Over 1,200 middle school delegates, advisors, and parents attended the Montessori Model United Nations New York City Middle School Conference from April 10-13 at the Brooklyn Marriott and the United Nations.
Delegates came from all over the world, including Japan, China, Italy, and Spain. Most of the conference’s delegates were from Montessori schools across the United States, including Farmington Valley Academy Montessori, Secundaria Montessori de Puerto Rico, Beachside Montessori Village from Florida, the Montessori Academy of London, and Associazione Diplomatici.
The staff comprised high school students as well as teachers led by Executive Director Judith Cunningham. MMUN organizes multiple MUN conferences and workshops around the world, including a grade 4-6 conference that takes place later this week, as well as conferences in Geneva and Indianapolis and workshops for teachers throughout the year.
MMUN featured 7 committees with many of its topics related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including “Improving Reproductive Health” in WHO and “Empowering Girls Through Education” in UNICEF. Best Delegate actually assisted MMUN in selecting this year’s topics and writing background guides. We chose to center topics around the MDGs because it fits into MMUN’s larger philosophy of peace education. (See KFC’s article from last year on “Why the Montessori Method Works in Model UN.”)
MMUN featured a new type of committee, the NGO Forum, led by Dr. Lalit Ecka. Instead of writing resolutions, delegates started their own NGOs to help achieve the MDGs in South Sudan and Malawi. Delegates create display boards and presented them to all delegates on the last night of the conference. Every delegation has received a limited amount of play money which they could use to “fund” the NGOs they wanted to support.
Closing ceremonies was held at the United Nations General Assembly. It featured speeches by former NFL Vikings captain Jack Brewer and UN expert Jonathan Granoff. Delegates then had the opportunity to present their resolutions and use the GA’s voting system.
Congratulations to all delegates, staff, and advisors on a successful conference! And thank you to Judith and her team for having me visit!