Model United Nations at MPH
Character, Caring, Chemistry, Commitment, Competence. These are the five guiding principles that the Manlius Pebble Hill Model United Nations (MPHMUN) team strives to embody. Although our ostensible goal is to succeed at conferences, immerse ourselves in research, and improve our debating skills, a more personal goal is to create empathetic world citizens, dedicated team members, and cultivate soft skills. Society may award intellect, intelligence and persuasion, but the world needs selfless and caring individuals.
Our long term goal is to produce students who are prepared to go out into the world with intellectual, psycho-social-emotional, and communicative skill sets necessary to be change agents in their communities and in the world. These skills are attained when students conduct in-depth research, write position papers and resolutions from different perspectives, negotiate policy and agree on resolutions. Students are then able make coherent arguments based on reliable data, communicate the complexities policy development, listen, compromise, and to be flexible where possible without compromising integrity.
At MPH, Model United Nations is a class available first semester to any high school student. Students soon find that MUN is one of their most challenging and rewarding classes, learning about a host of world issues such as international economics, nuclear proliferation, weaponization of space, biopiracy, and trafficking of women and children. After being assigned a UN committee, students adopt the perspective of a country, and must maintain this perspective while formulating their arguments and creating solutions to global issues. During the research process, students are challenged to verbalize and communicate what they are learning through debate and public speaking. Although the issues global issues researched and debated are intangible, they must be viewed through a humanist lens. Resolutions students create may be merely theoretical, but MPHMUN students learn the importance of their study nonetheless; other human beings are directly involved in all of these world issues, and that other humans are both benefiting and being oppressed because of decisions of world leaders.
MPHMUN has traveled to some of the top US colleges, attending conferences run by Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Georgetown University. Internationally, the MPH MUN team has attended conferences at London, Dublin, Kenya, Geneva, and most recently, Beijing. In addition to the valuable experience of competing at prestigious domestic and international conferences, students are exposed to different cultures, languages, and world views. Thus, whether the next conference is in Syracuse, New York or in Beijing, China, the “most important conference in MPHMUN history” will always be the next one.