Category Archives: Model UN and Our Impact

UNA-GB’s Model UN program is designed to ensure that more students, regardless of socioeconomic background, develop the skills necessary for academic achievement and workplace success through a focus on real-world global challenges and experiential learning.
Learn about the UNA-GB’s Model UN programs and the impact it has made in our community!

Pyongyang Will Persevere?

By Lesley Ta, Malden High Junior and UN Reporter for the 2013 Invitational Model UN Conference

International communication and foreign diplomacy have become increasingly imperative tools in the modern era. With seemingly endless limits to accelerated information, the world has become a place where set boundaries are surpassed with increasing regularity. There has been growing concern over the leadership capabilities of the current generation. With technology’s expanding force, many traditional methods have been abandoned; alas, the current generation is the first to ride out the newly intimate world with an edge.

Will our children seamlessly succeed into our governments?

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Students learn valuable skills, such as public speaking, conflict resolution, and compromise at MUN conferences

United Nations (UN) simulations are gaining ground throughout the world. Thousands of middle school aged and high school aged students are participants in these conferences. They often set a solid foundation for public speaking and a passion for international relations.Will they continue to fight our wars, to initiate the same mistakes? Will they learn to become informed, enlightened individuals?

In each conference, pairs represent a single country; they are responsible for accurately representing the country’s response to an authentic developing issue. The role – playing required of students can often be contemplative of oneself; it is common to observe delegates becoming passionate regarding their duties as ambassadors.

The United Nations Security Council, both genuine and simulation, is considered the most prominent congregation of the United Nations.

Absolute members of the Security Council total 15 countries; five of which are permanent: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Current totating member countries are: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Australia, Guatemala, Luxemburg, Morocco, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, and Togo.

The General Assembly (GA) is the only division of the UN with representation from all member countries. The GA elects the rotating seats of the Security Council (SC) and may constitute recommendations of action to the council. The GA is not privileged to decide on the SC responsibilities of peace and security.

The United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB) hosts the Invitational Model United Nations Conference (IMUNC) at Northeastern University (NU) annually. Sponsored by National Grid and Global Classrooms, this convention is available to both public and charter schools in Boston and it’s surrounding cities: Cambridge, Chelsea, Lynn, Revere, Malden, Somerville, Everett, and Worcester.

Middle school and high schools students were exempt from participation fees due to the financial support provided by UNA-GB’s generous donors. The 2013 IMUNC was postponed from March 8th to April 1st due to an intense snow storm.

At nine am on April 1st, participants were greeted with the well wishes from the directors of NU’s International Relations Council and UNA-GB’s Curriculum and Instruction Manager, Rebecca Corcoran.

IMUN Secretary-General Evan Brunning expressed inspirational roots; Brunning began participating in Model United Nations as a college student.

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Students step into their roles as delegates

IMUN Head Delegate Katherine Teebagey opened the floor to questions and generally received inquiries from middle school students. The younger crowd’s questions focused on the law career opportunities that the IMUNC could open.

The High School Security Council was assigned to settle on North Korea’s nuclear threats. All countries selected for this committee mirrored the existing countries in the official United Nations Security Council.

Present countries were: the United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Australia, China, Guatemala, Pakistan and South Korea.

Boston Latin Academy’s delegates portrayed the Russian Federation, Pakistan and South Korea. The John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science from Roxbury sent delegates to represent Pakistan and the United Kingdom. The positions of Australia, China, and Guatemala were secured by delegates from Malden High School.

North Korea was not in attendance to this event, however would have been depicted by Lynn Classical High School. Another Course to College, Academy of the Pacific Rim, and Lynn English High School were also not present. All absentee schools had country assignments for the Security Council debate.

The first session of the Committee occurred between 9:30am and 12:00pm. Chair Teebagey opened the formal debate with a volunteer speakers’ list. Discussion and consideration of issues were scattered and disorientated. Countries were either brief or reserved in their declarations.

Toward the end of the leading committee session, Chair Teebagey declared for a more ordered speakers’ list. All present dIMG_2993elegations had to speak.

