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.
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.
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!