Recap provided by Shreya Banerjee, USG of Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin
During the first weekend of November, the University of Texas at Austin held its 16th annual high school Model United Nations conference (CTMUN) with over 300 delegates from all over the state.
This year’s conference encouraged delegates to consider the “Challenge of Change” not only during the weekend but in their own lives. Secretary –General Ayesha Kang shared a story in her speech at Opening Ceremonies about how she and a few friends started a program during high school to tutor students who were refugees. She emphasized that what starts with one person really can change the world, an ideal both CTMUN and the University of Texas upholds.
Delegates were placed into 13 committees this year, six standard, six crisis and a brand-new committee called Press Corps devoted to recording the events of the weekend. The standard committees dealt with current issues such as the events in Syria and the implementation of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. In spirit of encouraging delegates to think critically under pressure, the standard committees were subject to crisis updates along with the crisis committees. As a result, the committees produced unique solutions, ranging from helping countries deal with the placement of Syrian refugees to promoting women’s rights around the world through improved forms of education. Though the crisis committees saw many uprisings and many deaths, they strived to maintain peace and unity within their respective regions. Napoleon’s French Empire successfully broke the Prussians and disbanded the Third Coalition while Caesar’s self-sacrifice to the gods ensured his victory against Pompey. The Press Corps acted as journalists during the weekend and experienced the kidnapping of one of their own, a sad reality for many in that industry.
Awards were given to several delegates in each committee who accurately represented the views of their country, spoke eloquently and worked well with other delegates to produce cohesive resolutions. In addition, three schools received delegation awards, Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy from Austin were awarded Best Large Delegation, Westlake High School from Austin was awarded Outstanding Large Delegation, and CT Johnson for Best Small Delegation.
The OSG was extremely proud of the hard work put in by our staff and by the delegates as well as the sponsors and board members who make this conference possible. It is always remarkable that all of these individuals take out an entire weekend from their busy lives to discuss some of the most difficult and pressing issues in the world. We hope that everyone who was a part of this last weekend learned something valuable and realized that what starts here really does change the world.