Chair Teebagey intended on ensuring the assessments of each country in attendance; her procedure proved to be instrumental for the situation at hand. After each territory had spoken at least twice, Chair Teebagey and the council members were satisfied at the clarification the proceeding gave.

With each standpoint given, perspectives were gearing in preparation for the second and final committee session.

Commencing at 12:45pm, countries were absolutely consumed and attached to means of humanitarian aid to the peoples of North Korea (NK).

Chair Darnell Louis and Vice-Chair Richard Yu of University of Massachusetts Boston moderated the committee for the duration of the second session.

The United Kingdom (UK) announced a focal point on humanitarian efforts, and was willing to give monetary reliefs; they mentioned a possible directory for self-defense in case of North Korean contentions.

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Australia expressed fierce opposition to aid contributions; however they asserted sincere concerns for the people in need. In response to the Russian Federation’s wish of “diplomatic relations”, Korea’s and Guatemala’s “economic sanctions”, Australia adamantly pointed out their personal failed treaties with NK.

Pakistan suggested befriending NK in order to “force them to act in a reasonable way.”
China was accused of “not signing economic sanctions”, however repelled such statements. Australia fired at the Chinese delegation, believing that “China’s aid [to NK] was obligated.” China confirmed that it was the “bulk of the humanitarian aid” that NK was receiving; China responded to aid apprehension by stating that the assistance was for the “uplifting of the N. Korean state.”

The Russian Federation (RF) urged for caution when the discussion shifted to military action. Guatemala and Pakistan were anxious over the possible pretense of war, and concurred with the RF. Testifying indignantly, Australia stated that “it was not the sanctions that had made NK go bad, it was the N. Korean decision to not [follow them].”

The Republic of Korea eloquently added that there must be “unity and safety within the U.N. if NK goes to war.” They spoke earnestly on how unnecessary the NK threats were. The UK reiterated the concurrence of “safety and diplomacy first,” and a precedent for last resort military actions taken against NK with prepared reserves.

The Security Council passed for a moderated caucus discussing the details of a draft resolution. The moderated caucus immediately concentrated on the types of humanitarian aid applicable, and on what manner it should be delivered.
RF eliminated the option of monetary aid, however wished to concentrate on food, shelter, children and education.

The RF also believed that random inspections may be an option to ensure the distribution of aid to the general population. China strongly disagreed with this suggestion. The UK called attention to the N. Korean mentality, and the difficulties of providing aid within such a mindset. UK also clarified its military reserves as a “defense mechanism” rather than an anticipation of an “attack.”

China indicated the contradictory actions of imposing sanctions while giving aid. Guatemala chided China’s “refusal of a resolution.”

The Security Council passed for a five minute unmoderated caucus to in order to entice all veto -powered countries to agree on all terms of the proposed resolutions.

Amina Egal, representing the United Kingdom, stated that the country was “taking the North Korean threat seriously” and that a “state of war” was a possibility.

A troubled UK was desperate in convincing China to assent with military actions.
Australia’s Wyler Giordani and Jean Gedoan were exasperated with China’s disregard for the draft resolutions.

In response to China’s insensibility to military action, Giordani stated “ .. when a country is uncooperative and/or refusing to compromise, that is when the debate is over.”

Gedeon added that there was an interminable cycle of arguments occurring between China and the other delegations. Zeyu Zheng and Jiohnnie Diaz of Pakistan aspired to pass a long term solution; they believed that a short term solution would be a militaristic based one.

Zheng commented that the heated debate between the UK and China developed because each had advantages in passing/vetoing a resolution.

Guatemala’s delegate, Cara Mulligan, disclosed that “North Korea carries a huge problem,” but does not “pose as a threat.” Mulligan made it clear that Guatemala is anxious over the unpredictability of North Korea’s actions and the possible effects Guatemala will face as a result.

Mulligan represented Guatemala solo for the second committee.

Elahd Hain and Michael John of the Republic of Korea also shared Australia’s dismay. “China’s not listening,” they briefly commented, “we want a whole set of plans and China [only] wants a part [of them].”

