This recap was provided by Debbie Sutton.
Each year, Brigham Young University’s Model United Nations team hosts a one-day high school BYUMUN conference where more than 20 high schools from across the Intermountain West participate. On November 4th, 2011 about 400 students gathered on the campus of Brigham Young University for the 22nd Annual BYU Model United Nations Conference.
Jeffrey Ringer, director of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, opened the conference as keynote speaker,
reminding the students that their preparations and efforts to learn about diplomacy are important. Ringer also stressed the importance of the United Nations in international politics and the individual skills learned through exploring its proceedings and policy challenges.
Seven intergovernmental bodies were simulated at the conference and students on each committee addressed a number of topics. Each committee successfully drafted and passed resolutions on these current international issues, including such diverse topics as sustainable development, codes of ethics for multinational corporations, human rights, and security. One of the unique aspects of this conference is the Spanish Committee, affording students a chance to negotiate, speak, and write entirely in Spanish all day.
At the end of a long day, students gathered in the Wilkinson Student Center to conclude the day with a slideshow and to recognize outstanding school teams. Top delegation awards were presented to Brighton High School, Lakeridge Jr. High, Mountain View High School, Timpview High School, West High School and Woods Cross High School. Honorable mention awards were also given to Maeser Preparatory Academy, Mountain Crest High School,
Provo High School, Springville Junior High and Westlake High School.
BYU students from the David M. Kennedy Center’s nationally ranked Model United Nations program, who participate in the fall IAS 351 course, prepare and staff the high school conference. They also provide free training workshops across the state for new schools or teachers who are interested in starting a program. In doing so, BYU students gain valuable insights into what makes an effective leader and diplomat and help to create new learning opportunities for young students.