February 4 – BOSTON – Model UN, a simulation of the United Nations in which students represent a country and debate the world’s toughest issues, returns for high schoolers in the North Country.
From January 26 to 29, AuSable, Beekmantown, Boquet Valley, Chazy, Northeastern Clinton and Peru Schools sent their best delegates to Harvard Model UN in Boston.
The conference had more than 4,000 delegates from 63 different countries discuss topics ranging from vaccine diplomacy to the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in China.
Harvard Model UN bills itself as one of the most elite conferences in the world and kicks off the season every year for local high schoolers. These conferences recognize their delegates with awards ranging from diplomatic commendation to best delegate.
“We came back last year in person,” said Hillary Sponable, a Harvard Model UN consultant for Beekmantown Central School.
“It was a much smaller conference. This year, it was about double the size of last year’s conference. So, there was more competition, more people who attended the conference. They had kids from 63 different countries. Overall, many contests this year. It was a well organized conference. Every year it is completely exhausting because the kids are on committees until 11.30pm at night. They are discussing. They stay up all night writing solutions and working together on It’s just a exhausting week overall, but definitely very rewarding just to see the guys excited about meeting new people and working together with new people from all over the world.”
The North Country had seven honorees this year. AuSable students Lillian TullerUss and Brielle Laundree won a diplomatic commendation for discussing solutions to the opioid epidemic representing Chile. AVCS is recommended by Jen Daniels and Scott Tuller.
“We walked into the Sheraton Hotel, refreshed and excited for the experience to come, knowing the outcome of the next few days would change us as delegates, students and most importantly, people,” write TullerUss and Laundree.
“Months of preparation, discussion, and collaboration poured into these mundane conferences. Nerves ran high, with half our double delegation faced with the unfamiliarity of a first Harvard conference, and the other half reminiscing about past conferences at Harvard and the ways to make this one of the best yet.
“Nerves notwithstanding, we approached the booth to deliver our keynote address with the utmost candor and confidence. Scouting out competition, possible allies and attempting to make friends at a conference of over 4,000 delegates from over 60 countries. What it seemed like an impossible task, it turned out to be very possible.Through collaboration and mutual help we came away with an award.This was the second award the AVCS team has won in two consecutive years and we hope this trend continues.
Laundree: “Before this conference, I doubted my abilities and this often hindered me not only in my studies. After observing so many different experiences and lifestyles, I was able to step back and not be so narrow-minded I will carry it with me for life. I have never been more proud of my team, double and myself.”
TullerUss: “Fully indulging in this lecture has opened my eyes to many unknowns about myself. It was nostalgic and gratifying in a way that I cannot describe. I could not have asked for anything better at the last Harvard lecture. I was surrounded by a intelligent and passionate team, and my double who was by my side has been nothing but strong and supportive. I am incredibly proud of my double and AVCS.”
Boquet Valley student Alessia Caputo received a diplomatic commendation for her efforts in discussing space exploration and restrictions. You represented the nation of Peru.
“This is my third year attending Harvard Model United Nations and I am proud to say that I also received my third HMUN award at this conference,” writes Caputo.
“HMUN is such a vital part of the United Nations model, and without it, I wouldn’t have some crucial skills that I have today. Skills like public speaking and collaboration are nurtured in the Harvard atmosphere. It’s something that has and continues to set North Country kids are poised for success in their future after high school.It is a supportive yet competitive global community that everyone who participates in will benefit.Harvard Model United Nations holds a special place in the hearts of many of the North Country kids who participate to MUN.”
The Boquet Valley team is recommended by Pete Castine.
Beekmantown has had four students win Honorable Mention awards on their committees. This year they represented North Korea. Cameron Danville and April Secore were recognized for their skills in discussing the effects of the sanctions. Shamus Bibeau and Estefania Oropeza were also awarded for their discussion on Cyberwarfare and Cybersecurity. The team is recommended by Sponable and Jon Chapman.
“The Harvard Model UN conference attended by Beekmantown Central School was my first year on the team,” Oropeza writes.
“The diversity of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds and languages that I encountered at the conference was truly one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. After four excruciating days of hard work and debate, my double delegate, Shamus Bibeau, and I brought home an honorable mention. Hearing our country’s announcement during the closing ceremonies was both gratifying and fulfilling knowing our hard work has paid off. I hope to attend again next year and experience the same gratifying feeling that I tried in Boston”.
For top delegates in the area, HMUN is just the first of several conferences. On February 16, Beekmantown will host Beekmantown Model UN for rookie delegates.
Nearly 300 local students from eight different schools will participate in the conference run by the Harvard Model UN team in Beekmantown.
The objective of this conference is to expose students to the Model United Nations and teach the elements of parliamentary procedure, research, debate and solution writing.
Rookie delegates from AuSable, Beekmantown, Boquet Valley, Chazy, Northeastern Clinton, Plattsburgh, Willsboro and Schroon Lake will be in attendance.
March 9-10 will mark the return of North Country Model UN, managed by the Harvard Model UN team at Northeastern Clinton Central School.
Model UN is a long-standing tradition in the school. This will be their 45th session and is the largest model local conference in the United Nations. This is a multi-day conference, which allows delegates to discuss more deeply and allows more time for collaboration.
Topics will include global alliances, cyber security, food security, women’s education, and the situation on the Korean peninsula.
Finally, Beekmantown delegates will have the opportunity to participate in the Dalton Model UN on May 7 at the Dalton School in New York City.
There, they’ll debate delegates from some of New England’s most elite schools. This will be the team’s second year at this conference.
This opportunity is made possible by the school’s Extended Learning Time Grant.
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