This past weekend, the Academy of the Most Blessed Sacrament Model UN Team competed against 1900 other national and international students in New York City at the UNA-USA Global Classrooms International Model UN Conference on March 31 and April 1.
Two AMBS Model UN Team delegates, Olivia and Samantha L. were able to outmaneuver over 150 other delegates and take home the number two award in their committee: an honorable mention for distinguished performance in the UNESCO committee. They bested over 50 other schools due to superior preparation, mastery of parliamentary procedure, public speaking, and superior diplomatic and leadership ability.
The conference simulates the United Nations and its agencies and engages the participants in an exploration of current world issues. While at the conference, AMBS represented the countries of South Africa and the Solomon Islands and simulated their positions on various issues which included expanding social welfare policies to the developing world, combating drug trafficking, regulating the use and production of genetically modified organisms and crops, combating transnational organized crime, protecting online identity, promoting rights at work, protecting world heritage sites that are threatened by conflict, improving the rights of internally displaced people and regulating human experimentation.
Attendance at the conference was the culmination of months of research and practice by the team. Over the last few months, AMBS Model UN Team members practiced speech writing and parliamentary procedure, learned how to research a country and its positions, and developed strong public speaking skills. AMBS team members paired up and were assigned to a UN committee that covered one of the topics mentioned above.
While in committee at the conference the AMBS team engaged in debate with delegates from around the U.S. and from as far away as Japan and India who represented other UN member countries. Committee membership ranged from 35-200 students where each member of the AMBS team stood up and gave speeches which outlined their positions on each assigned topic. The goal of each committee was for the delegates to build consensus and pass a resolution that attempted to address the topic in each committee. With hundreds of competing interests represented, building enough support to pass a resolution was not always easy, yet several members of our team prevailed and were able to steer their resolution to passage.
Closing ceremonies took place at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. The AMBS Model UN Team looks forward to competing at an upcoming conference which will be held at Bergen Academies on May 13th.