The Horizon Honors Secondary School Model United Nations Club is new this school year, but club members are already off to an amazing start. The club is small, with four seniors and four freshmen participating in the program. Students had little to no experience in Model UN competitions, so the goal was to learn and start the process of building a strong club.
Model UN clubs are student run, usually by upperclassmen who are experts in one or more committees of the United Nations. The club offers an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral body, which introduces students to the world of diplomacy, negotiation, and decision making. The students, better known as “delegates”, debate current issues on the organization’s vast agenda. They prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure – all in the interest of resolving problems that affect the world.
Much hard work goes into becoming a MUN leader, researching complex global issues and the competing national interests is just the starting point. To lead in MUN, a student must master negotiating skills and learn how to shape the direction of the debate. You must make yourself be heard.
The Horizon Honors club competed in two conferences this year, one at Mesa Community College and one at the University of Arizona. They learned a lot and had fun. One delegate, Senior Cameron Vega, won the coveted Distinguished Delegate Award, an amazing accomplishment especially since this was only his second conference.
“I joined Model UN because I felt like it would be a new and enjoyable experience that suited my interest in the fields of politics and diplomacy,” said Model UN Acting Club President Cameron Vega. “I plan on getting involved with international relations and policy making in my future, which are two areas that Model UN helps to develop skills and gain valuable experience in.”
“For me the most gratifying aspect of being a Model United Nations adviser is to watch my students overcome inhibitions to speak out and to dare to become a leader,” said Model UN Advisor Michaela Burns.
Club members are looking forward to getting next year’s topics for the first three conferences soon so they can begin their research.