December 13, 2016
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Del Mar’s Model UN is a very unique club that has the potential to create a massive change on a global scale.
Model UN is based on the philosophy that young people have the ability to come up with solutions to worldwide problems in a peaceful manor. It started in the 1920’s as a model League of Nations, but has evolved since then, alongside the international committee, to be known as the Model United Nations. The first conference held was by a St. Lawrence University Professor known as Dr. Harry Reif, along with his colleague Otto L. George. Model UN has spread since then into other parts of North America and then to Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, Oceania, Northern Africa, and then to Sub Saharan Africa. It is now a worldwide organization that pools together young adults from various ages, ranging from middle school into college level.
Model UN is very decentralized, so there is a lot of variation between the conferences and how they are carried out depending on the region. A few rules of thumb are present, of course, like western formal wear is required for the conference and that English is expected to be known, but not required to be spoken.
There are three types of discussion: Formal debate, moderated caucus, and unmoderated caucus. Formal debate is a period of time when there is a designated “Speaker’s list” which requires everyone to speak at least once. At this time, the speaker talks to everyone giving a basic speech, answering questions, or debate on resolutions or amendments. A moderated caucus is a period of time that resembles a classroom, which allows anyone to speak as long as they are recognized by the chair. Most rules and limitations are commonly suspended at this time and everyone is allowed to speak as they wish, again addressing the whole committee. Last is unmoderated caucus, a period of time when everyone can move and speak freely and discuss with any of the other delegates as they wish. It’s a more informal style but allows for a lot more social action to take place. Resolutions are the basis of every debate. Resolutions go through a draft that must be accepted by the chair which would result in a final debate to confirm the integrity of the amendment.
A committee is a group that debates to find a solution to a problem. These committees cover varying topics such as space exploration, trade, and Moon rights; environmental protection and conservation; and the UN security council.
A very unique committee, however, is the Crisis Committee. The Crisis Committee is a committee that meets in response to, well, a crisis. It focuses on a single historical event such as Hitler’s pre-war expansion, 9/11, and the capture of Jerusalem by the Muslims. Not all of these events are on a global scale either. Some Crisis Committees have had the pleasure of covering Al Capone’s trial and the Salem Witch Hunts. These Crisis Committees don’t have to follow any sort of historical accuracy and it is not uncommon for the whole crisis to be entirely fiction. Crisis Committees are actually very difficult and they usually require a higher level of experience to understand and undertake.
Some notable former Model UN Delegates are Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, and Chelsea Clinton.
My experience at actual Model UN committees was actually very good. Our committee which was supposed to model UNOOSA(United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs) consisted of a good variety of ages. We had middle schooled delegates all the way up to high school seniors. At first it was rather intimidating but after a few unmoderated caucuses you realize how goofy everybody is and start to understand the simplicity of the club as a whole. It was a lot of fun and a lot of the delegates were really easy to talk to and there was a really good feeling that came from having your proposed resolution passed.
Model UN is a very unique club and I would strongly recommend that people join if they have the time and dedication to be able to do so. Model UN is always looking for new members and meetings are held at room 1 on Thursdays.