Delegates gather at L-S for Model UN conference

Model UN. A few might join this club for the easy ticket out of class, but for most, this extracurricular is far from frivolous downtime. Yesterday's meeting was the first of the year. The gathering took place right here in L-S High School. Schools from across York and Lancaster counties gathered, and were broken into five separate committees, each with its own topics.

Students in the General Assembly raise their placards
to cast a vote on a procedural issue
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Anne Harnish
General Assembly, or GA, is the largest organization in Model UN. It addresses current issues. The committee worked on defining cyber warfare, cyber crime, and cyber terrorism. They discussed proper definitions of aforementioned topics and started to brainstorm ideas on how to tackle these issues. Because it was the first meeting of the year, not much was accomplished in regard to parliamentary procedure.

In another group, the World Health Organization, the topic of human trafficking was discussed. The members talked about trafficking and the medical problems associated with it, such as STDs and drug addiction. They also debated about education because not all of the nations are literate. The nations had a problem with the severity of human trafficking. They wanted to figure out a way to search for signs of victims and the traffickers. The country of Chad proposed a working paper about resolving the education issue throughout the nations, providing care for victims and their families, and regulating illegal immigration into "destination" countries. The country's paper was passed right before the meeting was adjourned.

The International Court of Justice also worked on defining issues for their first topic, which concerns ownership of the Pinnacle (Senkaku) Islands off the coast of China. This branch of MUN does not represent countries; the members simply voice their opinions. Questions were offered, and the group went around discussing them. Terms, such as "prescription" and "prolonged period of time" also had to be defined. The debates over these two terms mainly had to do with time lengths. The debate almost ended, but then it was amended quickly due to lack of discussion of some of the evidence and a satisfactory definition of the term "prolonged period of time." The meeting adjourned after adding Taiwan as a viable candidate for ownership of the islands to the list of the other possible options, Japan and China.
The "MUN diet" -- consisting of doughnuts for breakfast, pizza and
soda for lunch, and ice cream in the afternoon -- is a big draw for
many students
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Anne Harnish
The Security Council talked about PMCs (Private Military Companies) and their positive and negative roles. The delegates were trying to find a solution to the issue of mercenaries and PMCs using acts of violence against violence. Working papers were drafted to define, in the UN's terms, what a PMC is exactly. The Russian delegation -- composed of seniors Benjamin Pontz and Megan Doolittle -- received the Outstanding Statesman award, L-S's first award of the 2015-16 season, for their work during the day's proceedings.

The Susquehanna Valley Model United Nations will gather for four more conferences throughout the remainder of the season, the next of which is at Hempfield in December.

--Lillian Murr, LSNews.org School News Editor

Edited: BP

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