MSUB to host Model United Nations Conference
Six high schools and 90 students expected to attend the May 9 event, to be held on the university campus in the Liberal Arts building.
May 3, 2016
Dr. Nisha Bellinger, Assistant Professor of Political Science, 657-2933
University Relations and Communications, 657-2266
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Several million people have been displaced by war in Syria, becoming a central concern for the United Nations to try and solve. The issue will also be the focus during the Model United Nations Conference on May 9, hosted by Montana State University Billings.
Nearly 90 students from six high schools from the region will be in attendance.
Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral body, which introduces students to the world of diplomacy, negotiation, and decision making.
The experiential learning programs provide students with a better understanding of the inner workings of the UN and a forum to hone skills in diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research.
Students step into the shoes of ambassadors of countries that are members of the UN, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. The students, better known as “delegates,” debate current issues on the organization’s vast agenda. They prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure – all in the interest of resolving problems that affect the world.
Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in Model UN, students research the particular
global problem to be addressed, drawn from today’s headlines. Delegates learn how
the international community acts on its concerns about peace and security, human rights,
the environment, food and hunger, economic development and globalization.
At the May 9 conference to be held on the university campus, students will focus on Syrian refugees and tactics to neutralize ISIS and stabilize the ongoing situation in and around Syria.
Dr. Nisha Bellinger, assistant professor of political science, is spearheading the project and said the participating high schools have been researching their respective countries and scenarios in preparation for the conference.
“We wanted to provide high schoolers a forum to discuss international politics,” Bellinger said. “This is an opportunity where they can interact and learn from each other.”
She said the event will give about a dozen university student volunteers a chance to interact with younger students.
“Some of our students want to be teachers so this will give them an opportunity in that realm,” she said.
Bellinger indicated that additional faculty have helped organize the event and will be on hand for the conference, including Dr. Paul Pope and Professor Joshua Poulette, both political science professors.
A keynote address will be given by Dr. Paul Foster, executive director of the Office of International Studies and Relations.
“I will discuss the importance of global awareness and our roles, responsibilities and benefits of being informed of what is happening outside of the US,” Foster said. “The 21st century has already witnessed the decline in the nation state and we can expect this process to continue. As citizens of the USA we must remain engaged globally.”
Foster is excited for the university to be hosting a model U.N. conference.
“International studies and global affairs are critical to all students, whether they are in high school or college. In fact, now that the world is interconnected like never before in the history of mankind, it is incumbent on us as citizens to be globally informed, engaged, and take an active part in world affairs,” Foster said. “The Model U.N. at MSUB is a great opportunity for our high school students to interact with our faculty, students and our Office of International Studies.”
In addition to attempting to solve real-world problems, the high school visitors will also get a tour of campus.
At the end of the event, awards will be presented.
AGENDA FOR THE MODEL UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE:
8:30 a.m.: Schools check-in (Liberal Arts building lobby, 1st Floor).
9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.: Welcome address by Provost (LI 148).
9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Keynote address by Dr. Paul Foster, Executive Director, Office of International Studies.
9:35 a.m.: United Nations Security Council (UNSC) committee convenes in LI 152 and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) committee convenes in LI 148.
9:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: The Chairs of UNSC and UNGA commence conference proceedings.
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Student Services staff will escort conference participants for a campus tour and take them at Rimrock Café for lunch by noon.
12:00 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.: Lunch break.
1:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.: Conference reconvenes in LI 148 and LI 152.
3:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: All delegates reconvene in LI 148 for closing session.
Dean Shearer (College of Arts and Sciences) awards participation certificates to conference participants and MSUB student volunteers and announces conference winners.