MUN meets for its 10th annual conference

On April 5, 2014, Cherry Hill East held its 10th annual Model United Nations (MUN) conferences where students from eight area high schools aggregated. The high schools that participated include Camden Catholic, Clearview, Eastern, Haddonfield, Lenape, Moorestown, Shawnee and Saint Augustine.

During conferences, students are split into seven different committees, each of which discusses a topic relevant to their committee. This year, the seven committees and their topics were, UN Office on Drugs and Crime: Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia, UN Human Rights Council: LGBT Rights, UN Population Fund: AIDS Prevention, African Union: Peace to Combat Poverty, Ministry of Magic: Treatment of Muggles and Muggleborns, Joint Domestic Committee: Senate: Immigration Reform, and Joint Domestic Committee: White House: Immigration Reform.

Once the committees congregate, each delegate explains his/her position to the other delegates in their committee. Next, delegates get into groups with others who have similar ideas. Each committee works to create a resolution which may or may not be passed.

At the end of the day each of these different resolutions are voted on within their committees. It can either be passed if there is a majority vote, or put to rest if it does not render enough votes. Multiple resolutions can be passed if the majority votes on them.

Unlike some MUN conferences, CHE allows joint domestic committees. Usually, each of the seven committees stay separate, but joint domestic committees allow two different committees to work on the same topic. At Saturday’s conference, a committee acting as the Senate, led by Justin Rosen (’14), and a committee acting as the White House, led by Benny Breslau (’14), worked together on Immigration Reform.

In the case of a joint domestic committee, the two groups communicate throughout the day. Later in the afternoon, they get together for a “White House Meeting” where they discuss their respective views. Once they have reached a consensus, a signing ceremony to make their resolution official follows.

Rosen sees this as a unique and special opportunity for the students involved.

“Most Model UN conferences focus on the international aspects of global affairs, while joint domestic committees really focus delegates to focus on the domestic and local issues,” said Rosen.

Rosen, who is in his fourth year of MUN, believes the organization is a fantastic learning experience.

“As someone who likes politics and likes to debate, Model UN is a great way to fill both of those requirements because in Model U.N you can use your debating skills to craft a resolution, which is ultimately the goal of each conference,” said Rosen.

Each Model UN conference has a keynote speaker, which this year was John T. Galimore, who is currently the Chief of the Army Support Office in Philadelphia. To thank him for his time, a donation was made to the Wounded Warrior Fund in his name.

Kimberly Cardenas (’14) and Zach Kasdin (’14) coordinated the conference. In their opening speech, they described some of ways that MUN is a special opportunity.

“Today, each of you is presented with an opportunity. Not the opportunity to change the status of child marriage in the Third World, or to ensure water rights, but rather to think critically on an international scale, learning and considering the views of other cultures, completely dissimilar to your own,” said Kasdin.

Cardenas continued by pointing out more benefits.

“Model United Nations provides a forum through which we can all learn to accept different points of view, think globally, and fulfill a leadership role in any situation. It allows the leaders of tomorrow—all of you—to simulate action today, which address serious issues faced across the world,” said Cardenas.