by Jonah Lee ’15
[This is part two in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]
Having attended Montessori Model United Nations now twice, I’ve observed several differences between the NGO Forum and other parts of MMUN. Last year, I represented The Republic of Guatemala in the MMUN Security Council, with a goal of solving two problems. The first problem was nuclear proliferation, or the increase in the presence of nuclear arms in the world. The other problem involved disputes between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. This year, I participated in the MMUN NGO Forum, with a goal of developing a non-profit organization that would address the global issue of climate change.
Obviously, the problems I addressed in these two years are different, but in a lot of ways the processes that the NGO Forum and Security Council go through are similar. For example, in preparation for MMUN 2015, I wrote an action plan, a statement of my goals and ideas for solving climate change. For MMUN 2014, I created a position paper, which presented my country’s (Guatemala’s) goal and ideals when speaking about the presented problems. During the conferences themselves, in both 2014 and 2015, I worked with large groups to address our problems.
For the Security Council, I worked closely with other non-nuclear capable countries to create a system of taxes for countries that did possess nuclear weapons. That system of taxation was outlined in our Resolution 1.1, On Nuclear Non-Proliferation. There have been disputes between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine for a very long time. The countries are different in many ways, yet they both want control over several areas of their regions. Honestly, I don’t remember how we solved that problem.
All in all, the preparation for, the process of, and the product that came out of these two experiences were quite similar. Some pros of the country study are that in Security Council, delegates are really able to participate in an authentic UN experience, whereas in the NGO Forum, that might not necessarily be the case. In the NGO Forum, however, your work is a lot more free-form, while in Security Council that might not be the case.
There’s one last point I’d like to introduce: time. In a four-day conference, time is limited. In MMUN 2014, when I represented The Republic of Guatemala, four days was plenty of time to create well-written, effective solutions for our problems. On the other hand, it felt like we could have used more time while we were participating in the NGO Forum this year.
Overall, both of these experiences were interesting and exciting. I’m sure I’ll keep drawing from my MMUN experiences as I continue into high school, and I’m confident that they’ll keep making the conference better and become better over time.
For more in this series, check out these links:
“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors
“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16
“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15
“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15
“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15
“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15
MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15
“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16
“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15
“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16
“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15