Houston Area Model United Nations (HAMUN) 2012: Getting Bigger and Better in Texas

by Emily on March 17, 2012

This recap and photos were provided by Courtney Lee, the Secretary-General of HAMUN 37.

Secretary-General Courtney Lee showing some love for Texas during HAMUN

For its 37th year, Houston Area Model United Nations— the oldest conference in the south—convened at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. With a record number of just under 900 delegates, Secretary-General Courtney Lee led the largest and most successful conference to date.

This year’s theme was “In Larger Freedom,” in reference to former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s five-point report presented to the United Nations in 2005. The report sought to summarize the challenges and opportunities “towards development, security and human rights for all.” Ultimately, HAMUN delegates discussed the status of developing states and their projected goals for the next 5-10 years.

New committees were added this year, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization. Staff training was brought to a new level this year, with special attention paid to recruitment.

In addition to the thirteen standard committees, HAMUN facilitated an intense crisis committee in the form of the Security Council. Under the direction of veteran crisis director, Mr. Austin Matthews, and his highly capable staff, delegates were asked to resolve issues regarding Syria in real time with fast paced updates and media.

HAMUN 37 grew not only in capacity of delegates and staff, but also in quality of debate. Sponsors noted that the venue change from the University of Houston to the George R. Brown Convention Center added an air of professionalism that reflected delegate interest. This year, Courtney and her Office of the Secretary General assisted in the creation of a handful of start-up Model UN clubs across Texas. Next year’s Secretary-General, Allyson Holley, plans to focus on outreach and sustainability.

Award Winners:

Best Large Delegation– Second Baptist High School
Outstanding Large Delegation– Bellaire High School
Best Small Delegation– Brennan High School and Carnegie Vanguard High School
Outstanding Small Delegation– South Houston High School

Secretary-General Courtney Lee showing some love for Texas during HAMUN

A delegate speaks during committee session at HAMUN

One of the crises involved kidnapping delegates and holding them hostage

The HAMUN Secretariat

One of the delegation award winners poses with Secretary-General Courtney Lee

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