BUHS AND PUTNEY SCHOOL STUDENTS HEAD TO DARTMOUTH MODEL UN CONFERENCE
Five area students attended the prestigious Dartmouth Model United Nations Conference on February 25 – 27, 2016 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Opening ceremonies kicked-off Friday where students, three from Brattleboro Union High School and two from The Putney School joined 400 other delegates who each represented a country grappling with a challenging international problem of today. BUHS students were randomly assigned to be Delegates from Iran in various UN General Assembly committee simulations. One Brattleboro student played Iran in the Social and Humanitarian Committee grappling with the hot issue of international human and illegal organ trafficking, another played a central role as Iran in the Disarmament and International Security Committee delving deep into problems of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, and the third was catapulted to the year 2025, a time when space militarization has run amok and must be resolved, as Iran’s delegate on a Future Disarmament and National Security Committee. One student from The Putney School joined with others to search for solutions to poverty in the Least Developed Countries as Iran’s delegate to the Committee on Economics and Finance and the other represented Poland on a special NATO committee exploring solutions to the rise of ISIS in Afghanistan. All students submitted a one-page position paper succinctly outlining the issue, their country’s point of view and potential solutions to it. They worked closely with Dartmouth College student organizers for three days to hone their research, debate and leadership skills — especially ‘thinking on their feet.’ They also attended a social gathering on Saturday night where all 400 plus delegates and Dartmouth organizers come together for some fun. They emerged with a much deeper understanding of the issues and different perspectives on them as well as new relationships with others interested in international affairs. They also gained first-hand insight into the difficult and important work of the United Nations as the sole forum where nations try to resolve problems peacefully with an attitude of mutual respect. A volunteers from the Windham World Affairs Council, Lissa Weinmann, accompanied and coached the students. Windham World Affairs also provides scholarship funds to make the Model UN accessible to all students regardless of ability to pay. More information on the conference is at the DARTMUN 2016 site. For more info on Model UN contact LRWeinmann@gmail.com or friend us at Our Facebook Page.
WWAC SUPPORTS MODEL UN PROGRAM AT BRATTLEBORO HIGH
In January 2014, Board Member Lissa Weinmann launched a Model United Nations Club at Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) which convened weekly during the school year. In May 2014, BUHS hosted its first ‘Mini Model UN’ at the school, attended by students from neighboring high schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In April 2015, BUHS Students performed well at their first Regional Model United Nations Conferences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with guidance and financial support from WWAC.
WWAC’s YOUTH OUTREACH COMMITTEE
WWAC board member Lissa Weinmann directs the WWAC’s Youth Outreach Committee (Javed Chaudri, Peter Seares, Karen Blanchard) whose mission is to expand WWAC’s outreach to area youth. The club which convened weekly during the school year with current events discussions, guest speakers and a curricula designed to expand students’ awareness of the role of the UN in our everyday lives.
WWAC MODEL UN SCHOLARSHIPS AND SUPPORT
The WWAC provides much needed scholarships to help students offset the entrance fees at regional Model UN conferences and helped BUHS host its first ‘Mini Model UN’ at the school in May 2014 attended by students from neighboring high schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This unique model brought together 22 students for a four-hour, free event (with a break for pizza dinner) that simulated the UN Security Council discussions on Iran. WWAC members Javed Chaudri, Karen Blanchard and Peter Seares acted as judges who granted Amazon gift certificates to the winners of ‘Best Delegate’ and ‘Best Position Paper.’ Ms. Weinmann chaired the event with the help of Elaine Belawskie of Keene High School and Mt. Holyoke Catholic High School.
BUHS Model UN Facebook Page
WWAC members, together with students, manage the BUHS Model UN Club Facebook Page, which can be viewed (and joined!) at:
Model UN and the Youth Outreach Committee are seeking interested WWAC members to assist with this ongoing effort. Please contact Lissa Weinmann at LRWeinmann@gmail.com if interested in playing a role.