Clear space in the trophy cases at York Prep–the Model UN team wins again! York Prep’s delegates represented the country of Canada at the 10th annual UNA-USA Model United Nations Conference, sponsored by the United Nations Association of the United States of America’s Global Classrooms® program. Held at the United Nations Headquarters on May 14-16, this culminating event for high school students is always a highlight for the York Prep team.
Covering diverse and pressing international issues such as separatist state movements, the economic effects of HIV/AIDS, micro-loans, biofuels, and the situation in Myanmar, the conference provides an authentic simulation of the United Nations in a highly professional setting and the chance for delegates to debate with students.
During Opening Ceremonies, UN Secretary General Bon Ki-Moon addressed over 2,250 attendees, advising them to “think big” when solving problems and encouraging them to consider a career in diplomacy.
Mrs. Heather Marshall-Fleenor, advisor of the York Prep Model UN Team, accompanied by Ms. Sumaya Ibourk, led a group of 21 students from grades 9 through 12. “The students researched their country and its position on specific topics,” said Mrs. Marshall-Fleenor. “Once in their UN committees, they present, debate, write resolutions, negotiate—all in an effort to solve the problem assigned to that committee. It can look like chaos, but there’s quite an amazing number of skills in play.”
In all, York Prep walked away with six awards. Isaac Inkeles and Weston Gerlach each received one of the 12 “Best Delegates” awards presented at the conference. They represented Canada in the World Bank Executives Committee and discussed the topic of Microfinance. JoAnnlee Lebron and Kosuke Fujita advocated for universal primary education in the Human Rights Commission and were recognized with an Honorable Mention award for their work. Likewise, Michael Schaffzin and Henry Knecht earned an Honorable Mention for their compelling arguments in favor of the use of biofuels in the Food and Agriculture Committee.