Model UN: Changing the World Virtually

Model UN: Changing the World Virtually

Alexander Lindamood, Staff Writer

Ireland goes carbon neutral. Nigeria requests international aid. Indonesia increases funding to The World Bank. Uruguay makes advances into gender equality. This isn’t real life, it’s North Creek High School’s Model United Nations in action. 

The Model United Nations, or MUN, had their first conference the weekend of November 14th. The club attended the Stanford Model United Nations Conference where Iris Zhou and Tanya Bhandari won a Verbal Mention award for their work representing Ireland in the ECOFIN Committee.

 “One thing that makes MUN conferences unique is that they are almost entirely student run. Each conference has a group of students that coordinate their event (the Secretariat) and a group that helps to staff the event,” said MUN Advisor and History teacher Jen Ligot. “This year, NCHS student Sirjan Uppal served as a staff member at our first conference of the year: EDUMUN,” said Ligot.

MUN meetings are held to help train the club members on international, national and regional problem solving. Each member represents a different country, acting as a representative for their country. They work together to solve problems, these problems are different and usually have a theme connected to it. 

“I might be representing Colombia in the ECOSOC committee (United Nations Economic and Social Council), addressing the topic of job creation initiatives in sustainable development technologies,” said Ligot. “My job is to represent my country’s perspective on the topic at hand and collaborate with other committee members on solutions. At the end of a conference, awards are given to members who helped further thinking and moving the group forward towards a solution.” 

Members acting as a country must take into account the special requirements and disadvantages they each have. For example, a student playing an African nation may not be able to provide sufficient funding towards a relief effort but will be able to manage the effort when it’s within their borders. 

The EDMUND conference is the first conference of the year that the club attends. Here, new members go into seminars to properly learn how to participate and how the conference works. More experienced members will go into the actual conference where they have the opportunity to win awards based on their performance in the conference. “This year, Nandana Jaideep won an Honorable Mention award for representing Canada in EDMUND’s INTERPOL Committee,” said Ligot. 

Model United Nations started off as the League of Nations simulations in 1921 starting at Oxford. It was an attempt to help young students interested in international politics and decision making, much as it is today. However the League of Nations Simulations didn’t last long, as the League of Nations itself collapsed at the end of World War II. 

This new generation of world leaders, problem solvers, and critical thinkers could be a salvation for a world in trouble. They have The Model United Nations to thank for putting them down a path of success.