On March 5, the Granada Hills Charter High School Model United Nations (MUN) flew out to New York to compete at the National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN). They competed for four days and won the highest team honor, the Award of Distinction.
MUN is an academic competition where students are given different countries to represent and are tasked to solve international problems from the perspective of their assigned country.
“[MUN] really challenges us to be creative as we have to develop solutions on complex issues like cybersecurity, LGBT rights, access to clean water, and Korean unification from the perspectives of nations we don’t always agree with. MUN is very interactive and complex, full of literal power struggles between nations. It’s truly a sport as we not only have to be diplomatic, but think critically, act fast, and debate impactfully,” senior Maanasi Shyno said.
NHSMUN is the largest MUN Competition on the East Coast. Participants come from all over the US and from other countries, such as Italy, China, and countries from Africa. The competition lasts for four days and has seven separate committees taking place simultaneously. MUN members participated in all of the committees and prepared extensively for this.
“Considering it is one of the world’s largest conference that covers over five thousand participants, 75 countries, and 300 high schools, there is a lot of preparation that is needed. It takes about five months to just get opening speeches prepared, debate topics formulated, and enough memorization just to get our issues addressed during practices,” senior Masooma Bukhari said.
The MUN flew into New York on March 5 and attended the opening committees. The committees started by voting on which of two topics they will address first. Over the course of four days, the committees discussed their topic for the duration of the competition until all participants felt that the topic was significantly covered and moved onto the other topic.
“It is kind of different for each committee, depending on the progress and the pace of everyone when it comes to voting, debating, and speaking. When we feel that the topic was fully addressed we move on to the other topic,” Bukhari said.
The closing ceremonies were held at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York City on March 7. GHC won the Award of Distinction, an award given to the best MUN delegations in terms of leadership, participation, behavior, and administration.
Unlike their previous competitions, there were no individual awards; the organizers’ decided that American participants have an unfair advantage as they have access to the internet and other resources. Some participants come from countries without extensive access to electronics and information that can be found on the internet.
“At first, I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to get an individual award. But then, I thought that it was okay if our team did well as a whole, we helped each other out, and we focused on the team dynamic,” senior Brandon Huetter said.
Overall, MUN continued their string of good fortune. They were able to win the Award of Distinction at NHSMUN. They felt that they had a positive experience and that they learned a lot from it.