HESCHEL PARTICIPATES IN MODEL UN
From January 26th-29th, twelve Heschel High School participated in a Model United Nations Conference hosted by Harvard University. (HUNMUN). This weekend marked Harvard’s fifty-ninth Model UN Conference, but it was Heschel’s first time attending.
The Heschel team represented the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, one of the newest emerging nations in the world, established in 1991. To prepare for the conference, students spent several months researching Macedonia. One or two students were assigned to each committee, similar to the ones in the real UN: the Economic and Financial Committee, the Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, the Futuristic General Assembly, Legal, Peacekeeping, World Health Organization, and Disarmament.
The HUNMUN conference was held over four days and consisted of several four-hour committee meetings everyday. In each committee session students from debated topics, ranging from child sex trafficking and weapon tracking to corruption in the financial world. Delegates representing other countries collaborated in order to create a plan that each country could use. Together, the delegates created working papers, rough drafts of possible solutions. Then, more debating took place in order to decide which working papers seemed most effective in resolving the problem. After the debates, countries merged their working papers and ended up with possible resolutions that addressed ways in which the UN could combat the issue.
Heschel students who attended agree that one of the best parts of the conference was getting to know high school students from all over the world. At HUNMUN there were over 3,100 high school students from 37 different countries, among them: Turkey, England, China, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, India, Venezuela and Pakistan.
Excerpted from an article by Daniella, Sara, Sylivie, and Tamar, that will appear in Heschel News.
On Sunday, February 5th, six of the Heschel High School’s students left for a three day long Model UN conference held by Yeshiva University. The Yeshiva University National Model United Nations, more commonly referred to as YUNMUN, attracts teams from Jewish schools all over the United States. This was Heschel’s eighth time attending the conference, and the team members who attend YUNMUN always return with positive feedback. The model United Nations arranged at the conference consists of fifteen real UN committees that each contain between 20 and 30 delegates. The delegates are high school students from over thirty various Jewish high schools in America, Canada, and South Africa. Each delegation is assigned a country to represent and is then dispersed amongst the committees. Students come to the conference prepared to discuss their committee’s topics strictly from the authentic point of view of their assigned countries. This year the Heschel delegation was given the challenge of representing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the committees configured to resemble the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer-space, the UN Committee on Human Rights, the UN Office in Drugs and Crime, the World Food Program, and the World Health Organization.
During the six long sessions delegates discuss real global issues and attempt to design and pass international resolutions that address matters of global politics. Delegates also compete for awards that are presented on the last day of the conference. The awards evaluate how thoroughly the delegates researched their countries before coming to the conference, how articulately they debated with other delegates during the sessions, and how accurately they represented their countries’ politics. For the second year in a row, Daelin Hillman, a Heschel senior, won an honorable mention from his committee. YUNMUN is an important experience because it gathers students who all have relatively similar backgrounds and inspires them to argue on behalf of countries or policies that they might not normally support. Although Model UN is largely an exercise in role-play, the main point of the conference is to broaden the participants’ understandings of global issues, the obstacles involved in international conversation, and the processes by which global issues can eventually be resolved.