Reflections on the Stanford Model United Nations Conference

On November 4-6 Bay’s Model U.N. Club attended Stanford’s Model United Nations Conference. Here are some of their reflections on that weekend.

Julia Nierenberg – Junior

At Stanford, I represented Mexico within the committee of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The two topics we discussed were 1) Secondary Education in Developing Countries and 2) Maintaining Clean, Sustainable Water in Developing Countries. For the first topic, I was a sponsor of a resolution which got passed by the committee. When we discussed current and future policies within countries, issues regarding human rights and female education came up. It was my first time writing a resolution, which was an interesting and new experience. UNESCO also passed a resolution on the water crisis which included the decision to send sewage to Mars and extract water from camels. Additionally, the committee created a few organizations, one called Water without Borders (modeled after Doctors without Borders). I ended up receiving the Best Delegate award, the highest committee honor, and took home an awesome gavel. My chairs were helpful, fun and understanding. Overall, it was an exciting experience and I cannot wait for Harvard Model UN!

Gemma Baumer – Junior
I represented Mexico in the UN Development Programme. Our two issues were enabling free and fair elections in developing countries and stability at international sporting events. For more than half of our time in committee, I worked with France and Ireland on a resolution promoting education. The resolution eventually passed the committee under the pretense that it would be in conjunction with other resolutions, because while other resolutions focused on creating a system that allowed fair elections, our resolution sought to address the aftermath of a new system. The resolution centered on education by recognizing the long-term need for education as a means to have an educated populace, but also for the purpose of being an incentive to vote. I mentioned that with my neighboring country, the United States, though citizens have the right to vote, many ignore this right and don’t take to the polls. Additionally, we were presented with two crises. The first was a 9.9 earthquake in San Francisco, in which I worked with the United States and China to address the issue of nuclear power, and the second crisis was that our delegate from Egypt was kidnapped. In the end, I won a verbal commendation. It was an altogether very positive experience!  

Danielle Rosenthal – Freshman
Stanford Model United Nations was an excellent overall experience for my first MUN conference. With the United Nations Environmental Programme, I was able to discuss and learn about water conservation and urban planning throughout the world: both subject of passion. My committee spent much time discussing the water needs of both developed and under-developed countries and how to attain these in a sustainable way. We debated the use of water purification methods such as desalinization and other filtration systems. In the end, we passed a resolution involving a new fund for water filtration projects, along with encouraging research and education of the water crisis severity. The second topic, urban environmental planning, resulted in a resolution encouraging research within individual communities based on their geography and education of younger generations. Our resolution also said that the Islamic Republic of Iran should get whatever it wants. This last amendment however, was called by the chair as “irrelevant” and thus was not included in the final resolution.

Amanda Crego-Emley – Junior
I represented Mexico on the World Health Organization (WHO) and we discussed promoting health and sanitation during war and among minority tribes. Working with several countries, the delegate from Pakistan and I drafted a resolution that advocated the creation of a WHO task force of doctors to partner with NGOs in an effort to bring aid and promote education about basic health practices in refugee camps. We drew our inspiration from a similar system that is currently operating successfully in Pakistan. I had a really positive experience and I really appreciated that so many delegates endeavored to accurately represent their country’s views. In addition to drafting resolutions on our two assigned issues, our committee was also presented with a crisis. Several masked college students interrupted our committee session to bring us news of French Toast—an epidemic in France that was quickly spreading through Europe. Pandemonium broke out as everyone shouted about establishing a quarantine and stopping all transportation in an out of Europe. The delegate from South Korea was bold enough to suggest that French Toast was really a virus engineered by devious scientists in North Korea and he advocated the establishment of a secret task force to infiltrate North Korea to find the antidote. I had a lot of fun at SMUNC and I loved the pairing of serious committee sessions with the absurdity of our French Toast crisis; normal committee sessions were focused enough to be productive and successful and our crisis was strange enough to provide a brief break from structured procedure. Overall, SMUNC was a wonderful first conference and I had a really rich experience.

Wali Kamp – Junior
I represented Mexico in the ICJ, the International Court of Justice. We discussed whaling in Japan and the barrier between Israel and Palestine. Israel wasn’t there, and Japan didn’t speak once. Everyone was serious about debating these issues. I was initially overwhelmed by the parliamentary procedures, but I eventually got the hang of them. It was also really fun because within 15 minutes we created a new religion represented by a whale. And we later fixed the barrier problem by building a heart around Israel and Palestine.

Ayluonne Tereszkiewicz – Junior
I had a very positive experience at the 2011 Stanford Model United Nations Conference. It wasn’t as high intensity as I thought it was going to be, so I was able to focus on learning and exploring rather than worrying about competition. I represented Mexico in the Organization of American States.   We discussed lifting the Cuban embargo and addressing political corruption within the Americas. The US and Cuban delegates were absent, so the debate was relatively one-sided. However, we did lift the Cuban Embargo and formed a detailed resolution regarding the economical and political stability of Cuba. We further formed a resolution to combat political corruption within the Americas that included the immediate dismissal of corrupt officials, an increase in salaries, and the creation of CICG organizations in each nation. One of the key things I learned during the conference was how to write proper perambulatory and operative clauses, as I had very little knowledge of such procedures. In the end, I was awarded Verbal commendation (4th Place) in my committee.

Jackson Karel — Sophomore
I represented Mexico in the IMF, the International Monetary Fund. Our topics were debt relief in bankrupt nations and emerging market economies. Nearly everyone had a similar solution in mind so there wasn’t that much intense debate. As a representative of an advanced market economy, I gave advice to secondary EMEs using Mexico’s recent economic history. The nations we focused on in the debt relief topic were the ones in the Eurozone debt crisis—mainly Greece. I found this topic confusing at first, but it was offset by the fun crisis we had where Christine Lagarde was kidnapped by the Greek Mafia and suddenly the IMF representatives got complete power over their nations as a whole. Eventually the mafia came in and kidnapped our delegate from Italy.

Rintaro Moriyasu – Junior
I was in US SOCOM, which is US Special Ops Command. I was the Secretary of Homeland Security. It was a small committee with only thirteen members and crisis-focused. There were two crises. The first entailed finding a bomb in San Francisco and facing a group of terrorists on the Bay Bridge, and second involved stopping terrorist activities in Baltimore. These were the crises I was directly involved with since Homeland Security only has direct access to domestic issues.  The committee was mostly centered on fighting over jurisdiction; domestic agencies fought each other for jurisdiction over domestic crisis, and international agencies fought each other for jurisdiction over international crisis.  I won honorable mention in that committee.

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