MPHMUN Hosts Successful Conference

Students on the MPHMUN team hosted the 20th annual MPH Model United Nations Conference on Saturday, October 26. Under the direction of MPHMUN Coordinator Sarah Chhablani, the conference was organized by secretariat members, MPH seniors,  Nathan Sonnenfeld, Daniel Braverman, Peri Cannavo, and Andrew Benincasa. Read more about each of the secretariat members here. More than 230 students from 12 local schools participated in the conference, with Fayetteville-Manlius winning Best Delegation (as conference organizers, MPH was ineligible to receive major awards). The day-long conference saw delegates passionately presenting resolutions and tackling issues such as protecting Indigenous people exploited in the palm oil crisis, preventing military build up around Earth’s poles, and the effect of material waste on marine biodiversity.

This year’s conference theme was “Sustaining our World,” and half of the committees were paperless. In accordance with the this theme, and due to the impending climate change crisis, the team selected Conservation International as their official conference charity. Conservation International is a top-rated environmental organization that combines fieldwork with governmental consultancy and scientific investigation on an international scale. Read more about the charity here.

Opening ceremonies of the conference included remarks by Keynote Speaker Dr. David O’Connor, current UN ambassador for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Previously, Dr. O’Connor worked as the Chief of Policy Analyst at the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development in New York, where he led the team that supported the intergovernmental negotiation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the world’s leaders in September 2015.  Read more about DR. O’Connor here.

See more from MPHMUN! Watch Dan Braverman’s opening remarks here, and get a glimpse inside a committee room here.

What is MUN? Model United Nations (MUN) is a student simulation of the proceedings of the United Nations. Students, referred to as Delegates, are assigned a country to represent in one of the UN’s numerous committees with pre-set topics to debate. They research the background of their country, their country’s position on the topics at hand, and prepare notes on possible solutions to the problems faced. Students then convene at Model UN conferences, which range in size from 100 to 5,000 delegates, to debate their assigned topics with students representing the other UN member states. Much like the real UN, the goal is to identify solutions, by negotiation and consensus, on which many countries can agree. (