Model United Nations
2013 Model United Nations Dates: March
What is Model UN?
Model UN is a UNA-USA program which teaches hundreds of high school students how the United Nations works by giving them the opportunity to conduct a Model UN where they work out their own solutions to real international problems. For the past 39 years, UNAR supported this UNA-USA program by holding an annual Model UN conference in the Rochester area. For more information about Model UN please visit the UNA-USA Model UN website.
UNAR's 40th Annual Model United Nations Conference
During the 39th annual UNAR-sponsored Model U.N. conference student delegates offered solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. These individuals sat in tense committee meetings debating topics like environmental sustainability, nuclear disarmament and global health epidemics.
Much like U.N. delegates, they were expected to adhere to their countries’ policies without sacrificing productivity. Everyone was up for the challenge.
Kyle Tillotson, an award-winning delegate who represented Egypt on the Disarmament Committee, said this balancing of different interests is his favorite part of the conference.
“I really like working with people and making compromises,” Tillotson said. “It’s a skill you can use every day.”
The conference was held at St. John Fisher College on March 4 to 5. MaryAnne Evans, a teacher at Allendale Columbia High School, said this conference gives students a unique opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to actual problems.
“Some students are more outwardly focused,” Evans said. “They like seeing how their learning and knowledge can be applied to the real world.”
Student-delegates represented more than 50 countries, with each delegate sitting on one of 18 committees. Committees were organized based on the structure of the U.N.
In addition to the interactions with their peers, many students also listened to any of 10 guest speakers during the event. Geneseo professor Dr. Edward Drachman discussed issues relating to drug trafficking on the Mexican border with students in the special political committee. Drachman urged students to have an open mind when addressing complex problems.
“We should always challenge ourselves,” Drachman said during the discussion. “If you see evidence that leads you to another opinion, you should be open to it.”
Cory Robinson and Fatima Bawany were the co-secretary generals at the conference. Bawany, who said she aspires to have a career in health service, said the conference has strengthened her commitment to U.N. ideals.
“Being a part of Model U.N. has definitely opened my eyes to global issues and strengthened my passion for service,” Bawany said.
For more information on how your school can attend UNAR's annual Model UN conference, please call or email our office.