After getting the upper hand on Patrick Buhman and Tassilo Labuzinski in semi final they failed to get the trophy against the Gramaglia team in the last game.

The semi-final theme was about « Banning Facebook » and was supported by Paola and Alina in a very convincing manner, while Tassilo and Patrick tried to demonstrate that there was not justification for that. Although a survey of the audience showed that a majority did not want Facebook to be banned, the jury was more impressed by the debating skills of the Swiss-Venezuelan team who qualified for the final.

At this stage, the debate was about « in favor of a World Government », theme which was supported by the Gramaglia Real Estate team. The IUM team was very convincing in showing the utopian aspect of this dream at a time when people at the UN cannot agree on a great number of major issues, but the jury was probably impressed by the lyricism of the other team quoting Martin Luther King « dreaming », and John Lennon « imagining a world without borders ». Once again, the audience preferred the thesis of the losing team, demonstrating that our girls had been excellent, but the jury judged on the form.

The Hudson Foundation prize, for Monaco nationals and residents only, was awarded to a team of the American School while the two IUM teams received a standing ovation from their supporters who included Drs. Maxime Crener and Sandrine Ricard, as well as several professors and many IUM students.

The Big Debate competition will probably take place in 2011 and IUM teams will be proud to demonstrate that they can do even better next year.

Thanks to Ms. Ann Batt, the JCE Monaco, AJM and the British Association of Monaco for sponsoring this event and congratulations for all IUM students who participated successfully.