Stanford Model United Nations Conference (SMUNC) 2012

by KFC on November 12, 2012

SMUNC 2012 Opening Ceremonies featured a Q&A with Professor Larry Diamond

Stanford Model United Nations (SMUNC) is one of the most unique high school conferences in the world as it is one of very few conferences where every committee is crisis-driven. The smaller committees, innovative crises, decreasing emphasis on competition and awards, and prestige of the Stanford campus continue to be major draws as this conference grew from 600 delegates last year to 900 delegates this year from throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica, making Stanford now the largest high school crisis conference in the world. In addition, Stanford was very proud to welcome the East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, a charter school that participated at the conference for the first time due to the support of the SMUNC Outreach program.

Prior to attending the conference, I had already heard that SMUNC had a reputation for doing things differently than the rest of the circuit. Advisors had praised the conference for its innovative and fun crises which really challenged the delegates to think on their feet instead of sticking to prepared research. I finally got a first-hand observation and now I can confirm that the crises are indeed extremely out-of-the-box: Quebecois citizens mounting a rebellion by riding polar bears, Rome and Carthage obtaining nuclear weapons, and several apocalyptic events such as zombie and alien invasions. To paraphrase SMUNC 2012 Executive Director Hao Yi Ong during Closing Ceremonies, fantasy has become reality. Although traditionalists may not enjoy these types of crises, plenty of advisors and students enjoy and see the value of continual creative problem-solving, and these types of crises seem to be a reflection of the more innovative, non-conformist, and experimental culture at Stanford.

Here are several photos from the conference, but make sure to check out the SMUNC 2012 photo album on Facebook!

California High School

St. Francis High School

Bolivia, Pakistan, Argentina, and Venezuela present their draft resolution in UNODC

Nigeria speaks in the World Health Organization

Delegates vote in SPECPOL

The Roman Senate has to deal with a lot of crises including potential nuclear war with Carthage

Chile speaks during moderated caucus in the OAS

El Salvador speaks in the OAS

Angola and Sierra Leone present their draft resolution in the African Union

Mongolia is strongly against China and Russia dominating the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Uzbekistan A, Uzbekistan B, China, and Tajikistan read off their resolution in the SCO

The Communist Party gather on one side of the room during the Second United Front

China, Myanmar, and the United States present their draft resolution in the East Asia Summit

Turkey suggests a response to the Gaddafi crisis in NATO

Stalin chairs the Ad Hoc committee

Delegates in the Ad Hoc committee listen to the latest crisis update

Two delegates speak in the Ad Hoc Committee

Delegates from Mount Madonna, California High, and York School await their new positions after they were assassinated in the Ad Hoc committee

Brigadier General Jacob Kent provides his input on the military tactics for the US Congress during the Spanish-American War

A terrorist bursts in to capture Teddy Roosevelt

Morocco and Guatemala defend their draft resolution in the UNSCb

Delegates react to an idea during unmoderated caucus in the UNSCa

Caucus becomes hectic in the UNSCa

Susan Rice speaks in the futuristic US National Security Council

Delegates listen to the latest update in the futuristic US National Security Council. The delegates had to deal with a zombie attack spreading across the United States.

Alameda Science and Technology Institute

Students from Santa Teresa High School

Redwood High School students loved the “Stuff Model UN Delegates Say” video

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School students smile for Best Delegate!

Gunn High School won the Best Large Delegation award

Check out more photos here: SMUNC 2012 photo album on Facebook

Delegation Awards:
Best Large: Henry M. Gunn High School
Best Small: Strathcona Tweedsmuir School

Thank you to the SMUNC 2012 Secretariat for having me visit! Congratulations to all the participants for a fun conference!

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