Model UN gears up for spring conference

Ellen Gustavson/Staff Writer

The CFHS Model United Nations is starting up again for its spring session with a large number of participants. Cedar Falls will represent Israel, the Netherlands and Indonesia. Originally they had planned to represent only Israel and the Netherlands, but because so many students are interested in participating this year, another country had to be added.

About 25 to 30 people will be part of Model U.N. this spring. “I’ve been encouraged by the number of people willing to participate,” Model U.N. advisor Andrea Aykens said. “It energizes the group to have new people, and then they can continue on the ‘tradition’ for next year.”

Spring Model U.N. will have meetings every Thursday until April. They have broken up into groups of student delegates and chosen which country to represent. Individual delegates have been assigned a U.N. committee that they will represent in a conference at UNI in April.

In preparation for the conference, students will research to find out as much as possible about their country in order to defend that country’s position on a variety of topics. The topics are broken into categories including Social Humanitarian & Cultural, Political & Security, ECOSOC (Economic and Social), Disarmament, Security Council and three Legal categories.

In addition to research, students will also write a position paper that states the issues and their views on the topics. The papers should define the issue and past action the U.N. has taken for it, state the country’s position on the issue, and justify the position. They will be sent in to secretariat members of the Iowa High School United Nations to be evaluated in February.

The secretariat members are students at UNI, usually with a major in politics or something related to the social studies.

Leadership is an important part of Model U.N. There is one Head Delegate for each country. They look over and edit the position papers, as well as help guide their country’s delegates and keep them working as a team. The Head Delegates this spring are Sarah Wallingford for Israel, Tori Hurst for Indonesia and Shannon McClintock for the Netherlands. “I’m definitely looking forward to this session,” Wallingford said. “I had a really good time last semester. The time commitment’s not that bad, and you don’t have to sacrifice anything to be in it.”

Students will also learn debate skills and the parliamentary procedure the U.N. goes through. “It’s pretty confusing at first, but you catch on quickly,” Wallingford said. “You learn by watching, and it’s really fun after that.”

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