By: Neha Tailigeri and Ritika Mukund
North’s Model United Nations (MUN) team is one of the better-known clubs in the school. The club simulates the United Nations, where members, known as delegates, debate various international issues. The club only attends four conferences at various major universities every year, but it participates in many more local conferences held by local high schools.
The first conference at North (NorthMUNC) was held last spring. “We were motivated [to create NorthMUNC] mostly due to the high costs of attending the four-day conferences,” senior Amar Desai, a Secretary General for the North MUN team, said. Due to the limited spots on the roster and to various schedule conflicts, it can often be difficult for members to attend all the four-day conferences held at universities. With NorthMUNC, more students are able to participate and compete, developing their public speaking, research, and collaborative skills.
This year’s NorthMUNC is vastly different from last year’s conference. For starters, this year’s conference will be held during the fall, on October 22, rather than in the spring. “This change is to give our delegates more experience before our major collegiate conferences,” said senior Samarth Patel, who serves as the Under-Secretary General of Financial Affairs. Especially for the younger members of MUN, this practice before the major conferences will prove valuable.
The team is also adding a new type of committee, the ad-hoc crisis committee, where delegates will not be given a topic until the day of the competition. In crisis committees, new topics are constantly thrown at the delegates, making the committee especially difficult. Crisis committees are usually reserved for veteran members on the team. This committee, along with engaging historical committees, provides a diverse set of topics for attendees to discuss.
Though it is only a high school conference, NorthMUNC has attracted many high school delegations from all over the East Coast. “While certainly a step down from college conferences which are mostly sleep-away at a hotel and host people from all around the world, we have still been able to construct a high-quality of debate with novice delegates and have people come to NorthMUNC everywhere from upstate New York to Connecticut and Maryland,” said Desai. This characteristic allows delegates to have an experience similar to those of the university conferences. NorthMUNC even has keynote speakers from the real United Nations. This year, their keynote speaker will be Ravi Karkara from the Committee on the Status of Women, winner of the prestigious Global Officials Award, among many, for his influential work towards gender equality.
The North MUN team hopes that NorthMUNC II will be a success and a great learning experience for all its participants. With NorthMUNC II coming up in October, the secretariat and staffers have been working endlessly in order to ensure an intellectually challenging conference and fun experience for all delegates to enjoy.