By: Staff Writer Rishab Ramapriyan
MSJ Model United Nations (MUN) recently took part in the 63rd session of the Berkeley Model United Nations (BMUN) from February 27 to March 1. Model United Nations is an academic activity where students typically role-play delegates to the United Nations (UN) and stimulate UN committees. Conferences have multiple committees with delegates from each country and take place all over the world. MUN allows students to develop research, debate, and speaking skills, while teaching them the importance of collaboration and diplomacy.
MUN allows students to examine issues of international relations and foreign policy. Students are assigned countries and they research their country’s policies and stance on the committee topics. Students research potential solutions that are in line with their country’s policy. Through various speeches, caucuses, and informal discussions, delegates from various countries present their potential solutions and collaborate with other delegates to write a resolution to be passed. All of the resolutions are voted on and a majority vote is needed to pass a resolution. The goal of the committee is essentially to pass a resolution on the topic to solve the issues at hand.
BMUN is one of the oldest Model United Nations conferences in the world. The recent conference offered 20 different committees, ranging from Interpol to Genghis Khan’s Military Dynasty to the Security Council. Various topics were debated such as the regulation of drug and antibiotic administration and integrity in sports. Over 1,600 students attended this conference including international students. UC Berkeley undergraduate students headed committees and parliamentary procedure was used to maintain decorum. Around 20 students from MSJ attended the conference and represented countries such as Uruguay, Yemen, and Tunisia. MSJ Students participated in a variety of committees such as World Health Organization, Food and Agricultural Organization, and Interpol.
Seniors Himaja Jangle and Dominique Huang and Juniors Saksham Pruthi and Nikhil Metha received Commendation awards for their performance in the International Labor Organization (ILO). MSJ MUN has also had great success at various other conferences this school year such as East Bay MUN and Santa Clara Valley MUN (SCVMUN). MUN also provides great networking opportunities as delegates come from high schools all over the country and the world. Sophomore Syed Ahmed said, “I made many new friends over the course of the three-day conference. It was interesting to see people of different schools representing over a hundred countries. I would highly recommend trying out MUN next year.”
MSJ MUN will attend more conferences in the future and provide students with the opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge. Commenting on the growth and success of MSJ MUN, President Himaja Jangle said, “MSJ Model United Nations has grown tremendously this past year not only in number but in skill as well. I am extremely proud of our members and this year we have brought home more awards than ever. More than half of our 34 attendees at SCVMUN won awards, which is the most our club has ever seen. Four members won awards at the international BMUN conference in which we competed with students from all around the world, even from countries such as Italy and Singapore.”