This recap was provided by Andrew Wirt, Secretary-General of Georgia Tech Model United Nations (GTMUN) XVI.
Fifteen years since its inception in 1998, the Georgia Tech Model United Nations Conference (GTMUN) continued its tradition of excellence and professionalism in its sixteenth session October 14-15, 2013. Over eight hundred high school students participated in lively debate at GTMUN XVI, tackling issues ranging from bioterrorism to cyber warfare and aviation. And while delegates encountered the thirteen traditional and two crisis committees characteristic of the GTMUN conference, they also enjoyed the unique opportunity to advance the transformative vanguard of GTMUN XVI.
2013 was a year of many firsts for the conference. For the first time in over a decade, the Burdell Cup– the conference’s premier award– found a new victor in the hands of Gulf Coast High School, who received five Outstanding Delegate awards and 7 Honorable Mentions. Incumbent and rival Port Charlotte High School competed with a strong showing of four Outstanding Delegate awards and six Honorable Mention designations, while Georgia’s Centennial High School garnered five Honorable Mentions.
Elsewhere, the success of GTMUN XVI resonated through exemplary guest debate and discussion. At opening ceremonies, GTMUN hosted a panel of the role of Atlanta and its students in the international community. The Honorable Paul Gleeson and Deputy Consul General Thomas Wülfing reinforced the support of students from the international community, representing the governments of Ireland and Germany, respectively. It was a message further fortified in commentary from Global Citizenship Fellow Ms. Betsy Root (UNICEF-USA), Chief of Protocol for the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs Mr. Noah Downer, and Atlanta City Councilman Mr. Kwanza Hall. Chair of Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs Mr. Joseph Bankoff moderated the lively discourse. At closing ceremonies, a similar sentiment resounded in Canadian Consul General Steve Brereton’s address to students regarding their role in the global community.
GTMUN XVI bore witness to innovations in awards and documentation of the delegates’ experiences. The conference maintained its technological prowess in developing an automated awards Java program, leading to a more unbiased and speedy awards process. The GTMUN XVI Secretariat further reached delegates through a reinvigorated Facebook and Twitter campaign. And the development of a new Press Corps leaves the conference and its delegates with countless memories to relive– memories of a successful conference– as the newest Secretariat works toward next year.