China refused to comment during the unmoderated caucus.

Resolution 1.1: “Should diplomacy fail, economic sanctions will be implemented.” An amendment was added to ensure that “military intervention was ok as long as there was North Korean military aggression.”

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Voting

An amendment was made to 1.1 as a result of the negotiations during the unmoderated caucus. Military action was to be the last, final resort to North Korean military aggression. This draft resolution passed with three abstaining, two “no” votes, and “four” yes votes.

Resolution 1.2: “Focusing on the people in North Korea as a government, [there will be a] discontinuation of monetary funds…but will have access to food, water, clothing, and education.”

Sponsored by the RF and South Korea, this resolution passed with a no vote from Australia, an abstain from Guatemala, a Pakistani pass, turned yes vote joining with China, RF, UK, and Republic of Korea.

Resolution 1.3 was vetoed by the United Kingdom, although had yielded a no vote from the Republic of Korea and yes votes from the rest of the delegation.

The High School Security Council had passed their resolutions around an hour before the conference ended. An emergency conflict was thrown at the Council, however did not receive much dedicated attention. The first conflict was civilian unrest in Mali of the Congo, however a situation with infighting within the North Korean government proved to be more appealing to solve.

The delegates of the United Kingdom, from The John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, were proclaimed the best public speakers.

Representatives of the Russian Federation, from the Boston Latin Academy, received the award for best position paper.

As of the conclusion of the 2013 IMUNC at Northeastern University, Malden High School’s China received the Security Council “best delegation” award.

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Motion to Reflect: 2012 Model UN Summer Institute Session 1 Recap

As temperatures rose in New England last week, 44 middle and high school students convened in the air conditioned classrooms of the Harvard Business School for a week of intensive global diplomacy training at the UNA-GB’s Model United Nations Summer Institute.  These budding global leaders chose to trade in traditional camp activities like archery, swimming and horse-back riding in order to debate, negotiate, and create resolutions to the world’s most pressing issues, honing the skills they will need as global citizens and leaders in the 21st century.

The students kicked off the week with ice breakers and activities geared towards understanding the UN and learning about the complexities of human rights law.  These activities taught the students effective debate skills, such as listening to each other and learning to respect and draw attention from the other delegates during the simulations. Throughout the week, students were introduced to international relations and critical 21st century skills like negotiation, public speaking and problem-solving through the lens of Model United Nations curriculum and simulations focused on terrorism and Human Rights. They had the unique opportunity to learn about the UN’s parliamentary procedure, formal debate vocabulary and how to complete high-level research through actual simulated debate and role play.

For the full simulation on Friday, the students teamed up in pairs to represent a UN member state in the General Assembly, allowing them the unique opportunity to step into the shoes of UN delegates and present their country’s position on conflict diamonds.  This involved significant group work and alliance building among countries in order to come up with possible solutions. These solutions were translated into UN resolutions that were then debated and voted on by all countries. 

In order to create a resolution, the students had to recognize and understand the complexity of each global issue and they had to take into account the various economic and political implications a resolution would have on different countries. They also had to reach a compromise amid widely conflicting country interests, from Zimbabwe to the UK to China.

The dedication, seriousness and excitement exhibited by the students throughout the week was impressive and inspiring to all staff and adults in attendance.  It was a real treat to see how realistic and impressive the debates were, and how the youth, no matter their age, were cooperative, motivated and committed to crafting feasible resolutions to modern day global challenges of terrorism and conflict diamonds.

We want to thank all of these future global leaders for giving up a week of their summer vacation to tackle the world’s pressing global challenges and to learn critical 21st century skills, all while having fun and building valuable friendships.  We hope to see some familiar faces next summer and at the Model UN programs during the year!

Stay tuned for student testimonies and additional feedback from the second session, to be held from July 9-July 13, serving 45 more young global advocates!

– Julia Kuperminc and Catherine Schrage

UNA-GB’s Mission in Action: Annual Advisory Council Meeting and 2012 MUN Summer Institute Kick-Off

Despite the dreary weather on Monday, UNA-GB launched a fantastic week of programming.  Staff and interns took a field trip to Harvard Business School where the 2012 Model UN Summer Institute’s first session kicked off, with nearly 50 6th-12th grade students from around Boston and the country coming together for an intensive week-long program focused on global diplomacy and leadership.

