This guest post was provided by Neil Malani, Under-Secretary-General of the McKennaMUN Conference that took place from April 13-14, 2013, at Claremont McKenna College.
The inaugural session of McKennaMUN brought together 280 delegates from 11 high schools for two days of intense debate. Topics ranged from the Berlin Blockade to gender violence to non-state military actors, and delegates had the opportunity to compete in 11 committees, including two General Assemblies, two ECOSOC bodies, three regional commissions, two Security Councils, and two crises.
Held from April 13th to 14th at Claremont McKenna College, the conference featured former European Commission Deputy Director General Karel Kovanda as its keynote speaker. Ambassador Kovanda spoke about the continued relevance of the United Nations, offering delegates firsthand insight into the operations of the Security Council. Each committee also featured a guest speaker from the Claremont Colleges’ faculty, each of whom gave delegates a glimpse into college-level instruction, while adding perspective to the debate.
In committee, delegates were guided by Claremont McKenna values. Embodying the mission of the college, chairs emphasized pragmatism and leadership for all proposed solutions. Delegates were well researched and fostered a high-level of debate. Indeed, debate was so advanced that committee chairs routinely compared it to college-level conferences. Given the quality of debate and the emphasis on pragmatism, it is little wonder that delegates passed 3/4ths of all resolutions.
Outside of committee, delegates had the opportunity to attend the Claremont Colleges’ International Festival, which features food, performances, and other cultural events coordinated by students and community members from around the globe. In the evening, they were invited to a casino-style delegate social, where they mingled with chairs, fellow delegates, and the secretariat over roulette and blackjack.
The conference was highly competitive, with awards shifting until the end of committee. Listed below are the delegation awards given out at the conference:
- Best Small Delegation: Edison High School
- Best Large Delegation: Mira Costa High School