Model UN Aims to Make a Difference

Thirteen members of York Prep’s Model United Nations (MUN) team took part in the 9th Annual UNA-USA Model United Nations Conference on May 15-17. Approximately 2,200 students from 16 states and 19 countries attended the three-day event, which is the largest Model UN conference in the country and the only one held at the UN Headquarters.

 

York Prep students represented UN member nations The Republic of Sierra Leone and Jamaica. Coached by History teacher and MUN advisor Heather Marshall-Fleenor, the MUN team researched the history and structure of the UN and became knowledgeable about topics as diverse as global warming, the role of blood diamonds in conflict, multinational terrorism, the removal of landmines, and the empowerment of women in developing countries.

 

York students mastered parliamentary procedure and gave speeches about their topics in committees with up to 300 delegates. They negotiated and debated their way to prominence, earning awards and recognitions for themselves and for their team. This is quite an accomplishment considering both the competition from other schools and the fact that, for many in the team, this was their first experience participating in Model UN.

 

My Seppo and Kishen Manglani won “Best Delegation”—one of the highest awards—for their work in the World Health Organization where they discussed the importance of combating malaria and other easily preventable infectious diseases in developing countries. Michael Krasner, Dodge Landesman, and Thomas DeVito received commendations at Closing Ceremonies for their contributions in the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

 

During Opening Ceremonies, held in the General Assembly Hall, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon briefed the delegates on the latest news concerning the growing crisis in Myanmar/Burma. He praised the students for their concern for global affairs and encouraged everyone present to think about how they can be of service to their communities and the world. The CEO of Merrill Lynch, a financial sponsor of the UNA-USA Conference, urged participants to dream big and find solutions to the very issues they were confronting at the conference. Opening Ceremonies ended with a humorous and inspiring speech by the Pulitzer Prize winning author and teacher, Frank McCourt.

 

The ‘08 UNA-USA Conference was an overwhelming success! Congratulations to the York Prep MUN team:

  • Tom DeVito
  • Davis Koh
  • Justin Leopold-Cohen
  • Kishin Manglani
  • Joshua Schoen
  • Win Kenny
  • Davis Patterson
  • Zach Peppin
  • JoAnnlee Lebron
  • Assyria Shabazz Allah
  • My Seppo
  • Dodge Landesman
  • Michael Krasner