L-R: UNA-GB ED Lena Granberg, Pam Pelletreau, Ambassador Robert Pelletreau, UNA-GB Board VP Arese Carrington, and UNA-GB Board President Richard Golob.

Across the quad, in Spangler Hall, UNA-GB staff, Advisory Council members, and Board officers gathered for our annual Advisory Council luncheon. This year we were pleased and honored to welcome Ambassador Robert Pelletreau and his wife Pamela as our special guests.

Pelletreau has impressive and timely expertise in the Middle East, having served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs as well as Ambassador to Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain throughout his 35 year career in the Foreign Service. Upon leaving government, he joined the international law firm of Afridi & Angell , and in 2002, along with his wife, became Co-Director,  of Search for Common Ground in the Middle East. Mrs. Pelletreau was an active volunteer of UNA in New York, and since moving to the Cape this year, has become more involved with UNA-GB.

The luncheon opened with an energizing introduction from UNA-GB President Richard Golob, who spoke enthusiastically about the Advisory Council and their role as ambassadors to the Boston community. Council Member Peter Smith echoed Richard’s comments, describing the crucial role of the Advisory Council as not only spokespeople for UNA-GB overall, but also specifically as avid supporters of our Model UN global education programming.

Ambassador Pelletreau spoke next, giving all those gathered at the table a clear, organized and engaging update on the current status of political changes in the Middle East, while also bringing in charming personal anecdotes; he opened with a story about playing squash with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. During his remarks, he shared 4 general observations on political uprisings in the last year or so:

Pelletreau stated that a combination of these factors was the catalyst for the uprisings, pointing out that in an increasingly globalized world where news access is everywhere and stories can spread like wildfire, it is harder to cut your citizens off from the rest of the world.  Ambassador Pelletreau gave his take on what the future may look like in this region, and in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria specifically, saying that while much is unclear, fighting is likely to continue.  As a final wrap up to his informed commentary, Pelletreau shared another anecdote, this time about Henry Kissinger’s legendary trip to China in 1971, during which Premier Zhou was asked about the implications of the French Revolution – he replied that it was “too early to say”.  All those in attendance laughed at the irony, and with understanding that issues as complicated as those currently faced in the Arab world will indeed take time.

After a brief time of Q&A, Executive Director Lena Granberg updated the Council on UNA-GB programming so far this year, particularly highlighting the successes of our Model UN program, now serving almost 3,000 6th-12th grade students in the greater Boston area. (To catch up on recent UNA-GB events or upcoming programs visit the website). Ann Kirby, who works on educational development at UNA-GB, gave a brief introduction to the Model UN Summer Institute, which teaches 6th-12th graders the values of debate, teamwork, and public speaking while engaging in simulated negotiations on real-world global challenges.

The Advisory Council members then had a chance to sit in on one of the Institute’s sessions to experience the impact of this transformative college-preparatory program firsthand.  The students were finishing up an exercise through which they established a working definition of human rights for use in their simulations. This was followed up by an engaging and entertaining public speaking exercise where they had to go around the circle, state their name, the names of those before them, and an activity/like they have.  It provided much fodder for discussion about the importance of active listening and ways to remember key facts when speaking.

It was great to see various aspects of UNA-GB come together in one place, and to see our mission come alive through the Summer Institute.  Teens from the Greater Boston Area as well as active community members, professionals, and former ambassadors were all laughing and learning together.  And no amount of torrential rain could dampen the inspiration felt around both the work of the UN and UNA-GB’s work to empower the next generation of global leaders that afternoon!

Wondering how you can join in? Check out how to get involved on our website!

-Jessica P

“What I Did On My Summer Vacation”: Reflections from MUN Summer Campers

One of the inevitable rituals that comes with going back to school is sharing what you did on your summer vacation with your fellow classmates.   Is working towards solving the world’s most pressing global challenges, such as child marriage, immigration, and human rights a common story?

