Club of the Month: Model United Nations

Joseph Kratz, Managing Editor

The United Nations (UN) is an enormous, international diplomatic organization that engages in worldwide foreign relations. Falls Church High School’s Model UN club gives students the opportunity to come together to discuss international topics that interest them and hundreds of other high school students.
Model UN is headed by Christopher Boose (12), who is the club’s Secretary-General (the UN term for the organization’s top official) and a duo of Under Secretaries, including Raegan Middlethon (10) and Joe Kratz (10). Model UN meets every Tuesday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. in Mr. Walsh’s room, 204.
Members of the club partake in Model UN conferences hosted by local high schools once or twice a month. These conferences begin on Friday night, recess for the night, and then reconvene for a marathon session of numerous committees, negotiations, and simulations throughout the entirety of Saturday. The conferences then climax in the awards ceremony, where delegates are recognized for their position papers, prewritten works describing a delegate’s stance on issues, diplomacy, and understanding of the committee.
There are three styles of committees. The most traditional style of simulation is the general committee. General committees will cover broad, overarching topics that could be discussed for days, and are based on the large, standing UN councils. They include the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council, and other

committees dedicated to trade, culture, and finance.
Specialized committees are similar to general ones because they rely on the same strict parliamentary procedures, which dictate who can speak, how long they can speak, what they can say, and how the debate unfolds. Unlike general committees, the specialized ones deal with more specific issues, usually with fewer countries and often with delegates being assigned to specific individuals. At this year’s McLean Model UN Conference, the BRICS committee, an international bloc composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, discussed the economic and defense needs of the represented nations.
The most popular committee style among Falls Church’s Model UN club is crisis simulations. These committees follow fewer rules and are constantly changing due to the ability for the host school to change the variables that the committee exists under. This leads to military coups, “assassinations,” secessions, and witch hunts.
Model UN is a club tailored for anyone who enjoys debating and arguing, loves politics and current events, or wants to improve their public speaking skills.

Members of MUN pose with their awards at a recent conference.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Walsh)