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Model UN: A Club with Unlimited Potential

OP+students+participate+in+OPMUNC+where+they+simulated+a+United+Nations+Special+Political+and+Decolonization+Committee+on+the+Israel-Palestine+conflict.+
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Model UN: A Club with Unlimited Potential

OP students participate in OPMUNC where they simulated a United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

OP students participate in OPMUNC where they simulated a United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Image Courtesy of Mr. Kearns

OP students participate in OPMUNC where they simulated a United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Image Courtesy of Mr. Kearns

Image Courtesy of Mr. Kearns

OP students participate in OPMUNC where they simulated a United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Daniel Carvalheiro-Santos, Co-Editor

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Oratory Prep’s Model United Nations club is heading into its fourth year of existence, and it looks like the sky’s the limit for this ever-growing organization. The leadership of Model UN, currently consisting of Justin Oei ‘19, Tommy Gress ‘19, Rocco Rodrigues ‘19 and its moderators Mr. Kearns and Mrs. Otterbein-Yoo, is always finding innovative ways to incorporate international affairs, diplomacy, and globalism into our school community. In addition to participating in a number of official conferences at several schools in the tri-state area, MUN has also hosted some guest speakers and most recently hosted its very own Model UN Conference (simulation), which has been dubbed OPMUNC.

On December 7th, students from grades 9-12 came together to discuss one of the most polarizing international disputes of the day: the Israel-Palestine conflict. In a four-hour Model UN simulation, students practiced parliamentary procedure and participated in a formal debate. With students representing countries on both sides of the conflict, the simulation included interesting solutions and discussions to solve the global dispute. The nations represented at OPMUNC quickly formed factions in support of either Israel or Palestine, with the those in support of Palestine persistently fighting for the “states” recognition at the United Nations. Those allied with Israel took a rather progressive approach to the conflict, making many territorial concessions that, if implemented in the real world, would surely bring an end to the fighting in the West Bank. In the end, however, neither faction was able to reach the quorum necessary to pass their working papers (UN legislation). Nevertheless, all participants enjoyed themselves and gained experience which will hopefully help the team at its next conference. One of the chairs, Rocco Rodrigues thought, “the simulation ran smoothly and that it showed promise to bigger events held at Oratory in the future.” A new member, John Hart ‘20, excitingly states, the conference, “was pretty fun, and considering I represented a voteless state (Palestine) that could only debate and then watch as my fate was decided for me, that’s saying something.” In conclusion, OPMUNC was a great opportunity for new students to become involved in the parliamentary procedure.

On December 12th, the Oratory Prep Model UN was blessed to host Mrs. Donna Stelmach, the mother of Andrew Stelmach ‘20 and a member of the Ukrainian-American Bar Association and an expert of Ukrainian politics and law, who discussed recent political occurrences in her native country. Mrs. Stelmach visited the club in 2016 to discuss Ukraine’s tumultuous relations with Russia and the Kremlin’s infringement upon the national sovereignty of Ukraine, and this week she explained the current predicament in which Ukraine lies. Following an aggressive provocation on the part of the Russian government in November of this year, Ukraine finds itself helpless in the face of a ruthless, power-hungry tyrant, Vladimir Putin. On the topic of the Ukraine presentation, Rocco Rodrigues felt that, “Mrs. Stelmach’s presentation was important because it showed the crisis from a different perspective than how the mainstream media portrays it. Generally, it is better to understand world politics with as many views as possible instead of a few bias ones.” In the end, Model UN has come a long way since its creation. If you are interested in diplomacy and the United Nations, check out Model UN where students try to solve some of the world’s most controversial issues and disputes.

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Daniel Carvalheiro-Santos, Co-Editor

Hello, my name is Daniel Carvalheiro-Santos and I am in the class of 2020. I am interested in writing political and historical articles, however, I can...

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