On Saturday May 7th the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) hosted The 6th Annual Monterey County Middle School Model United Nations (MUN). Why is MUN important? Because it promotes an understanding of geography, history and current events. MUN is a fun and interactive way to learn beyond the traditional textbook environment. Through role-playing, students are able to bring current international events to life and gain a better understanding of real world problems. They develop valuable skills in researching, working in teams and public speaking.
Forty Four Students participated representing the following countries: U.K., U.S.A., Russia, Sudan, Ecuador, Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Cuba, France, Ukraine, Spain, Malaysia, Japan, China, Venezuela, New Zealand, Egypt, Iran, Germany, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Kazakhstan. Middle School students represented either the General Assembly, Security Council or Economic and Social Council.
Although rain was in the forecast, we were fortunately kept dry throughout the brisk Saturday morning and afternoon. Coffee, muffins and orange juice were filling the students stomachs as they mingled during registration. The opening ceremony took place in the Irvine Auditorium where Dr. Michael McGinnis participated as the keynote speaker; his expertise include Marine Policy, Climate Change, and Water/Watershed Planning. During his 15 minute speech, he interconnected the topics of water (salt and fresh), migration and Aristotle.
At 9:30am the MIIS Students, who also participated as Committee Chairs, guided their assigned delegates to separate classrooms on the MIIS campus. The topics were "Impact of Climate Change on Small Island States" for the General Assembly, "Threats to International Peace by Terrorist Attacks" for the Security Council and "Economic Policies Aimed at Curbing Pollution" for ECOSOC.
The students were very professional and while some seemed nervous, all of them expressed excitement. The classrooms gradually increased in volume as the moderated and un-moderated caucus's became more common. The young delegates would refer to each other by country, not name. And with time the pensive appearances turned into amusement, direction and confidence. Security Council in particular expressed more conflict as sensitive topics surfaced such as children suicide bombers, 9/11 and the death penalty. Meanwhile ECOSOC and the General Assembly were discussing how to articulate their resolutions. The second topics begun around 1:30 pm with little time remaining to negotiate an appropriate resolution where the topics researched and discussed were "Normalization of U.S. - Cuba Relations" (GA), "Protecting Against Cyber Warfare"(SC), and "The Impact of Conflict on Childhood Education" (ECOSOC).
The closing ceremony begun at 2:15 where a press conference was facilitated by the great Masters of Ceremony Peter Font. High School journalists interviewed the selected delegates who represented their councils resolutions. This ceremony will air throughout the month of May every Friday at 4:00 PM & 10:00 PM; and every Saturday at 4:00 AM & 10:00 AM:
Find MCAET on Comcast Cable in the Salinas and Monterey Peninsula viewing areas on Channel 26. MCAET is available on Charter Cable in the following areas and on the following Channels: North Monterey County Charter, Cable Channel 17. South Monterey County Charter, Gonzales and Soledad, Channel 8. South Monterey County Charter, Greenfield and King City, Channel 29.
The Committee Chairs were confronted with struggle when they had to choose the recipients of the awards. Towards the end it was evident that the following students passion and conviction led to their acknowledgement.
Security Council: Outstanding Representative-Josie Ertl, Malaysia; Honorable Mention-Zachary Bridges, Venezuela; Honorable Mention-Delaney Horner, Russia
General Assembly: Outstanding Representative-Willow Black, Canada; Outstanding Representative-Maram Gasmelseed, Algeria; Honorable Mention-Laura Chandler, Ecuador; Honorable Mention -Hayden Black, Cuba
Economic and Social Council: Outstanding Representative-Sophia and Samuel Catania; Outstanding Representative-Isabella Requiro; Honorable Mention-Nathan Poggemeyer.
Thank you to all those who participated, those who supported the Lyceum and to the proud parents! We hope to see you again next year.
More pictures and videos can be found at: http://www.lyceum.org/academic-event-photos/