For the 39 rising 8th-12th graders who attended our first ever Model UN Summer Camp, held at Harvard Business School in July, the answer is yes.  We asked a handful of our summer campers to share about their camp experience and how it feels to be working towards becoming the next generation of global advocates.  Learn more about the week here and consider sharing information about next year’s camp with a young person in your life!

*A special thank you goes to our corporate sponsor, National Grid, whose generous support provided 10 scholarships for students to attend the Summer Camp, including some featured below!

Raheem, 11th grade
I am from:
I live in Rosendale, MA; that’s where I was born, but my mom is actually from Singapore. She is from an Arab background, and she grew up there in Singapore.

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I have always been interested in international relations, so this is a great way to learn about some of the current issues today.

What I have learned from this program: I have learned about current issues in different countries such as child marriage, and also the role of peacekeepers in the UN, so doing those simulations really helped me to learn more about those different aspects.

What I liked the most about this program: It is so much more engaging type of learning than just hearing about things on the news, so I really enjoyed it.  I think the public speaking aspect that we focus on a lot really helps a lot.

This program will help me with my future goals: Before this I didn’t think international relations was really up there, but now I may be considering it in the future.  I have not done much public speaking before, so wasn’t really used to it, but such a big part of it was based on public speaking that I think I have gotten much better in it.

I would suggest this program to other students: I think that all sort of kids would like it whether they like to speak out or not, they learn a lot would really broadened their horizons based on politics.

Christina, 11th grade
I am from:
Malden, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I came to Model UN Camp to be better at public speaking and further my education in international relations.

What I have learned from this program: I have learned a lot of things I have not known before that I would need to take to the future with me.

I liked the most about this program: How we came from all over the world to the debate and the caucuses, and the different roles there are.

This program will help me with my future goals: In the future I hope to go into maybe something in law, maybe history, so either way Model UN will help me.

 I would suggest this program to other students: Advice that I give is to come prepared and be open. Don’t be shy about it because everyone is at the same position – come and learn and just be ready to do it.

Emily, 8th grade
I am from:
Barcelona, Spain

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I have always been interested in international relations.  My school is an international school, so there are lots of kids from all over.  I have always been completely fascinated by the different cultural backgrounds and the way countries interact and politics that unite them.

What I have learned from this program: I will learn more about how to express myself and how to debate…How to argue convincingly from point when I don’t completely agree with that point. The thing about being diplomat is you represent a country and a body of people and that’s very important because not everyone’s voice can be heard at any global situation. I want to learn about different countries and different policies.

What I liked the most about this program: Learning from and hearing about what other people have to say, along with meeting new people.

This program will help me with my future goals: When I am older I would love to be a diplomat. Interactions between people and countries in the world are fascinating, and someday I want to make a positive difference in it.

I would suggest this program to other students: It is important for someone to represent because otherwise those people’s voices won’t be heard.

Eric, 11th grade
I am from:
Westford, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: This year I am a class president of my club at my high school and I really want to further my knowledge of the UN and learn about its operations and policies as well as that I hope for a career in the UN someday.

What I have learned from this program: My experience at the Model UN UNA-GB Summer Camp was extraordinary.   It [provided] me with experience to become a better public speaker and debater. Some of the nature of the issues, which I would want to deal with, would be the global economy crisis…as well as human rights.

I liked the most about this program: I made a lot of new friends.  I learned how to become a much more effective and efficient delegate in future Model UN Competitions.

This program will help me with my future goals: I want to represent people who typically, normally speak up for themselves and to defend them.  My dream job would be to become a politician either for the United States or to represent the United States in the UN because I care a lot about people.  It has made me want to become even more involved in international politics; I believe it will help me when applying to some colleges.

I would suggest this program to other students: I think it is important for teenagers my age to join this program, so that way they will realize that they are going to be affected by human rights or some other law or other aspect which the UN discusses.

Mikaeal, 8th grade
I am from:
Newton, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: Because I really did not know about the UN. I thought that I could actually learn how the UN works, what the UN really is, what they really do.  I want to learn more about modern day issues and human rights.

