Campus News

View Year

Juniata Hosts Would-be Envoys at Model UN Conference

(Posted November 2, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- High school students from central Pennsylvania will ponder such pressing world problems as the war in Afghanistan, narcoterrorism and protecting civilians in armed conflict Monday, Nov. 9 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in various campus locations, as part of a Model United Nations conference for local high school students sponsored by Juniata College.

"We always hear that the future is in the hands of young people," says Richard Mahoney, professor of peace studies and director of Juniata's Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. "In Model UN, we actually put the future in the hands of 220 high school juniors and seniors and see if they can do any better than our current international leadership. And they always do."

"We always hear that the future is in the hands of young people. In Model UN, we actually put the future in the hands of 220 high school juniors and seniors and see if they can do any better than our current international leadership. And they always do."
Richard Mahoney, director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies

Mahoney is overseeing all Model UN club activities.
More than 220 students and teachers on 13 teams from Cumberland Valley High School, Hershey High School, Huntingdon Area High School, Bellefonte Area High School, Octorara High School (in Atglen, Pa.), Indian Valley High School, East Juniata Senior High School (in McAlisterville, Pa.), Lewistown Area High School, York Country Day School, Juniata High School (in Mifflintown, Pa.), Wyoming Seminary (in Kingston, Pa.), Annville-Cleona High School (in Annville, Pa.) and State College Area High School will attend the one-day event.

Mahoney says a Model U.N. conference gives high school students and their teachers the opportunity to experience how the United Nations works. Students in high school Model United Nations clubs are given background briefing materials 30 days before the conference. Each club is assigned a country or countries to represent and given assignments to participate in other United Nations organizations such as the Security Council or UNICEF.

"It's an excellent recruiting tool for Juniata and visiting students get a chance to see a nice example of college life," Mahoney explains. "Our students actually get as much out of the experience, because they are organizing and running a very large conference."

The Model U.N. conference will include a session of the National Security Council addressing "Afghanistan: Nation Building and Long Term Plan/Exit Strategy." The council also will meet on "Supporting the U.N."

Other sessions and topics include: The General Assembly 1 will meet on "Fighting Narcoterrorism in Mexico and Afghanistan" and "Militarization of the Antarctic" and the General Assembly 3 focuses on "Legalization of Prostitution" and "Preventing Illicit Drugs to Global Youth." The United Nations Security Council tackles "Protecting Civilians in Armed Conflict: The Case of Pakistan" and "Pre-emptive Killing and Remote Assassination." The U.N. Environment Program's topic is "Sustainable Agriculture: Subsistence Farming vs. Corporate Farming" and "The Use of Genetically Modified Organisms," and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will meet on "The Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh" and "Preventing Human Trafficking."

The conference is sponsored and staged by the Juniata College Model United Nations Club. About 35 Juniata students will participate in the events and oversee the various committees and sessions. The United Nations Secretary General will be Caitlin Denney, a senior from Fairfax, Va.

The regional Model U.N. conference is in its 11th consecutive year at Juniata. The Juniata students serving as committee chairs are: General Assembly 1: Zach Gordon, a junior from Wilmington, Del., N.J.; National Security Council: Scott Sloat, a senior from Ridgefield, Conn.; United Nations Security Council: Marc Kaiser, a freshman international student from Germany; United Nations Environmental Program: Malea Hetrick, a senior from Port Matilda, Pa.; General Assembly 3: Nicole Houck, a sophomore from Hollidaysburg, Pa.; and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe: David Grim III, a sophomore from Boalsburg, Pa.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.