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Diplomacy, international relations on display at Model UN Conference

December 10, 2014

High school students from Oakland County got to experience what a session of the United Nations is like during on the Model United Nations Conference (MUN) on Saturday, November 22.

65 students from Troy High School, Troy Athens High School, and North Farmington High School met at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center to work together and adopt resolutions in order to solve three current issues impacting today’s world: Ebola, climate change, and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The students were divided up into three committees: The World Health Organization, which focused the issue of Ebola, The United Nations Environment Programme, which focused on climate change, and the Security Council, which focused on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The students came up with the following resolutions:

  • Ebola: Establish a standardized checking procedure for all countries and have a worldwide quarantine protocol in place.
  • Climate change: Establish new pollution standards while allocating money for alternate energy and clean energy research for long term success.
  • Islamic State in Syria and Iraq: A ban on weapons shipments to the region would be announced and the Security Council would prohibit any other countries from participating without their consent.

MUN, which is sponsored by the Irvin D. Reid Honors College, is an event geared toward high school students from around Michigan. MUN is an education simulation and academic competition which helps students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. 

MUN simulates a real session of the United Nations, with a different global issue highlighted each year. Past issues have included global climate change, HIV/AIDS policy, educational sustainability in Honduras, drug trafficking, resolution and diplomacy in Iraq, human rights and genocide in Sudan, nuclear weapons in North Korea, child labor in Asia, and the sexual slave trade of women and children.

Each high school student is named a MUN ambassador and assigned a particular country. Before the event, an information packet is given in order to become familiar with the topic assigned. While at the conference, members work together to draft a resolution based on their countries position on the issue being debated. The ambassadors then convene for a General Assembly meeting, with each country presenting its resolution on the issue. The General Assembly then votes on the resolutions, with the highest vote-getter being adopted.