Model United Nations (MUN) is an educational simulation involving academic study made up of different committees in the same fashion as the United Nations. When attending this event students can learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations. Students go and can propose solutions to global concerns and gain new skills in debate, conflict resolution, and compromise. The goal is to work together to come up with a solution for a specific global concern.
Huntingdon Area High School (HAHS) had six students attended this school year. Connor Heath, Sean McLaughlin, Nicholas NaNazari, Iris Seguin, Amber Newell and Ethan McKellop, advised by teacher, Sylvia Kurtz. Students looking to participate could set up a meeting with Kurtz to sign up for the following school year.
The students say it was a great experience with some entertaining moments too. They learned valuable skills for later in life. Like gaining information about the involvement of different countries that they may have not known about, and about professionalism and how to handle oneself in different settings.
Participants of MUN take part in a variety of different activities like researching and debating issues between different countries. Different groups of students are separated into groups that perform specific tasks. Huntingdon Area High school seniors, Connor Hearth and Sean McLaughlin, were part of the security council. As a part of this, they dealt with the dispute of the South China Sea, the Western Sahara conflict and the North Korea human rights abuses. McLaughlin, even met with other delegates to help write a paper that helped to solve the issues discussed.
Heath, says he participated to broaden his views on the world and to become more educated on our geographical neighbors. The senior recommends the experience for other students who wish to have a better understanding of their country’s culture and economy while also meeting new people with different views and opinions. For those planning to participate, he advises that they “Take the time to thoroughly understand your country’s views and allies because that knowledge will be useful during the conference”.
There are a variety of different levels at which MUN conferences are held. The international Model UN hosts as many as 6,239 student delegates from as many as 139 United Nations member states and all 50 U.S. states. It also has participants from 411 colleges and universities. There is even room for nonstudents to participate in these events. Those with college degrees in any field can apply to help organize conferences and work with the student delegates.