Hoping to foster international good will and peacekeeping, more than 2,000 college students from all over the world will gather in Boston this week to participate in Harvards National Model United Nations conference (HNMUN). The annual event simulates the hard work and diplomacy that characterizes the real United Nations.
Over the course of four days, students from 135 schools as diverse as Stanford, Yale, McGill, West Point, the University of Bonn, and the University of Ghana will adopt the roles of world leaders, diplomats, terrorists, and international agencies working toward a universal resolution of peace. The students will then develop and showcase the art of mediation through intensive debates over international issues that include nuclear testing, human rights abuses, poverty, and environmental pollution. Through negotiation and cooperation, students will then write and vote on their own resolutions that attempt to address such issues.
The keynote speaker of the conference will be His Excellency Muhamed Sacirbey, Bosnia-Herzegovinas Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Other distinguished speakers include Frederic Maerkle of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for International Development at Harvard. Following Sachs speech, there will be a press conference held with the HNMUN Secretariats, as well as an open tour of the student committees.
The goal of the conference is to alert student leaders who wish to become future world leaders to the complexities of international relations.
“The Harvard National Model United Nations has had a strong tradition of developing in students a sense of responsibility for the well-being of the global community,” says HNMUN Secretary-General Nisha Agarwal. “Through HNMUN, students not only learn about key issues that have a global impact, they learn how to begin grappling with and solving them.”
The Model UN is a program of the Harvard International Relations Council, Inc. an organization dedicated to the promotion of international awareness and education. Its programs include Harvard Model UN for high school students and Harvard National Model UN for college students; the Harvard International Review, a quarterly journal on international affairs distributed worldwide; the Harvard Program for International Education, a high-school tutoring program run by Harvard students; Model Security Council, a one-day UN simulation for Harvard students; and Intercollegiate Model UN, Harvard’s delegation to other college Model UN conferences.