For the eighth time in as many years, Trinity’s Model UN Club hosted a simulation Model UN conference, welcoming 40 student delegates from Trinity and three area schools, on the weekend of February 18 and 29, 2022.
Students competing in this collaborative simulation faced real world situations such as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and improving global access to clean cooking. Each simulation was entirely student-led, with an emphasis on the importance of international cooperation and the consideration of future implications. The Model United Nations program encourages the development of public speaking, debating and team leadership skills.
“Reinvent the Reality” was the theme of this year’s conference, which welcomed delegations from Henrico High School as well as neighboring Sabot at Stony Point and St. Michael’s Episcopal School. Committee sessions were based around simulations involving the UN General Assembly and a “Specialized Agency” on “Food and Agriculture Organization.”
“Model UN, to me, represents hope: young delegates working together to come up with thoughtful solutions to real-world issues,” said Sara Nedeff ’22, Trinity senior and TESMUNC Secretary-General, in her welcome letter to delegates. “Even if they are not put into action, the process of generating ideas to better human life is a process that creates hope… I hope that TESMUNC will reinvigorate all of us with the possibility of solutions arising when we all unite in our care and concern for the world around us.”
Billed as a “learner” or introductory conference, TESMUNC focused on providing younger students with a chance to get their feet wet with concepts like parliamentary procedure, formal debate, negotiation, consensus and resolution-writing. “While these were all major points of growth for many delegates over the course of the conference, the greatest overall achievement of many delegates was learning the meaning and significance of practicing advocacy,” said Layal El-Ayoubi ’22, Under Secretary-General of General Assemblies. “This is a future-ready skill that is applicable to all walks of life.”
Awards administered included Verbal Commendation, Honorable Mention, Outstanding Delegate, and Best Delegate. Participants received one-on-one personal feedback on their performance during “Delegate Evaluation” sessions, and each delegate also completed a research paper called a “Position Paper” in preparation for the conference.
El-Ayoubi praises the delegates for working hard to consider different perspectives and ideologies when creating global solutions. “As delegates are assigned countries, they must stretch beyond their own personal beliefs,” she said. “This creates a broader overall understanding of different cultures, governments and societies; encouraging youth to embrace global citizenship and refuse to stand aside while the events in the world surrounding them are unfolding.”