Written by: Gretchen Sims
Recently, from Feb. 23 — Feb. 25, members of Western’s Model United Nations club took part in a well-established academic tradition — the London International Model United Nations.
Model UN is a popular activity for students interested in political science and allows participants to simulate the proceedings of an actual United Nations conference.
Each participant is assigned a committee that replicates an actual committee in the UN. In that committee, the student represents a randomly assigned country — sometimes this can be a specific person, but this is quite rare.
Once these committees are assigned, students are given a real-world topic and are tasked with accurately representing and bolstering their country’s interests.
Two Western MUN members were assigned to the United States on the Security Council. This was an interesting predicament for these students, as being assigned to the state from which you originate is rare and did not sit well with other participating schools.
While Western delegates did not win an award, members did exceptionally well. The delegates were working on energy security and the energy crisis, and went against the grain. While most focused on the energy pipelines and creating a singular energy grid, the U.S. Security Council felt ignored and decided to take action. mozambique, an elected member of the Security Council, was trying to start a resolution paper — one of three circulating the General Assembly — however, it kept getting looked over and shut down.
It was then that Russia decided to back mozambique’s paper — a big deal due to the P5, one of the five permanent members on the security council, state’s veto power. Sharon Mann and Max Laine decided to beat Russia at their own game and back mozambique’s paper as well. This left the rest of the states in deep trouble because, with the backing of two P5 states, the previously overlooked resolution was protected by two veto powers.
Immediately, the U.S. Security Council delegates were the center of attention — with everyone suddenly begging the U.S. to work with them. However, the U.S. used its veto power to its full capacity and shut everyone down in true American style.
However, at the end of the day, this was a huge accomplishment for Western.
Mann, one of the two students on the Security Council, said that “All the schools that went to this conference were big-name schools internationally. Universities from France, Spain, lots from London — I think there was a delegation from Oxford there… It was big! We were one of the only American schools — I think there was one other one from New Jersey — but we were Western Oregon. At this huge conference that thousands of people went to, and it wasn’t like U of O going, or even Stanford.”
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