Baylor Model UN breaks team record

Baylor Model United Nations broke a team record at a national conference after being unable to attend for more than a year due to COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Baylor Model United Nations

By Mariah Bennett | Staff Writer

Baylor Model United Nations broke a team record at the annual National Model United Nations-DC — the team’s first in-person conference since February 2020 — Dr. Rebecca Flavin, adviser of Baylor Model UN, said.

The team brought home an award in the six committees it participated in, and it brought home eight position paper awards. This broke the previous team record of five position paper awards, which occurred in semesters when the team participated in seven or eight committees.

Flavin said a position paper is a document that the team researches and writes in advance of conference, in character of the member state it is representing. She said the entire team worked on the position paper, not just those who traveled for the conference.

“It’s student-led, student-driven,” Flavin said. “It’s genuinely a team effort.”

At the conference, the team represented France and Italy.

“Students will research France and Italy’s diplomatic positions on the topics they’ll take up at conference, and they’ll write a position paper stating their assigned member state’s international policy priorities,” Flavin said.

The conference was held from Nov. 5 to Nov. 7, but Flavin said the emphasis is on the academic preparation and process.

“These position papers are a reflection of the team’s research going into conference — that they’re prepared to take on the mantle of representing accurately that member state’s diplomatic positions and committee,” Flavin said.

According to a press release, the students, along with 750 delegates from other universities, spent three days negotiating and collaborating as they drafted resolutions on numerous topics. These included General Assembly 3, or GA 3, Eliminating Human Trafficking of Women, Girls and Gender and Sexual Minorities; and the United Nations Environment Assembly, or UNEA, Leveraging Climate Action for Sustainable Development.

“Resolutions are the product of diplomatic consensus among member states and the consensus of the general assembly,” Flavin said.

Flavin said drafting and reaching a consensus in a resolution is a momentous achievement.

Kristin Dyson, Woodstock, Ga., senior and member of Baylor Model UN, was a co-writer on the Italy GA 1 position paper entitled Strengthening and Developing the Systems of Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Treaties and Agreements. Dyson said she specifically worked on background research in preparation for the conference.

“It was incredible to see all our hard work and weeks of research paid off at the conference,” Dyson said. “It’s always such a good feeling to be recognized for our effort.”

Abbey Jackson, Winter Park, Fla., junior and new member of Baylor Model UN, said countless hours of both free time and class time are put into doing research for the position papers.

“It is such an amazing accomplishment, and considering the dedication of my peers and professor, it is well deserved,” Jackson said.