Fifty six Upper School students recently took part in the University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations Conference.
Student delegates were assigned a country and issue to research. Throughout the conference they debated and introduced resolutions aimed at solving a specific problem.
This year, EA students represented Finland, Jordan, Guinea, and Burkina Faso. Topics included the gender wage gap in Latin America, child labor, the refugee diaspora, the dark Web and cyber warfare, nuclear development after the Iran deal, and trade and global climate change.
Neha Mukherjee '18 was assigned to the country of Jordan. "I was on the United Nations Council for Social Development debating the issue of potable water in developing nations," shared Neha. "It was a great opportunity to meet new people, learn about our world's most pressing issues, and have a fun experience with classmates. I truly gained a lesson in perspective from the conference as I learned about issues from global perspectives."
"It is a great opportunity [for students] to learn about a new subject, debate, and learn how to partner with others to get resolutions passed," said Model UN advisor Rob Trumbull, Hon.
Upper School history teacher Lynne Hay, Hon. and Spanish teacher Therese Mehringer also advise the group.
Brooke Baxter '17 represented Finland on the European Union Committee. "I have attended Model UN for four years now, and every year I have always been pleasantly surprised by and excited about the high levels of debate that I have experienced at the conference," observed Brooke. "It is amazing to see a group of people, sometimes as many as 250, come together and create a plan to solve some of the most challenging issues of our time."
Some EA students also gained a sense of what it would be like to serve on specific global committees like the International Olympic Committee, United Nations Commission on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee, and the 2022 Council for Environmental Development.
An estimated 3,000 students, some traveling from abroad, attended the conference that took place January 26-29 in Philadelphia.