Beaver’s Model United Nations Team Takes on NHSMUN 2020

By: Elise O’Keefe

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Pictured from left to right: Robert Paglione ‘20,  Jack Botein ‘23, Aidan Berg ‘20, Joseph Fantry ‘22, Richard Murphy ‘22, Patrick Berg ‘23, Elise O’Keefe ‘21, and Ian Travis ‘23

From March 4 to 7, 2020, eight delegates from Beaver’s Model United Nations Team relentlessly debated numerous world issues while collaborating with new people and creating creative and plausible solutions to complicated problems. They did this at an international high school Model United Nations conference in New York City called NHSMUN (National High School Model United Nations). Topics and committees varied from delegate to delegate. Whether they were debating World War 1 as if it was 1916 in the Historical Crisis Committee or representing themselves as judges in the ICJ (International Court of Justice Committee), delegates were able to learn valuable skills from their experiences. This conference is highly competitive, being the largest high school Model UN conference in the whole world, but the Beaver delegates’ hard work and talent paid off. The entire Beaver delegation was awarded an Award of Merit, which is NHSMUN’s equivalent of 3rd place, and came away with Elise O’Keefe ‘21 winning an individual Award of Merit in her committee. Delegates from various experiences commented on how educational and successful their personal experiences were, and luckily the Beaver Reader was able to interview a few delegates on their experiences.  

Ian Travis ‘23, who has been doing Model UN for 4 years, said : “It was a lot of fun and my committee was able to get a lot done. In the fake world where our UNSC (United Nations Security Council) exists, Yemen is a better place because of our collaboration with delegates all around the world. I was the youngest one in my committee but I was still able to be productive. Additionally, I was a single delegate in a double delegate committee, meaning a majority of delegates had a partner but I did not, but yet that did not stop me. Even though I felt more of an incentive to take action and speak up.” 

Joseph Fantry ‘22 was able to attend his first conference this past week, stating: “At NHSMUN, I was a judge in the ICC (International Criminal Court). I got to represent myself and my own beliefs while our committee investigated alleged war criminals in Nigeria. We debated opinions on what crimes they should be prosecuted for and who should be prosecuted. We ended up issuing warrants for current leaders of these groups and summons for former leaders of these groups.”   

Lastly, Elise O’Keefe ‘21 was able to attend her second Model UN conference this past week. She said, “I was in the HSC (Historical Security Council). I was terrified to be a single delegate in a double delegate committee, but found myself passionately debating nonetheless. We debated, as our assigned countries, the issue of the Iran-Iraq War as if it was 1986. I think we were able to end with many successful short term solutions that would help in the long term. As Australia, I was able to take a fairly neutral stance and help encourage collaboration and contribute to both resolutions.  I was very impressed by some of my fellow delegates’ in my committee in both the aspect of kindness and the aspect of talent. Even though we had a midnight crisis, meaning that on Thursday night I debated from 1 AM to 4 AM, the conference as a whole was a great experience that I will be able to apply in my future endeavors.” 

Beaver congratulates the eight delegates and their two amazing faculty advisors, Ms. Ibourk and Mr. Northrop, for their hard work and long hours they have done over the past four days. The future for Beaver Model UN is looking bright, and Beaver is excited to hear about the talent that will come in the next conference in April, CAMUN. 


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