- Evie Corr
Model UN Team Finds Success at Pa. Tournament
Members of the Walls Model United Nations (MUN) team traveled to Philadelphia for four days to attend the annual conference Ivy League Model United Nations Conference (ILMUNC) on Jan. 26. The club brought home an honorable mention and two verbal commendations.
ILMUNC hosted over 2,000 students, some traveling from as far as Venezuela, to act in committees representing different branches of the UN. These student committees debate international policy in the same way the formal UN does. Students were assigned to represent a UN member country or a significant historical figure. This year’s topics ranged from combating financial corruption to maintaining essential health services in combat zones to discussing how to end World War I during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.
To prepare for the conference, the Walls MUN team read ILMUNC’s topic background guides, drafted position papers, and conducted background research on the topics and their country or role.
MUN conferences consist of different types of committees including the General Assembly (GA), and the crisis committees. In GA committees, students representing UN countries debate and consider international issues. Some GA committees include the Economic and Financial, Special Political and Decolonization, and Disarmament and International Security committees.
Every crisis committee is a historical event, or a fictional one in a few cases, which allows the delegates to discuss how to handle the situation best, creating an alternate reality. Differing from GA, a crisis committee is composed of fewer delegates and instead of students representing a country, they are assigned a role of a character. Crisis committees also consist of crisis updates — surprise announcements which force delegates to use quick thinking skills and create a fast-paced environment. Examples of crisis updates include natural disasters and pandemics.
During ILMUNC, junior Petra Debelack acted as the Prime Minister of Belarus in the crisis committee reproducing the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. “My original plan was to start a war with Russia, but the chair did not let me communicate with Lenin until later,” she said, so she “started a socialist revolution by spreading propaganda and organizing revolutionary movements in Germany, France, and Italy… [building] up the Belarusian army.” Debelack’s ability to adapt earned her an honorable mention.
Junior Hugo Rosen won a verbal commendation for his work on the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He said that his favorite part of the conference was “getting to meet a room full of new people and figuring out how to work together to address the issue of the committee.”
Sophomores Seojin Kim and Claire O’Keefe also won a verbal commendation for their work on the Committee of United Nations Development Programme.
Erin Pollack, the president of Model UN, has attended ILMUNC for two years. She said, “I really enjoyed seeing the solutions in my committee because some of them were not at all what I would have expected going in committee. There were some really diverse solutions.
She is proud of Walls’s performance, saying, “we had ten more delegates this year than we did last year. I think everyone did spectacularly and I am very proud of everyone.”
SWW MUN also attended NAIMUN this month, which was hosted by Georgetown University Feb. 16-19.