What I have learned from this program: Paying attention is definitely a key part of this camp. It really helps with public speaking.  I learned how to debate. I actually was not really that good in it and I have improved a lot.

What I liked the most about this program: Parliamentary procedures… It was actually my favorite part in the whole class. I had almost no idea when I came here, but now I really understand it.

This program will help me with my future goals: When I joined the camp I thought it will be an interesting thing to know about…I actually don’t know exactly what my career would be, but I think it definitely will help me. It is a very important thing nowadays because all these issues and human rights are a big thing today.

I would suggest this program to other students: It was very accelerating, hard at some points, but I thought it was fun and very educational overall.

Rebecca, 12th grade
I am from:
Malden, MA

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp to: Improve my speaking skills and actually learn to give out my opinions, my suggestions more because before I had a hard time putting out my personal views on certain topics.

 What I have learned from this program: It has been a great experience understanding and learning more and getting to touch up on everything I have learned before.  The Summer Camp has just expanded my level of understanding of how to give out more information about the certain topics that I understand and how to speak to other people sharing my views with others. I learned everything from child marriage to migrant workers and their struggles to basics of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 What I liked the most about this program: [It is] giving me the chance to actually meet with other students from other schools and other countries and cities, which gives me a broader understanding of their different views on different topics being discussed.

This program will help me with my future goals: It changed my life because growing up I always knew I wanted to do something that was bigger than me – something that did not just have to do with me helping myself, but helping others. And the Model UN simulation just gives you the feeling that it is okay to want to get out of the comfort zone, to say I want to go beyond myself, and I want to help others in the process.

I have always wanted to be a pediatrician.  That’s always been in my plan book, but I want to intertwine that with traveling – I want to travel to help those in need, maybe kids in the other parts of the world that cannot get the aid that they need for those specialized areas.

I would suggest this program to other students: This program is amazing because it is actually improving your social capability and your ability to learn and share with others what you learned.  It is a great experience to come to the summer camp because it sharpens your learning abilities and what you know about American history and about the issues in general. It is the beginning, opening the door to helping others, and understanding what the world is made out of.

Daniel, 9th grade
I am from:
Tampa, FL

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I thought it was a great opportunity to come to a beautiful city like Boston and practice and learn some things about Model United Nations that I did not know before.

What I have learned from this program:  I have learned a lot of things about international relations and child rights and human rights that I would have never known if I would have never came to this program.  Mediating with other countries is always the best way to fix things.

What I liked the most about this program: It sets a great platform for your future aspirations to go farther than Model United Nations, and I would suggest it to any Model UN students.

This program will help me with my future goals:  Overall I would like to make the world a better place. There is a lot of turmoil in the world. And it is only one person, but if one person affects three, two people, that is already life well spent.  I am aspiring to go to college at Boston University and go to the international relations school and maybe become an ambassador to another country from the United States. And the prior information that I have learned from this program will surely help to reach that goal.

I would suggest this program to other students: Whether you are experienced or not in the Model United Nations field, you can learn some things that you did not know or if you just completely new to the Model UN, you can learn everything you really need to know.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming camp opportunities!

Ambassadors for a Week: Not Your Average Summer Camp

This past week, UNA-GB broke new ground by hosting our first ever Model UN Summer Institute!  We had nearly 40 youth forgo traditional camp activities like archery, swimming and horse-back riding to participate in a brand new week long camp, working towards becoming the next generation of global advocates, while also experiencing life on a prestigious graduate school campus.

