On Dec. 4, the St. Stephen’s Model United Nations (MUN) Security Council took up the topics of Iran, global warming and sovereignty. These topics were chosen and discussed at MUN meetings throughout fall term and culminated at the December session.
The school’s MUN Security Council is comprised of 15 delegations with three or more members. The five permanent members are represented (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States); the other 10 countries are chosen for their relevance to the topics at hand. Each delegation has a head delegate who divides the work among the members of the delegation. Any delegate may address the group according to parliamentary procedure.
Once delegates moved past the task of setting an agenda, which proved surprisingly troublesome, Iran was the first topic. As expected, there was general concern with the nuclear program. Most countries favored current agreements, but the United States advocated for stronger measures. Iran offered vigorous defense of its practices, laced with many poetic barbs against hostile countries. Surprisingly, there was little mention of the current unrest within Iran. The final motion was surprising and brief: more negotiations and strong encouragement for support for the Iranian economy.
The agenda then moved to global warming where a drawn-out debate was anticipated. Instead, it was quickly wrapped up before the mid-day break with a resolution that offered some policy guidelines and a conference in Singapore. The long afternoon session addressed sovereignty with a resolution sponsored by some of the more dubious members of the council. Like the morning debate on Iran, this allowed for charges and colorful comments to be leveled at various members in the room. The final outcome more or less exonerated malefactors under the blanket protection of combatting terrorism. As in the real world, that concern was useful to everyone.
An emergency situation of policy for plague prevention followed. To our initial surprise, this topic took off, leading to interesting debate that slid into humorous discussions, as usually happens at MUN student gatherings in the last hour. The final discussion offered persiflage and repartee until a nuclear war with various outcomes resolved the situation.
Senior Kate Van Dusen officiated as secretary general, senior Mae McMillan reprised her duties as parliamentarian and senior Emilia Alton served as recording secretary. Congratulations to many of them for their insightful, as well as their helpful and humorous contributions.
MUN members include Alex Alcorta, Emilia Alton, Liam Archacki, Julian Baeza, Henri Bariselle, Kush Bharti, Andrew Bohnsack, Jada Byars, Joseph Carruth, Katherine Cline, Jorn Dammann, Rose Danuser, Connor Dodd, Cristian Dominguez, Elle Eyestone, Ivy Fan, Leo Gao, Fabi Garza, Victoria Ge, Jack Gormin, Connor Guess, Ronik Gupta, Jason Han, Lizzy Jones, Sophie Kastner, Lesley Ke, Zoe Lee, Hailey Liu, Yuanlin Liu, Dennis Lu, Ava McDonald, Mae McMillin, Jordan Mendelson, Eli Meyers, Salma Mohamed, Carson Murtuza-Lanier, Jayan Nitzsche, Sam Palmer, Ali Sait, Chang Shi, James Stephens, Compton Stewart, Emily Tseng, Kate Van Dusen, Isabella Villarreal, Annie Wang, Hattie White, Cathy Xue, Serena Yao, Amy Yoo, Hansen Zhang, Zoe Zhao, Bryan Zhao and Yixuan Zhou.
Model UN at St. Stephen’s is a simulation of the U.N. Security Council, which puts students into a world of diplomacy and negotiation. Students take up issues before the UN, research those issues from the perspective of their assigned country, and seek to defend their country’s interest in public policy debate. They also seek to gain international consensus by means of drafting resolutions, political negotiations and informed debate. St. Stephen’s Model UN provides time and resources for students to engage in these activities and to learn the art and patience of procedural rules and policy development.
These sessions allow St. Stephen’s students to further school-wide goals of global citizenship and social justice. Faculty sponsors include Christopher Colvin, Sarah Todd, Mason Cox and Samantha Schmidt.
—Christopher Colvin, Ph.D., History and Geometry Instructor