(Posted November 18, 2000)

To provide a realistic simulation for those students interested in exploring the difficulties and complexities of international relations, Juniata College hosted its second High School Model United Nations Conference on Friday, Nov. 17 on the Juniata campus. Ninety-seven students from area high schools attended the event. The purpose of the one-day conference was to provide an opportunity for interested high school students and educators to participate in international negotiation and diplomacy simulations. The overall goal was to encourage high school students to examine current international, political, economic, social, and cultural issues.

Each student participating in a Model UN conference role-plays a particular country on a specific committee. Each committee has topics which relate to international issues affecting that country and the world today. The delegates are responsible then for developing solutions regarding their topics while representing their individual country?s national interests.

Before delegates could discuss political issues at the conference, they first researched the material on the Internet. Students are expected to understand the foreign policy, government, recent history, and other pertinent aspects of the country they represented. This information can easily be found through government websites and international news. Also, in order to comprehend committee topics, delegates researched important legislation, treaties, covenants, and organizations that exist concerning the topic.

Once students compiled all of this information, each delegate composed a one-page summary of his or her country?s position for each particular topic that was discussed in committee sessions. The position papers allowed the student to become better acquainted with his or her country?s foreign policy. These papers were due Friday, Nov. 10.

The conference began at 8 a.m. with registration. Committee Session I lasted from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and Committee Session II from 1-4 p.m. Juniata held closing ceremonies from 4-4:30 p.m.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.