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From July 11-15, 39 rising 8th-12th graders immersed themselves in the world of Model UN and worked towards solving the world’s most pressing global challenges at Harvard Business School.  From 9am to 4pm each day of the five-day institute, students were introduced to international relations and critical 21st century skills like negotiation, public speaking and problem-solving through the lens of Model United Nations curriculum, with a culminating simulation of the UN General Assembly Disarmament and International Security Committee focused on international peacekeeping operations. Some of these lessons and activities the students participated included:

By the end of the week, students were well versed in the workings of the United Nations and formal debate, confident in their public speaking, and had made strong bonds with other students sharing their passion for international relations and world issues.  Friday’s simulation came with much anticipation as students arrived to the conference room in business casual attire, eager to attack the day’s proceedings (though bittersweet as well, since it signaled the pending end of camp).  Heavy debate, draft resolutions, and a motion to close debate and end the simulation mixed in with a few laughs and photos characterized the finalization of the MUN Summer Camp and a week the students, and the UNA-GB staff and interns, will not forget.

Don’t just take our word for it!  Check out photos, videoslive tweets and learn more about the week!  And stay tuned for some additional videos coming out featuring more highlights and interviews with the students, as well as a guest blog post from one of the campers.

A special thank you goes to National Grid, one of our fabulous corporate sponsors who offered 10 scholarships for students to attend this year’s camp!

We also hope we can offer additional sessions of camp next year, so more of our future leaders have a chance to step into the shoes of ambassadors!

-Amanda

Middle School Students Tackle North Korean Aggression Head On!

Two dozen middle school students from the Greater Boston area meet at MCLE in the Disarmament and International Security Committee to debate the international security threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Representing countries from across the globe (including DPR Korea), the students discussed the human rights violations and nuclear proliferation currently occurring in North Korea. The representative from North Korea denied that any human rights abuses have happened and attempted to justify North Korea’s nuclear proliferation by citing the growing threat from  the Republic of Korea and their allies, the United States of America. But, his words fell on deaf ears, and the rest of the committee continued to negotiate to find a solution to North Korean aggression.

By the end of the debate, two distinct proposals were on the floor for a vote. The proposal sponsored by the Russian Federation, Cambodia, the United States of America, and Belgium called for the North Korea government to close down all of their prison camps by 2015, and if they failed to do so, all international aid would be cut. And, although many countries were uneasy about cutting all aid to North Korea, the proposal passed. The second proposal , sponsored by the People’s Republic of China, Pakistan, and Israel, suggested to depose Kim Jong-Il, and hold free and fair elections in North Korea. The delegates of India and Italy were appalled by the idea of the United Nations sanctioning the disposal of an international leader, and the rest of the committee agreed. The proposal did not pass. The students from the British School of Boston, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Macall Middle School, and the Martin Luther King Jr., School all sought to and succeeded in quelling the growing threat of North Korea aggression, at least for the time being.

-Rebecca

Carol Fulp address teen delegates at RMUN 2011

Over 350 high school students from the Bay State, New England and Bermuda came together on Friday May 13th at Northeastern University to take part in the Regional Model UN Conference put on by UNA-GB and affectionately known as RMUN!  You can check out some of the on-site photos and updates if you search #UNAGBRMUN on Twitter and you can see more photos from the conference here.

Student delegates debating Sports for Peace and Food Security in the UNESCO committee were treated to a surprise visit from a pillar of the business and civic community here in Boston and one of President Obama’s US representatives to the United Nations, Carol Fulp.  Fulp also was the 2011 Leadership Award recipient at UNA-GB’s 2011 Consuls Ball (see photo below and more photos of the Ball here).

Ms. Fulp discussed the global importance of the role of sports international development strategies and gender equality.  Students were given an insider’s view of the vetting process that Ms. Fulp underwent before her confirmation was made official by Congress and stressed the importance of transparency and ethics to the group of teens, many of whom are aspiring diplomats themselves.

The Conference was a great success, with all committees submitting impressive resolutions!  Our world is in good hands with these future leaders!

-Jennifer

A Day as a Refugee: Middle School Simulation

Today, more than 30 million people around the world have been displaced due to war and violence, making nearly 10 million children refugees. As previously blogged about, countries facing an inordinate amount of displaced persons today include Somalia, Colombia, Palestine, Haiti, and Iraq.

