On March 24, 2013, the Bellevue College Model United Nations sent 22 students to attend the National Model United Nations conference in New York City. This conference brings together over 5,000 college and university students from all over the world representing 80 nations.
“The NMUN is a collegiate program held in various locations throughout the world allowing college students to solve real world problems,” said Larissa Bauer, a student who attended the conference and “It simulates what the UN does on a global level in a condensed format.” Bauer was part of a committee that represented Guatemala on the Human Rights Council.
Once in New York, after the opening ceremony ,the conference begins,.“The first thing students do is chose their agenda,” said Faculty Advisor Tim Jones, the students the order of the topics they’ll discuss. The next day the students go to meet the diplomats from their country, in BC’s case, Guatemala. “It’s a very good experience for the students,” explained Jones.
Imitating the process of the UN, “Each committee’s goal is to pass resolutions to current global problems with international support,” said Bauer. Through much negotiation, the committees must come to a compromise while keeping diplomatic relations with all nations. Easier said than done, the committees are in “intense negotiations from nine in the morning to about 10 at night officially, but unofficially people are working until maybe two or three in the morning,” said Jones.
There is also a lot of preparation that goes into the conference. Prior to attending the conference the students spent many weeks preparing and improving their speech and presentation skills. The preparation process included submitting position papers. These papers are meant to go over what the diplomat country has already done concerning the issues that have been chosen and what they suggest the global community do as a solution.
Each committee of the conference had to submit a position paper. Three of BC’s committees received the “outstanding position paper” award, and BC won an Honorable Delegation Award.