By Haroula Barbounis
The Model UN training session took place on Monday, October 15th, 2018. Students in Model UN were able to miss their classes for the day, given that their meeting was at Wyomissing Area High School. And before we jump into the trip, what is Model UN? Kaitlyn Macauley, a member of Model UN, had plenty to say on the subject. “It is like a form of debate. But you do debate as a team and it’s less formal. And you represent a country. For example, all the countries debate on an issue on, say, human trafficking, and each country develops its own opinion on it and they voice that opinion to the other countries. Then, at the end they all come to some sort of agreement.”
First, they were taught the formalities of the meeting. Students were taught the proper way to debate in Model UN, the logistics, and the terminology. The topic Model UN was discussing was the Paris Agreement and Environmentalism. To those who may not know what the Paris Agreement is, the Paris Agreement is an environmental treaty amongst the United Nations. The goal of the treaty is for all nations to lessen all net carbon emissions to 0 by 2050. Basically, we don’t want to add to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, in June 2017, President Trump declared his withdrawal from the agreement because the U.S.A. is not currently the one of the largest polluters, although it was in the past. Because the U.S.A. was one of the largest polluters in the past, we have more restrictions on the amount of emissions. And because the U.S.A. was a significant negotiator in the Paris Agreement and therefore subverted the agreement, Model UN needed to come up with a new environmental treaty. Nevertheless, the assigned nation Salisbury was representing was Cuba. And while there was public speaking, this trip was mainly for teaching the Model UN students about their committees and the importance of doing research.
Nonetheless, many Model UN students had fun on the trip to Wyomissing, learning about the organization about Model UN and learning about our world in general.