Model UN delegates hold voteHigh school students roleplay as delegates to the United Nations during a conference organized by UWindsor political science students April 26.

Model United Nations develops student skills in diplomacy

Delegates to the Model United Nations conference hosted by UWindsor political science students for local high schoolers April 26 in the Toldo Health Education Centre impressed faculty advisor Jesse Salah Ovadia.

“Our political science program attracts passionate students like these, so I know I’m going to be seeing them in my classes very soon,” Dr. Ovadia said.

He also praised the students who organized the conference, the first held in person since 2019: “I’m so proud of the work our students have done putting this event together for local high schools.”

First-year political science student Abhilaksh Abhilaksh, whose own experience dates to Grade 9 and includes more than 50 Model UNs, served as secretary-general. He said the conference is educational for the delegates.

“High school students attending this conference learn more about international cooperation; learn to be a global citizen; and improve their research, public speaking, argumentation, critical thinking, and communications skills,” Abhilaksh said.

Attendees represented a country in sessions of either the Security Council or the General Assembly

Teams act as national delegations, research the issues to be discussed, and write a one-page position paper. Over the course of the day, they form alliances to develop and adopt resolutions addressing each issue.

Under-secretary-general Jana Jandal Alrifai is a third-year environmental studies major with a minor in political science. She said the General Assembly debated the ongoing global concern of children’s safety in Haiti.

“We use issues that have been recently resolved, or are still being discussed, and compare their resolution with the one the UN passed, Alrifai said. “Sometimes we come up with a better resolution.”

In contrast, the Security Council took on a territorial dispute between Cyprus and Turkey, said third-year international relations student Tan Kaur: “The UN resolved this dispute earlier this year.”

Teams were evaluated on their teamwork, research, and communication skills by secondary school teachers in attendance. Vincent Massey Secondary School took top honours with its team members Zayna Yousuf, Iman Ahmer, Ajay Bullar, Sitraj Singh Gadhri, Heba bint Naveed Qazi Raika Alam, Nermeen Mohie el-Deen, and Joban Singh.

The student organizers have already started planning for a larger conference next year.

Strategic Priority: