The Wasatch Academy Model United Nations (MUN) team has been working hard since the beginning of December to prepare for the 66th session of the Harvard Model United Nations conference that was held January 23-27.
Fourteen members of the 18-member group represented the country of Israel in the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council. They prepared by reading research guides written by their Harvard chairs, which ranged from 38-50 pages. They all wrote a 1-2 page position paper, which formally stated the problem in their committee topic from their perspective, how the State of Israel has been involved, and what the delegation sees as a solution to the issue. Prior to leaving for Boston, they prepared speeches, motions for moderated and unmoderated caucuses, and points they would like to see in the formal resolution.
Students reviewed topics on International Regulation of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, Border Crossings and Related Migration, The Impact of Trade Wars on East Asia, The Legal Status of Stateless Individuals, Protecting the Rights of Prisoners of War, Corporate Accountability in Developing Nations, Hybrid Regimes and Competitive Authoritarianism, Disrupting Terrorist Financial Networks, Illicit Trafficking of Marine Wildlife, and Universal Basic Income (UBI).
As the conference began with an opening ceremony in the Hynes Convention Center and filled up with over 3,500 delegates, Wasatch Academy delegates put on their game faces. Even before conferences had formally begun, they were asking delegates about their positions and being questioned about their own. They met delegates from around the world as students from 50 countries were represented at the conference. One of the more memorable moments was a discussion about the chaos in Venezuela with a group of students that had flown to the competition the day before the conflict over their elected leader had begun.
There was a total of 21 hours of committee meetings over the 4 days. Our delegates made numerous speeches, motioned for a variety of caucuses, and debated vigorously about their country’s perspective. They all gained knowledge of international relations, the process of creating solutions, and the frustration of trying to get multiple countries to agree on the same path to solve the problem. In the end, there were commendations given by many chairs of the committee stating that the Wasatch Academy students did well representing a complex country and their views. MUN advisor, Josh McAlister states, “It was encouraging to witness and learn of the mature conversations our delegates had with other delegates and the Harvard chairs. I’m extremely proud of our team for the level of commitment they showed and skills they gained by participating in this MUN event. Go Tigers!”