Over 500 delegates from nearly 30 schools attended this week’s Regional High School Model United Nations Conference (RHSMUN) in San Francisco.
Most schools came from California, including Northern California schools such as Gunn, Lynbrook, and Albany High School, and Southern California schools such as Mira Costa, Huntington Beach, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Tustin, and Mission Viejo High School. The conference also attracted schools from throughout North America, including Colegio Hebrero Tarbut from Mexico, St. George’s Senior High School from Canada, and Kealakehe High School from Hawaii. RHSMUN was the first Model UN conference for several schools, including the International Studies Academy from San Francisco and Sugar Bowl Academy from Lake Tahoe.
RHSMUN featured seven committees: DISEC, SOCHUM, SPECPOL, Legal, UNEP, Security Council, and a Summit of the G-20. Several of the topics featured an environmental theme, such as “The Legal Status of Environmental Refugees,” “Forest Conflict in Southeast Asia,” and Global Threat of Harmful Substances and Hazardous Wastes.” The Security Council and G-20 featured a late-night crisis on Friday morning, calling their delegates out of their hotel rooms at 2 AM in order to deal with situations in the Philippines and Bangladesh (advisors were notified ahead of time).
This was RHSMUN’s first year in San Francisco after being held in Salt Lake City for more than a decade. According to RHSMUN Secretary-General Molly Williams, the conference relocated in order to attract more schools and impact more students. The number of delegates attending RHSMUN increased from about 400 last year to 500 this year. This was also the first international RHSMUN, being the first time that schools outside the United States have attended. The conference was held in the Parc 55 Hotel, located in downtown San Francisco and close to Union Square.
RHSMUN is a conference of the International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA), the non-profit organization that also hosts NHSMUN in New York City and SUSMUN in Atlanta. IMUNA draws college students from around the country to staff its conferences, particularly those who attended them as high school students. Many of the RHSMUN staff came from the Western region of the United States, particularly California schools such as UC Berkeley, UC Davis, San Jose State University, USC, UCI, and UCSD, as well as the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado College, the University of Utah, and Lewis & Clark College.
RHSMUN only gave delegation awards, which went to:
- Best Delegation: Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, California)
- Outstanding Delegation: Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, California)
- Award of Distinction: Cerritos High School (Cerritos, California)
- Outstanding Conference Research and Preparation: Kealakehe High School (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)