Model UN Conference Preview

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Model UN Conference Preview

Daniel Carvalheiro-Santos, Staff Writer

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Last year, Oratory Prep started its first ever Model UN club. For those who are not aware, Model UN is a club whose goal is to simulate United Nations conferences and committees using real-world topics involving current events. Surprisingly, this club has gained a lot of popularity as students show more and more interest for the world in which they live. Today, the club has become a staple of most middle schools, high school, and colleges. The conferences’ setups may be unfamiliar to many, but it is actually not that complicated to understand once you get passed parliamentary procedures where language is the most difficult aspect. In a conference, the club is separated into several committees that deal with specific topics such as SPECPOL (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) and SOCHUM (Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee). One could also belong to a crisis committee which focuses on a specific event in history like the Revolutionary War. Within these committees, students take the roles of different countries as they attempt to accurately advocate their nations’ positions on diverse subjects. The ultimate goal for a committee is to craft a working paper or a resolution that implements new regulations regarding a certain topic. These conferences are intense competitions where some students would give everything to win an awarding praising their public speaking skills. The conference culminates in the organizers giving awards based on who they thought gave the best performance. This is when the attendants realize that, whether or not their performance was recognized, the research and time invested into the conference was definitely worth it.

It is important to acknowledge Oratory Prep’s Model UN club’s growth in the last year. Last year, the club sent merely twelve students to their first conference at Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey. For the first conference of the 2017/2018 school year, the group consists of nearly forty members, thirty of which will be attending the first conference. Although some of these members are veterans to the club, the Model UN club boasts some new elements that are hoping to show their diplomacy skills at the next conference. The group will be attending the Horace Mann School Model UN Conference, or HoMMUNC, in New York City on October 28th. This conference has been said to be one of the largest high-school Model UN conferences in the tri-state area with nearly 750 participants from all over the east coast. Unfortunately, this year the club was not able to represent our desired countries, but instead, it was given a couple options that included Bangladesh, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, South Africa, and various other figures that are significant in crisis committees. One of our veteran members attending his first conference in October is Andrew Stelmach. Andrew stated that he, “is looking forward to the conference since it seems a lot more fun than [he] anticipated.” He explained his statement saying that kids tend to enjoy arguing interesting topics and using their creativities in doing so. Being a part of the Model UN team, I am also excited for our first conference, especially since it is our first time attending a conference of this scale. I can personally say that I am optimistic for the team because in addition to the talented members we had last year, we also have new members who are itching to participate in their first conference, which is always a good thing. In the end, Oratory Prep is expecting an exciting year of Model UN conferences, filled with hopes of bringing home many new awards.

 

Photo Credits to Patrick Gruban

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