Guest speakers descend on Lake Highlands to talk about issues facing the world

By: Brendan Meeker | Published: Sep 20, 2019


The Junior World Affairs Council (JWAC) has invited special guests to speak to Lake Highlands students about big issues in a special series this year.

Former Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Angola Clement Layiwola Laseinde spoke to students and outside visitors at an event hosted by the Junior World Affairs Council (JWAC) on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. 

Lasenide spoke of the qualities that are necessary to be an effective leader. He first stressed the need to be “prepared in terms of education.” Lasenide also spoke of the composed character required to lead.

“You must be calm, you need to understand what is being said to you,” Lasenide said. 

Another topic he spoke of was globalization and how it poses a geopolitical threat to the country of Nigeria. Lasidende spoke of the positive effects of globalization such as the increase in communications it has led to.

The more adverse effects that Laseinde spoke of included cyber crime, fraud, trafficking, terrorism, religious conflict, and nuclear threats. 

Lasenide ended by saying, “it is nothing that Nigeria cannot cope with,” and that other countries are facing the issues of globalization but “in different proportions.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, Major General James Williams spoke to teachers, visitors, and several students at JWAC’s second event. General Williams spoke about the events that led to 9/11, the United States’ response, and the aftermath of that response.

Williams served in the United States Marine Corps for 38 years before retiring in 2010. Throughout his presentation, General Williams spoke of the damaging and costly effects of war, both morally and financially: blood and treasure. 

The retired general showed the audience the cost estimates of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The general then asked the audience a rhetorical question. 

“What could you have done with these billions of dollars?” 

The retired Marine stated that we eventually need to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and that he would go about it by talking “to the UN and seeing what forces could fill in for the U.S.” 

Williams ended his presentation by saying that “Pandora’s box has been opened” in relation to the perpetual wars and conflict abroad, and that he does not see it closing in our lifetimes. 

JWAC meets every Wednesday in L-A104, 4:15 to 5 p.m. 

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