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HomeNational Model UN

National Model UN

Hundreds of high school students from across North America will gather at the Sheraton Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut to debate the world’s fate at the annual Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) conference. The event usually takes place on February and is expected to draw about 450 students representing 42 high schools from both the United States and Canada.

“We hope to give the students the opportunity to participate in an intellectual conference, learn the processes of the United Nations and diplomacy, and provide a forum to discuss issues facing the global community,” said Mr. Strulson, the school’s advisor for Model UN. “It is my hope that the students will gain passion for a specific topic. The most important thing is that each individual student connects to any issue they strongly care about.”

Playing the roles of real United Nations delegates, students will represent a variety of views, including those with which they may not traditionally agree with. They research their country’s position, adding both to their knowledge of world affairs and to their appreciation of the importance of preparation and critical evaluation.

The purpose of the Model UN is to teach the students about how the UN operates, how it revolves around committees and how each committee is responsible for specific issues. The students have three to four months to research their given country, learning everything they can about its government, history, population, demographics, and the challenges it faces. The students require intense discipline to prepare properly for this competition: they need to study the subject matter in great depth, gain an intimate knowledge of rules on how to present topics, file motions, and disagree with other delegates, and be comfortable speaking in front of a crowd.

Mr. Strulson, the team advisor, feels this is a truly valuable experience for the students. “It teaches them that a single voice can mean a lot. They meet hundreds of delegates, have the opportunity to debate for causes and see the effect their voices have. They learn about teamwork and responsibility.” We are very proud of our students’ diligent and impressive efforts.

During simulated meetings of the UN, the students will debate topics such as world health, disarmament, and trade and development. Each school will represent at least one UN-member country and students will be assigned to one of 15 committees, including the International Court of Justice, the World Health Organization, and the Middle East Summit. Beyond learning about politics, public speaking, and negotiation, students will meet and work with peers from other high schools.

The conference usually includes various guest speakers including Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel.

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