PA Model UN Places in Top Ten At Georgetown

The Phillips Academy Model United Nations club’s most dedicated members were rewarded after spending over twenty hours in committee sessions at the 43rd Annual NAIMUN (North American Invitational Model United Nations) conference held at Georgetown: fifteen individual delegates won awards for their performances, and Andover’s delegation placed in the top ten over the 102 participating schools. One of the five largest Model UN conferences in North America, NAIMUN was attended by 2,500 students from all over the country. The Secretary General of this year’s conference was Nicholas Ingaciola, a member of the PA Class of 2003. Ingaciola was responsible for the coordination and organization of the 200 and 200 staff members from the non-profit organization Georgetown International Relations Association, Inc. The organization, formed by Georgetown University undergraduate students, organizes the NAIMUN conference each year with the goal of familiarizing young leaders with international relations. Ingaciola wrote, “As a former NAIMUN delegate myself, I always wanted to be the one up on the dais giving the opening speeches, and when I finally got to do so, it was truly a dream come true for me.  And I was sure to wear my Andover tie whilst doing it.” He continued, “I’m positive that my experience at Andover, serving under some great peers and learning from amazing teachers, prepared me well when it was my turn to lead.  Having been on various Secretariat positions since freshman year here, I can only conclude that Andover started me on the course to where I now find myself.” The fifteen Andover students who came home with individual awards are Claire Collery ’06, Brendan de Brun ’06, Megan Evans ’06, Amy Fenstemacher ’07, Lena Garrett ’09, Susan Ho ’06, Parag Khandelwal ’06, Emma King ’06, Fahad Missmar ’06, Thao Nguyen ’07, Alexa Reid ’07, Michaeljit Sandhu ’09, Conor Sutherland ’06, Ishani Vellodi ’06, and Jess White ’07. Ishani Vellodi ’06 and Conor Sutherland ’06 both won Best Delegate for their respective committees. Vellodi represented Sergei Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Russian Cabinet. Sutherland was the Minister of Labor in the Brazilian Cabinet. Partners Lena Garrett ’09 and Michaeljit Sandhu ’09 won Outstanding Delegation, the equivalent of second place, for representing Zimbabwe in the United Nations Environmental Programme. Sandhu said, “I did a lot of work, so it was nice to be rewarded.” He also noted that it was a joint effort; he said, “my partner Lena did a lot of work as well.” Susan Ho ‘06 received Outstanding Delegate as Viktor Cmovic, Director of Intelligence in the Joint War Game State. Representing Zimbabwe, Alexa Reid ’07 and Jess White ’07 received the Outstanding Delegation award in the United Nations Drug Control Programme. Partners Fahad Missmar ’06 and Emma King ‘06 received Outstanding Delegation as Egypt in the League of Arab States. Thao Nguyen ’07 and Amy Fenstemacher ‘07, also as Zimbabwe, in the World Health Organization, Parag Khandelwal ’06 as Elected President Tedoro Endevnov in the Joint War Game Insurgency, and Brendan de Brun ’06 as Secretary of State in Joint 1962 Crisis, were all awarded Honorable Mentions, and Megan Evans ’06 and Claire Collery ’06 received an Honorable Mention for representing Qatar in the Ad Hoc Middle East Committee. Students were judged based on the quality of their ideas and floor speeches, their resolutions, and whether they were successful in passing their resolutions. The NAIMUN conference includes 35 committees divided into seven smaller parts, including the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the Security Council. Each committee holds mock debates about their designated issues and discusses steps towards realistic resolutions that would be taken in real life by the country or individuals that students represent. The Economic and Social Council, Security Council and cabinets included representatives of various countries or individuals, like the president or attorney general. There of several crisis simulations in which delegates simulated what different Regional Organizations, Cabinets, political figures and organizations would say and do in the event of a specific crisis. To prepare for Georgetown, PAMUN did extensive research on the issues they would be addressing in their committees and wrote position papers from the perspective of their country or political figure. The competing schools included those that offer Model UN as an everyday course. In contrast, Phillips Academy students participate in the club as an extracurricular activity. PAMUN Co-Head Daniel Bacon ’06 said, “I think we did really well this year. We won a good number of awards…we brought down a large group and overall we did fairly well.” Although Bacon and other students noted that some participants’ performances were not up to par as they had hoped, he said “Awards aren’t everything- we had a lot of positive feedback, and there’s always next year.” Besides sitting in conferences, students had the opportunity to listen to various diplomats from different branches of government who spoke to students during the last two days of the conference about issues pertaining to their assigned committees. Secretary Francis C. Recod of the Department of State, and E.U. Ambassador the the United States John Bruton were a few of the speakers. This year, the organizers of the NAIMUN conference were “aiming to raise the bar of professionalism of staff and delegates alike.” One new approach was a more thorough explanation of the “Western Business Attire” dress code than has been employed in years past. Boys wore suits, while girls were required to wear skirts that fell below mid-thigh. In addition to committee meetings, delegates attended a delegate dance on Saturday night and had an opportunity to explore Washington D.C. Adam Giansiracusa ’08 represented Zimbabwe with Philip Meyer ’08. Giansiracusa, who was also on the Ad Hoc Human Security Committee, said “I thought it was a great trip—very interesting hanging around with everybody; it was a lot of fun. It was very enjoyable as a whole.”