Montessori Model United Nations

New York City - March 24-28, 2015

Overview

From Tuesday, March 24 until Saturday, March 28, the Alcuin delegation of nine 8th level students and nine 9th level students will be in New York City to represent the country of Brazil at the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) conference.

Preparation

Ms. Amanda Day, MS and US teacher of Individuals and Societies, has been guiding them through their preparations for this big work.
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Send-off

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Sorensen recognized our delegates and wished them all the best. We are proud of our Hawks.
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Bright and early

Everyone was as DFW airport at 4:45am this morning. Our flight to La Guardia and travel to the hotel went smoothly, more or less.
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Day 1 - Sightseeing

It was a busy first day in the Big Apple. We began with a subway ride down to Zuccoti Park (location of Occupy Wall Street) for a food truck lunch, then we saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Battery Park, walked to the World Trade Center, visited to the 911 Memorial and Museum, took a subway up to Times Square, visited a couple of chocolate stores, had dinner at Shake Shack, and watched Aladdin (which was amazing!). Finally checked in and settled into our rooms by 11:15. A long, busy, fun day.

Day 2 - Sightseeing and the Start of the Conference

We began our day at the Today Show then headed uptown to have some New York bagels with a variety of shmears. We strolled into Central Park then split into two groups - one that visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and another that visited the American Museum of Natural History. We met up for a late lunch at a Brazilian restaurant (to get the full experience as the delegation of Brazil) near Rockefeller Center and then viewed New York City from the Top of the Rock. Dressed for success, we attended the opening ceremony of the MMUN conference - there are close to 2,500 upper elementary and middle school (7th-9th grade) students participating this year. Dinner was at a Thai restaurant. It was a full day - we even got to celebrate Helena's birthday with cake.
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Day 3 - The Big Work Begins

Brazil has delegates represented in nine UN committees - DISEC (Disarmament and International Security), ECOFIN (Economic and Financial Committee), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), CSD (Commission on Sustainable Development), IMO (International Maritime Organization), and UN Water. Our students were assigned to these committees based on their topic choices, with 2 students and therefore 2 topics per committee.

Each committee tackled one topic today. The delegates from the different "countries" read their opening speeches and then caucused and worked with other delegates to come up with working papers and draft resolutions. A few of the committees finished the full cycle and will begin the next topic in the morning, while others will continue the resolution work tomorrow.

All our students were actively involved in the development of the working papers and draft resolutions. It was amazing to hear them talk about their topics and issues even through our lunch break.
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Day 3 - Evening Activities

At the end of our work day, some students explored a small area of midtown, including the south end of Central Park, on foot. We enjoyed Japanese ramen as our late dinner.

Day 4 - More Big Work

Our students continued committee work today. Some started the morning with finalizing draft resolutions while others began the second topic. Caucusing is an integral part of this process, and truly encourages both expressing the beliefs from a different perspective (of the country they represent) and actively and openly listening to what others have to say.

Below are the topics tackled by each of our students:

Pax (DISEC) Nuclear Disarmament

Kylie (DISEC) Disaster Prevention

Cole (ECOFIN) Microfinance

Saylor (ECOFIN) Sport for Development

Sterling (UNDP) Eradication of Poverty

Rithu (UNDP) Extreme Hunger

Arath (UNEP) Deforestation

Finn (UNEP) Biodiversity

Gregory (UN Women) Empowerment of Women through Education

Spencer (UN Women) Reducing Child Mortality

Aliya (FAO) Food Security

Linley (FAO) Malnutrition

Mark (CSD) Climate Change

Chloe (CSD) Renewable Energy

Courtney (IMO) Protecting the Oceans

Helena (IMO) Whaling

Harrison (UN Water) Access to Water

Toyosi (UN Water) Access to Sanitation

More pictures to follow