MUN Wins Honors in D.C.

It is 12 a.m. and you are dead tired. About to enter a deep sleep, you are suddenly awakened by a knock on your door. A messenger has come to inform you that your United Nations committee has called an emergency session. Your immediate presence is urgently requested. Such happenings characterized an intense weekend for 67 Andover students who traveled to Washington, D.C. last Friday to engage in four days of active diplomacy at the 41st North American Invitational Model United Nations conference. “Awakened at about 12:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, I walked into my committee room and discovered my fellow colleagues all screaming,” Sam duPont ’04 said. “It turned out that a fundamentalist Islamic group had simultaneously launched terrorist attacks in both Moscow and Beijing. As we were the Russian cabinet, we acted to respond to the attack in a manner which maintained Russian national security but at the same time, properly dealt with the responsible parties,” he continued. “Our emergency session didn’t conclude until about 4 a.m.” The largest high school event of its kind, the conference, sponsored by the Georgetown International Relations Association, was attended by more than 2000 students representing approximately 100 schools from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Held at the Hilton Washington, high school students transformed an otherwise perfectly normal conference venue into a fully booked hotel dominated by teenagers hungry for heated intellectual debate. Each with either one or two members, 37 delegations represented Phillips Academy on 26 different committees. Unique in size, number of topics debated and regional outreach, Andover delegations took part in simulations of the Security Council, international courts of law, national cabinets, region-specific commissions and various committees of the United Nations’ two largest organs, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. Phillips Academy was one of five schools to receive an Honorable Mention award for best overall performance. Andover’s individual delegations also enjoyed great success. Ten of the 26 pairs of students received awards for exceptional work within their committee. Andover’s team included three Best Delegation winners, four Outstanding Delegations and three Honorable Mentions. “Most of the schools that attend NAIMUN take Model UN as an academic course which meets five times a week, has a designated teacher, travels to several conferences every year, and prior to attending a conference, conduct dozens of hours of research,” Sam Levenback ’04 said. “The Model UN here at Andover meets once a week for a half hour. The fact that we are able to go in and compete with delegations that literally bring four-inch thick binders busting at the seams with statistics and graphs has always impressed me,” he added. “This year’s group of delegations represents Andover’s biggest yet. We brought back more awards than ever before in recent memory,” duPont said.