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Debate and Diplomacy at Model United Nations

Debate and Diplomacy at Model United Nations

On June 2, the Central Jersey Model United Nations Conference (CJMUNC) brought together students from more than 20 schools across the region for a day of diplomatic simulation and debate. Hosted by Highland Park High School’s Model UN/Congress Club in partnership with the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs, the conference featured 13 committees, each focusing on a different global issue.

The event began with an inspiring opening ceremony, during which attendees heard from keynote speaker Louis P. Masur, who teaches American studies and history at Rutgers University. Students then had the opportunity to talk with Professor Masur directly during a Q&A session.

Members of Kent Place School’s Model UN (KPS MUN) were actively involved, particularly in the two UN reform committees, whose aim it was to restructure the United Nations to better address contemporary global challenges and maintain international peace and security. The KPS delegates worked diligently to contribute to meaningful resolutions.

CJMUNC, organized by high school students, was impressively well-structured and smoothly executed. The experience proved especially beneficial for newcomers to Model UN, offering a thorough introduction to the workings of committees and the processes involved in diplomacy and negotiation.

Among the highlights for KPS MUN was the recognition of individual achievements: Deysi Rodriguez-Valdiviezo ’25 received the Delegates’ Choice award, and Celia Kanellakos ’24 earned Best Research for her contributions to the UN Reform 2 Committee. The efforts of all KPS participants were commendable, showcasing their dedication and representing their school with pride.

After a day of discussion, debate, and collaboration, the KPS MUN team went to Magic Fountain to celebrate their accomplishments with ice cream. The students are eager to participate in more events and are gearing up for next year’s Ivy League Model UN National Conference (ILMUNC).

Students in attendance at CJMUNC 2024: Celia Kanellakos ’24, Deysi Rodriguez-Valdiviezo ’25, Zoe Reeder '25, Naina Bhardwaj '25, Priyanka Somaiya '25, Juliana Abrantes '26, Kate Lee '26, Kaitlin Andersen '26, Medha Sahay '26, Drew Henry '26, Cori McNutt '27, Sophia DeFoe '27