Live Blog Part I: Cornell Model United Nations Conference (CMUNC)

by Conna on April 12, 2014

This year’s Cornell Model United Nations Conference kicked off on April 10th on Cornell University’s “gorges” campus. On Thursday, an uncharacteristically beautiful spring day in scenic Ithaca, New York, over 600 high school students from across the world filed into Cornell’s Bailey Hall for Opening Ceremonies.

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USAID Agency Counselor Susan Reichle addresses students at Opening Ceremonies

This year, the Secretariat was lucky enough to invite Susan Reichle, the Agency Counselor of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to be the keynote speaker for Opening Ceremonies. Ms. Reichle gave a truly inspiring speech about what it means to be a leader and making valuable change. Her speech encouraged delegates to pursue diplomacy during debate and broaden their horizons while chasing their future goals. Ms. Reichle’s work in numerous nations including Russia, Colombia, and Haiti encouraged delegates that cooperation with foreign nations promotes positive change. These themes encouraged delegates to stand up for what they believe in and become leaders today. Following Ms. Reichle’s speech, delegates asked thoughtful and impressive questions during the question and answer period.

Delegates from the Irish Republican Army joke around (with faux firearms) in the crisis room

Staffers from the Irish Republican Army joke around (with faux firearms) in the crisis room

Following Opening Ceremonies, delegates were eager to begin the first committee session. This year, CMUNC’s dynamic committees include the Salem Witch Trials, the Non-Governmental Organization Forum, and a Cold War-era Joint Crisis Committee featuring the CIA and the KGB. So far, delegates have competed fiercely through two challenging, but enjoyable days. The CMUNC staff has expertly staged creative crisis situations that have shocked and thrilled the delegates. During mid-night crisis on Friday night, the Emperor from the Taiping Rebellion Committee was assassinated and delegates had to quickly respond to the aftermath.  In the United Nations Security Council, delegates worked against the clock to save the world from annihilation. The Secretariat is thrilled with the committee progress and cannot wait for debate on Saturday and Sunday.

The CMUNC Secretariat and staff members are all so excited to share the CMUNC experience with everyone in attendance this year. With hundreds of talented delegates from competitive schools, there is no doubt that the next two days of CMUNC will exhibit even more intense debate and discussion. Stay tuned for updates for Saturday and Sunday sessions!

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Brian Hui, the president of the Cornell International Affairs Society (CIAS) introduces the Secretariat during Opening Ceremonies

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Delegates from the United Nations Reform Committee actively engage in debate

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A delegate in the Salem Witch Trials committee is put on trial for witchcraft

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Members of the Organization of American States work together to create solutions

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NGO representatives in the NGO Forum discuss how to best aid discussion in other committees

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Dais members of the International Labor Organization

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Delegates participating in the Taiping Rebellion discuss how to best overthrow the Qing Dynasty


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