On Monday, April 11th, the Education Department of UNA-GB guided a group of participating middle school students from the Greater Boston area through the “Torn from Home: My Life as a Refugee” exhibit at the Boston Children’s Museum. The special event was hosted in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Related to the Status of Refugees. The traveling exhibition provided an interactive second-hand look at the plight of refugees, particularly the children supported by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The 6th and 7th grade students from Josiah Quincy Upper School came highly prepared for the day’s simulation – when Rachel Farkas, the Asia Program Associate at Boston Children’s Museum,  sat down to give a brief introduction of the exhibition, they enthusiastically differentiated between refugees, evacuees, and environmentally displaced people!

To simulate the camp experience, the students were divided into 4 smaller groups: registration, medical, education and home. Through a series of inspiring hands on activities and guided questions from UNA-GB staff, students were able to address a myriad of complicated issues afflicting refugees. Upon ‘registration’, the students were issued individual identification bracelets and compared the food rations of a camp with their diets. In the medical center, they examined malnutrition, disease prevention, water and sanitation. While crammed into a tent, students discussed “What is home?” and “What does home mean to you?”. After exploring the exhibition, they gathered on the benches and mats of the minimalist school area to discuss the opportunities education presents to children in refugee camps and to share what each group had learned from the exhibit.

That afternoon, the students represented different countries associated with the UNHCR. They used their newfound knowledge from the exhibit to fuel a debate of the international issue of Environmentally Displaced People. The success of the day was evident due to the energetic debate amongst the students and the variety of resolutions drafted. To grasp the impact of Model UN simulation, read or watch personal feedback from the students themselves.

Why I’m Attending-part 1

Consuls Ball banner
With less than 3 weeks until our major spring gala, the Consuls Ball, we wanted to debut a blog series sharing why YOU should consider attending the Ball, straight from the mouths of past attendees who are returning to celebrate again with us this year.  Our first testimony comes from Linnea Löf, who attended the Ball last year and actually serves on our event committee this year!

“My husband and I attended our first Consuls Ball last year (2010) because we believe in the importance of global educational programs like the Model UN and we want to show our support.  We had such a fabulous time that we definitely plan on attending again!  The event was gorgeous — an elegant location, exquisite food, open bar, great music, lively dancing and international attendees — we felt like we traveled the world in one glorious evening! The Colombian Consul shared our table so we had the opportunity to hear the kind of support she provides to people and organizations from her country here in Boston.

Linnea Löf (2nd from R) and guests enjoy the 2010 Consuls Ball

One of the live auction items was a stay at a 5 star resort in Sicily which we bid on and won!   We are excited to share this unique evening with friends this year because we know it will be an international gala not to miss!

-Linnea Löf

Join Linnea and 350+ other Boston business and diplomatic leaders on April 29 for THE global gala of the season in New England.  Get your tickets now!

-UNA-GB staff

Model UN: A Students’ Perspective

As we blogged about a few weeks ago, we had a fantastic group of students from all over the Greater Boston area participate in UNA-GB’s Invitational Model United Nations Spring 2011 Conference (IMUN) at the beginning of March. More than 250 middle and high schoolers from over a dozen Boston-area schools eagerly stepped into the shoes of diplomats, representing more than 40 countries, and spent the day taking on the world’s most pressing issues, including the crisis in Haiti, human organ trafficking, HIV/AIDS, and migrant workers.

Here is a sample of what students had to say about the day:

  • “What I enjoyed most about the Model UN Conference was getting to meet other people and discussing international issues.”
  • “Model UN taught me to understand more about the conflicts in the world and how they can be solved with help from other people. It also taught me how ideas and solutions from our own countries can assist others as well.”
  • “Model UN has really interested me in world issues and debating. Now, when I grow up, I definitely would like to do something to help my country and others.”
  • “Model UN has made me more comfortable talking in front of people now this proves I can be a teacher in the future.”
  • “Model UN is helping me understand the world, and I want to do things, and take every opportunity to help the world.”

Don’t just read about what the young people have to say – you can watch them too!  Check out our video from the IMUN Conference and spread the word that Model UN makes a difference for our young people!

You can also help us reach even more urban students by donating today.  You can also encourage the youth in your life to participate in Model UN (including our brand new summer camp this upcoming July!!).  Remember, Model UN rocks!