By Dane Chronister
The Baylor Model United Nations team was recognized as an “Honorable Mention Delegation” and given “Outstanding Position Paper” for one of their policy position papers at the National United Nations Conference that took place between March 28 and April 3 in New York.
These awards are for the research that each team does prior to the conferences and demonstrate how the students are taking new and innovative solutions to contemporary issues in the world today.
In order to participate in the conference, each school’s team is required to write several position papers addressing a topic from the eight committees. The position paper is a short policy memo researched and prepared before the conference.
The General Assembly Second Committee paper was created by Honolulu, Hawaii senior Carissa Carlson, Norcross, Ga. senior Laurabeth Hooper and Tulsa, Okla. senior Elisa Jelley. All are international studies majors.
This position paper that is required for the NMUN announces what position the team will take on behalf of the country they are expected to represent.
The NMUN website lists all of the topics that can possibly be spoken on for position papers. Some topics included the control of biological weapons, the right to privacy in the digital age and strengthening women’s political participation.
Faculty adviser and lecturer in the department of political science, Dr. Rebecca Flavin, said the experience gives students the opportunities to learn about other cultures and areas of the world while being a part of the team.
“These conferences offer our students a unique opportunity to take the knowledge and skills they acquire in the classroom and apply them to simulated experiences similar to those they will encounter in their post-graduate careers,” Flavin said.
Baylor’s team was in charge of simulating what the United Nations does by writing resolutions on behalf of diplomats from specific countries. Baylor was tasked with representing the African state of Burundi, located in the African Great Lakes region, this semester.
“Every nation we get to represent is important to give that nation the respect they deserve by learning about each nation politically and culturally and learn as best as we can about what their diplomatic position is in terms of decisions that they make,” Flavin said.
More than half of NMUN Conference consisted of attendees who hailed from outside of the United States.
Hooper, head delegate and student leader, has been a part of the Model UN team for three years and plans on attending The Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, to work on issues of women in development.
“It’s because of Model UN that I have decided on the career path that I have chosen for myself, and because of doing this I can for the first time really understand the magnitude of challenges facing the world,” Hooper said. “There are real solutions out there and that there are people willing to work toward those solutions.”
In the fall, the team will prepare to head to Chicago to participate in the American Model United Nations Conference.
“We owe our success to the dedication of our faculty and Dr. Flavin, who have helped us get to where we are today,” Hooper said.