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PA Delegates Honored At Model UN Conference

The leaders of Phillips Academy’s Model United Nations traveled to Philadelphia to attend the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference (ILMUNC) last weekend and garnered a third place finish among small delegations. Five members of the Senior Board of Model UN participated in the event, which was held at the University of Pennsylvania. Teruyo Shimazu, Instructor in Japanese and faculty advisor for Model UN, accompanied the students on the trip. At the conference, Thomas Smyth ’08, co-head of Model UN, and Philip Meyer ’08 received the Outstanding Delegate Award. Shimazu said she was delighted when Phillips Academy received these awards, as she had witnessed the Senior Board “working really hard for this conference” and was aware of “how serious they were about their roles.” About 2,220 delegates from 80 schools around the world participated in the conference. According to Shimazu, some schools brought as many as 150 students. Most schools, however, had anywhere from 20 to 40 delegates. Teddy Collins ’08 and Sebastian Caliri ’08 were two of 18 delegates who participated in a mock 9/11 Commission. The students simulated the decision-making that would need to be made the day after the terrorist attacks. Caliri said that there was debate about how “the international community should respond to the attacks in a military and humanitarian sense, and also planning for emergency situations in big cities for the future.” Meyer and Adam Giansiracusa ’08, the other co-head of Model UN, participated in the joint-crisis debate between Russia and China, a simulation set in 2015, with about eight other people. This small-group environment allowed the delegates to sit around a long table for discussion. Meyer was a part of the Russian cabinet, while Giansiracusa acted as a member of the Chinese cabinet. Caliri said, “The interesting thing about [small, intimate debates] is that it’s very interactive: members communicate secretly with other members of the other committee, and they must deal with not only internal struggles designed by their chairs, but also whatever their enemy committee doles out.” Smyth was among 10 delegates who explored the conflict between Pakistan and India. He played the role of a military general in the Pakistani cabinet. When asked if the UPenn conference would be a one-time event for Model UN or an annual conference, Shimazu said that it would depend on the delegates’ willingness to work hard and their diligence in preparing for the conference. Shimazu said she began to consider bringing a select few to the conference when the Senior Board approached her at the beginning of the term about the idea of going to ILMUNC. “I checked the website of this conference and read its description, and eventually I found this is a truly profound program. I started to be in a struggle of going or not going, as I was so sure this would provide students with excellent learning opportunities,” said Shimazu. About 40 of the top delegates of PA’s Model UN will attend another conference at Georgetown in two weeks.