Model UN Takes on Germany


Thanksgiving usually marks time away from school, good food, and time with family; but, for McMurry’s Model UN team, strenuous work was just commencing. This year, the team traveled to Erfurt, Germany for the annual, international conference.  The team of six and their sponsor Dr. Tohmen, left the States on November 23 to spend over a week immersing in the culture and working with other delegates from around the world.

Model UN is a conference for college age students to role-play United Nations scenarios. Each college is assigned a country or countries to represent, and two students role-play as delegates from these countries, giving speeches and pushing for policies that their assigned country would want. Countries must work together to create several working papers, which are plans for solutions to the proposed scenario, compromising and working together to get the papers passed as motions for the UN. The conference gives students the unique opportunity to converse with and work alongside actual members of the UN.

This year, McMurry represented Hungary in three committees; the General Assembly (GA), Human Rights Council (HRC), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The GA discussed women in development and meeting the fast-tracked commitments to eradicating HIV/AIDS; HRC worked on the human right situation in Palestine and prevention of political persecution and oppression; and, IAEA focused on strengthening nuclear safeguards and verification, using nuclear technologies to achieve the sustainable development goals.

Cambria Jaramillo and Peace Phan, representing IAEA, won an award for their position in their committee. “I loved working with so many people from around the world,” said Jaramillo, “It is definitely a huge learning experience.”

The trip included immersive cultural and historical tours. These included a visit to Point Alpha, a Cold War observation point between East and West Germany occupied by American troops. This monument is especially important to the conference because this year marks thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The group also got to tour Buchenwald Concentration Camp, one of the biggest work camps of World War II. There was also an opportunity to visit Wartburg Castle, built in 1067. This castle is where Martin Luther translated the bible from Greek to German. Inside the city of Erfurt, the conference organized for several city walking tours and a tour of Erfurt’s famed Christmas markets that boast rides, games, food, and various other offerings. The city is the perfect combination of old and new.

In the spring semester, the team will again be traveling to New York for another conference where they will represent the Central African Republic. In the following fall semester, the team will again be flying internationally to Kobe, Japan for the next international conference. For more information on Model UN and how to get involved, any of the team members would gladly share their experience; or, you can talk to Dr. Tohmen in the political science department who is now sponsor of Model UN.

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