Model UN team’s success gives competitors a broader world view

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Model UN team’s success gives competitors a broader world view

Courtesy of Texas State University

Courtesy of Texas State University

Courtesy of Texas State University

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“The delegate from Pakistan, UNICEF committee,” said the Secretary General.

The Model United Nations team erupted in applause loud enough for the whole auditorium to hear. This was the time first time that they went to the Sharpstown International Conference in Houston, and was surprised to find that one of their own won an award from the chair. What was shocking was to find was by the end, four of their delegates won awards from the chair, even though only six attended.

This was in fact junior Vaniya Qureshi’s favorite moment of the conference, a president of the Model United Nations club that started back last year.

“I think that my favorite moment was that out of the 6 delegates that we took, four of us won awards,” Qureshi said. “So that’s really really amazing that we did so well for such a novice club.”

This was an astonishing feat done by the Model United Nations. Model United Nations is a difficult event to compete in. Delegates are required to analyze, discuss, and think about solutions to issues that leaders in the world today are having a hard time to solve. Qureshi explained more in depth on what Model United Nations is.

“What you do is that you’re given a country to represent and once you’re given a country to represent, you’re given a committee,” Qureshi said. “For example, you’re committee could be World Health Organization and you are e country could be Mexico. Depending on your topic, it might be something like the Zika Virus, and you are going to figure out how to tackle the Zika Virus based on Mexico’s views. You are gonna research Mexico’s views on the topic and the topic in general and you’re going to try to come up with a resolution that all of the countries, including Mexico, would agree with. That was basically the purpose, discussing issues and finding resolutions to them that would be accepted on an international level.”

Model United Nations isn’t just popular in the U.S. Schools in countries all around the world participate in it, from the Netherlands to Japan. Junior Connie Lin, another president of Model United Nations, explained why she enjoys Model United Nations.

“I like how it is more collaborative than competitive,” Lin explained. I used to be a debater, and that environment was really intense, but I see that Model United Nations is not just about competition. You really have to be diplomatic and collaborate with people in the room in order to succeed in the conference.”

Anthony Kirk, the Model United Nations sponsor, further elaborates on why he enjoys students participating in Model United Nations.

“I like the fact that kids are interested in actual world events and the thought of that the more they’re interested in this, the more likely they’ll make positive change and impacts on the world,” Kirk said. “I also like that students take initiative to be aware of the world around them.”

Although it sounded like an interesting club, Model United Nations has had problems in the past that stopped it from becoming successful, as Qureshi and Lin explain.

“In the past, because of funding issued and how expensive it is to go to conferences, our club has been unable to go to as many conferences as we would like,” Lin explained. But this year we have grand plans for fundraising and we hope to go to at least three conferences.”

“I think just being organized and pulling people into what Model United Nations was about was another reason why the club has had problems,” Qureshi said. “People hear about it, people talk about, but people don’t really know what it is. I think that was what prevented people, not only joining, but just committing to it and trying it out. When most people try it out, they really like it. So getting new members to try out Model United Nations was the main issue.”

To combat these issues, the Model UN team has worked hard this year to plan events and gain members, as Lin explains.

“We went to Club Jamboree in the beginning of the school year to introduce freshman to our club and we also had a first meeting where we had around 20-30 people and explained to them how Model UN works and why they should invest their time in this activity,” Lin explains. “So far, in October, we went to a Sharpstown International School Model United Nations Conference for novices to help us gain more experience with Model UN and in the spring semester we are going to a Houston Area Model United Nations conference at UH and possibly an out of town conference and Global Classrooms at the end of the semester.”

Hopefully, the hard work of the Model United Nations club will pay off, and it will rise to become a successful, popular club, where students will learn valuable skills that will help them throughout their whole life.

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