Ward Melville Model UN Enters the World Stage

Corey Emery, Features Editor

From Wednesday, March 4th to Saturday, March 7th, eighteen members of the Ward Melville Model UN club, along with the six members of the secretariat and advisor Mr. Conklin, were selected to participate in the 41st annual National High School Model United Nations Conference, also known as NHSMUN. After taking a brief hiatus from NHSMUN last year and attending a conference in Washington D.C., the Ward Melville club returned this year to participate in this four-day exercise in cooperation and international politics.

NHSMUN is run by the International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA), hosted by the Midtown Hilton in New York City, and staffed by college students from schools across the nation. Its goal is to present a forum for a high-level, extensively researched debate that would parallel the proceedings of the actual United Nations, and thus educate the delegates in diplomacy as they grow into the next generation of leaders. As junior delegate Jeffrey Michel stated, “The conference was a truly amazing and important experience for me, for anyone, to learn to talk, deal, and compromise with those around you.” Over the course of five committee sessions, delegates representing the views of their respective countries debated topics of international importance, ranging from the globalization of labor to the increase in drone use, and crafted holistic resolutions that could realistically work if implemented.

Representing the Republic of Uganda, the club members worked diligently to become well-versed in the viewpoint of this East African nation, and even had the unique ability to meet the Ugandan Ambassador to the UN during the conference. Sophomore delegate Julia Coletti stated that, “Asking questions and listening to the Ambassador’s responses gave us a better understanding of what Uganda is about and how conservative the country is. It was particularly fascinating to hear opinions that we do not necessarily agree with on a moral level, because while we still do not agree with some of the country’s policies, we can appreciate their origin.”

In addition, the closing ceremonies of the conference were held in the General Assembly of the UN. Taking seats in the front row, the club members were able to sit in the same places as the ambassadors and diplomats whom they were representing in their committees, and were able to experience the overwhelming awe of the headquarters of this famed international body.

For all of the club members, the NHSMUN Conference was an amazing experience both in diplomacy and in team building. “I loved how close everyone became, the sophomores especially,” stated junior delegate Hanna Bliska. “They are the next generation, and it’s so amazing to see them having a good time and becoming enthusiastic about Model UN.”

As a member of Model UN who attended the NHSMUN Conference, I personally believe that this was a great experience. Although we didn’t win any awards, we left with the experience of having sat in the General Assembly and contributed to the resolutions that were debated in each individual committee. I am immensely looking forward to attending the conference again next year.

For more information about Ward Melville’s Model UN club, or if you have any questions about the club or what is involved with it, check out the club’s website at: