This liveblog was contributed by staff writer Caroline Rose.
It was another very successful year for Langley High School, who hosted their second Virginia Invitational Model United Nations Conference (VIMUNC) in Northern Virginia from March 13-14, 2015. The conference hosted 450 delegates, within a slew of 17 General Assembly, Specialized Agency, crisis, and middle school committees.
Each committee oversaw tremendous progress in its two days of committee. In General Assemblies, the World Health Organization passed resolutions tackling and preventing the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa, while SPECPOL oversaw the promotion of international democratization and the regulation of electoral systems on the world stage. DISEC worked to solve cyber security, with paramount concern for censorship and identification registration for the prevention of cyber attacks. As for Specialized Agencies, the African Union combatted East African terrorism, the UNODC set out and solved the Human Trafficking malaise with tightened regulation on international sports events, the G-77 passed measures of sustainable development with financial blocks, the FIFA Executive Committee discussed Qatar’s rights to host the World Cup, and the Corean Constitution Convention set out to created a new constitution of the Korean government in the year 2050. The crisis committees experienced heightened excitement, from the fight of rival gangs and their political representation in the Chicago Ganglands, to the escalated conflict in Kashmir in the Joint Crisis Committees of India and Pakistan, to mutant rights in the X-Men committee, and finally to the control of the Islamic State in the Security Council.
While each committee tackled an ambitious number of international complexities, there was one common trend within every committee room: a focus on diplomacy. Delegate Morgan Rose was in the UNODC committee and noted this seriousness of working together: “My chair really emphasized to the entire committee on how teamwork was important to him and that he was looking for ceremonial balance, something that reflected diplomacy. It was really a learning experience about how diplomacy can really carry you the furthest.” While this is a given in Model United Nations, the Langley Secretariat and staff understood that diplomacy is a quality that is many times forgotten in committee sessions. Each chair stressed diplomatic engagement, and VIMUNC even created a separate award – the Diplomacy Award – in the Closing Ceremonies that was received by the George C. Marshall High School.
VIMUNC Secretary-General Cameron Davis was more than pleased with the second year of conference, especially after seamlessly handling a dilemma in which delegates representing the United States were absent in several committees. For Davis, the best part of the conference was that it was the perfect ending to a wonderful high school Model UN career: “To have come full circle – giving kids their first ever MUN conference at my last conference was almost poetic.” VIMUNC oversaw over 50 first-timers within their committee rooms, an impressive feat for a second-year conference, and provided the middle school committees – SOCHUM, UNDP, and the Knights of Camelot — with the same amount of depth and seriousness as the high school committees.
One of the most admirable qualities of VIMUNC was the outstanding relationship Langley’s Secretariat and team has with their alumnae, with almost every committee chaired by at least one team alumna. Natalie Falhberg, the Secretary-General of VIMUNC 2014, was more than happy to return to her Langley MUN roots: “I loved coming and seeing the conference from a chair’s point of view rather than the logistics point of view. Last year, I was running around as Secretary-General, so I didn’t have the opportunity to sit in on committee. This year’s Secretariat definitely took critiques from last year’s conference to heart, and I’m sure that it will keep getting better every year!”
With another successful conference under their belt, the Langley High School team has set their sights on expanding their conference outreach for the next few years to come. The conference has started to appeal to schools outside Northern Virginia to teams in Washington D.C. and Maryland and to delegates of all ages. Chair Fahlberg shared her vision for VIMUNC’s future, commenting, “Hopefully in the future, VIMUNC will grow on a regional level and attract schools from outside of Virginia.”
Best Small School: Loudoun Valley High School
Best Large School: Robinson Secondary School
Best Middle School: Kilmer Middle School
Most Diplomatic: George C. Marshall School