GCHS Model UN tackles global issues

high school students posing for photo

From left, students Emma Harty, Perry Casano, Mary Kate Sweeney, Kathryn Kade, Anna Cooke, Emily Metz, Nicole Nallan, Brady Noll and Gabriella Olshefsky attended the Boston University Model United Nations Conference.
Photo courtesy of Garden City Public Schools

Earlier this month, members of the Garden City High School Model United Nations club along with their adviser, Michele De Collibus, and Social Studies Coordinator Jeannette Balantic joined 1,400 high school students from around the United States at the Boston University Model United Nations Conference.

Each student was assigned a nation, individual or committee and was tasked with solving real-world problems. In preparation for the conference, students spent weeks researching and writing papers on topics, ranging from nuclear disarmament, terrorism, climate change, drug trafficking and more. 

Students acted as representatives of countries, including Algeria and Saudi Arabia. During the three-day conference, students formed blocks and caucused with other students on their committees to write, vote on and pass resolutions to try to solve world problems. Students had the opportunity to practice the difficult yet important work of diplomacy with fellow student leaders from across America.  

The keynote speaker, former Ambassador Mark C. Storella, talked to students about the art of diplomacy and emphasized the importance of being both idealistic and realistic in negotiations.  He encouraged students to fight for what they believe in and their country’s values while simultaneously advising that other nations have their own priorities and that ultimately, compromise, albeit slow, is necessary to make progress. Ambassador Storella also encouraged students to respect other nations, both large and small, and to find compromises wherever possible.  

The Garden City Model UN students expanded their knowledge of foreign affairs and gained insights about the world of diplomacy while also making friends with students from schools across the country. Students learned important lessons that will serve them well as the next generation of leaders.

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