On March 5-6, Boston College High School had 421 delegates from 44 schools, 7 states, 5 Jesuit schools, 2 Canadian provinces (Quebec & Newfoundland), and 1 one European Union (Ireland) country participating in its 29th Model UN Conference. Staffed entirely by BC High students, conferences traditionally bring together boys and girls from around New England. Prompted by gains in connective technology, this year Jesuit secondary schools in North and South America, Europe, and Africa were invited to participate for the first time.
Simulating the negotiation, diplomacy, and debate of the United Nations, delegates gained insight into the workings of the UN by participating in the resolution of important global issues. Participants worked with other motivated students on common goals to further international awareness and build consensus, while working within a lively social setting.
Secretary General Teddy Pasto ’21 began the conference by emphasizing his belief that Model UN is the best way for high school students to get involved in worldwide issues. As part of the opening ceremonies, all of the chairs and co-chairs walked out in a procession filmed live for all attendees.
Delegates worked on resolutions to stabilize the Middle East, deal with terror threats, and promote democracy throughout the world. The fifteen committee topics were:
Pasto was pleased with the depth and breadth of offered topics, saying, “We added compelling crises. For instance, in the Stabilization of the Middle East Committee, delegates considered recent air strikes on an American base in Iraq. The US, in response, launched a retaliatory missile strike against an Iran-sponsored military group in northern Syria. The committee had to decide whether they should respond to this exchange, and what role it would play in their resolution.”
He continued by summing up the work of Model UN, “It is truly amazing to see high school students working together to understand and resolve these issues. Our world leaders are currently facing these same challenges – and it inspires me that we were able to host a conference facilitating these talks.”
In the closing ceremonies, Deputy Secretary General Luke Donovan ’21 spoke about his experiences with Model UN, ranging from becoming an advocate for himself, increased comfort speaking in front of crowds, and the need for friendships between adversaries fostered by Model UN.
Asked what was the biggest success from the conference, Donovan said, “Getting 17 Zoom calls, started by 17 different students with minimal Zoom hosting experience, to work simultaneously without any major issues. In terms of material, the opening video featuring Model UN students welcoming our attendees to campus (and giving them a tour) started the day off strong.”
Founded in 1986, BC High Model UN gives students the experience of diplomacy and learning about international issues by engaging in an authentic simulation of the United Nations system through the skills of debate, compromise, conflict resolution and negotiation. One of the largest co-curriculars on campus with 250 members, students participate in weekly Wednesday meetings, weekend conferences, and cross-country conferences including Stanford University, College of William and Mary, Yale University, Georgetown University and many more. Past BC High Model UN Conferences have featured speakers like Diego Aria, President of the UN Security Council, Hon. A. Paul Celluci, US Ambassador to Canada and former Massachusetts Governor, and, Rick Walsh ’02 Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of State, US State Department.