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​CHAMUN: Mode​l United Nations Conference

By: Naomi L.

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Loretto Abbey CHAMUN Delegates

On October 30th, 2017, Loretto Abbey students headed to the North York Civic Centre for the Chaminade Model United Nations Symposium (CHAMUN). Nineteen delegates from Loretto Abbey’s Model United Nations club participated in the two-day conference, which simulated the United Nations (UN) as students representing various countries, discussed global issues, and drafted resolutions.

The conference focused on the topics of terrorism and sovereign identity in the General Assembly committee. On day one, students discussed the multifaceted threat of worldwide terrorism, and worked alongside other students from across Ontario to pass resolutions detailing counterterrorism strategies. The second day was full of vigorous debate regarding the sovereign identity of nations. Delegates engaged in heated discussions on the topics ofBrexit, international organizations and treaties, and the rise of isolationism. Students represented countries from around the world and worked together to craft resolutions to address the issue of sovereign identity, further exemplifying the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of global partnership.

As the President of Loretto Abbey’s Model UN club, my fellow executives and I spent two months preparing the students on how to be a successful delegate by hosting meetings to train students on specific Model UN procedure, terminology, and research. We were also able to host a mock conference to help solidify all that the students had learned.

Ka​ssia Neckles, one of the club’s Vice Presidents, said, “It is important that students participate in a club like Model UN and go to conferences, because it allows an environment for discourse about the state of our world and aids all attendees in becoming more active global citizens. The club and its accompanying conferences foster civil debate, allowing for the development of inquiry, oratory, and interpersonal skills through having to collaborate with other delegates.”

This year, Loretto Abbey’s Model UN club was pleased to receive an exceptionally large amount of new members. “ I am very proud to see new delegates from our school actively participating in CHAMUN. We’re aware that speaking in front of a crowd is intimidating, but we’re so pleased that our girls did it anyway and that they showed elegance and confidence while doing so,” said Marlo Fabella, the club’s Secretary.

Model UN has great benefits for students, ranging from the development of public speaking skills at conferences to meeting new people through the club! Naomi Huang, who joined the club this year, said, “I found that the first conference made me a bit nervous but I felt compelled to speak and present my points. I learned that Model UN is not just something to add to a resume or university application.”

Kassia Neckles, representing China, and I, representing Belgium, both received awards for our contribution to the General Assembly committee. Kassia was awarded the Ban Ki Moon Award for Global Action, and I was the recipient of the Antonio Guterres Award for Peace through Diplomacy. We were both very honoured to receive our awards, and hope to set an example for the Loretto Abbey Model UN members.

When asked for advice, Kassia said, “Don’t be afraid to use your voice and to do your research! If you know what you are talking about and say it with confidence and vigor, it makes all the difference, as it makes your experience at the conference that much more interesting. Additionally, I urge members of the club not to be afraid to attend conferences and to speak at them. It is super fun and once you do it, the next times become so much easier.”

Congratulations to all of the Loretto Abbey Model UN members who participated at CHAMUN, the first conference of the year! As well, a big thank you goes out to Ms. Racioppo and Mr. Lopes for their hard work and commitment to the club. The girls at Loretto Abbey are a force to be reckoned with, and we’re excited to see what else the year holds for the Model UN club!