Every year, select Model United Nations students from Kaiserslautern American High School spend a week at an international conference with students from around the world debating global issues.
The five-day Hague International Model United Nations conference in January takes place at the World Forum Convention Center, in The Hague, The Netherlands.
The conference, which includes more than 3,500 delegates, attracts students and teachers from more than 200 schools and 100 countries. It offers an opportunity to open students’ eyes to the problems of the world and gives them practice in public speech and formal debate.
Students have the opportunity to learn more about world issues, make lasting friendships and develop important life skills.
The conference addresses a number of current issues in the world, ranging from human rights, environment and peace and war. Students are encouraged to find and present solutions to these problems.
KAHS students spend months preparing for the conference, starting in the summer and continuing through the duration of the conference. Preparation includes reading and writing UN-formatted resolutions, writing and making speeches, policy statements and other papers regarding world issues.
“The MUN program is a lot of work, but in the end, it has its rewards, and has opened my eyes to a potential future for me,” said Stephanie Colache, a third year MUN student.
In class, students have practice debates and learn how to represent a country and formulate answers based on that country’s views.
Each student in class writes multiple resolutions to take to the conference and submit for debate. This year, KAHS is representing The International Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Students will research these organizations and write resolutions from the organization’s point of view, in the hope that they will be approved at the conference.
At the conference, students learn how to conduct themselves in a structured business environment, using skills as simple as punctuality and as complicated as formal speech. When the week is over, each student has learned about world issues and about themselves.