JCCC Model UN hosts twenty-five schools on campus for Model UN conference

Natalia Alfonso, Secretary-General of MKCMUNC and JCCC Model UN Club member, welcomes delegates to the conference at Yardley Hall, MTC. Photo by Yoshi Stout, student reporter.

JCCC’s Model United Nations Club hosted hundreds of delegates from 25 middle and high schools from across Missouri and Kansas, Apr. 5. Representing over 70 countries, they discussed some of the world’s most pressing issues across politics, economics, international security and the environment. 

The delegates, some coming from as far as Bel Aire, Kansas, arrived at the Midwest Trust Center at 8:00 a.m. They were greeted in the opening session by Natalia Alfonso, member of JCCC’s model UN and Secretary-General of the Metro Kansas City Model UN Conference.

“Students are putting their hearts into their work,” Alfonso said. “It’s really motivating to see their efforts and motivation to learn about the United Nations, to work on resolutions and learn how to be diplomats.” 

During the eight hour session, the General Assembly met in five different committees to debate the conference’s prepared topics, write resolutions and forge new relationships. Some debates were contested, with blocs of delegates each trying to win over other delegates to their side and make compromises. 

Delegates of the General Assembly Second Committee discusses economic and financial topics during the Metro Kansas City Model United Nations Conference. Photo by Yoshi Stout, student reporter.

“It makes me inspired, being able to see everybody come together, [with] a good goal and consensus through so many different perspectives and hopefully find mechanisms of consensus building, is definitely the biggest inspiration,” Andrew Snow, Model UN Ambassador, said.

Snow said the students collectively produced over 20 working papers, which are documents that were written in committee prior to being introduced to the floor as resolutions. The delegates wrote and voted on all of these in a single day.

“I really enjoy seeing a young group of students working on their public speaking as well as just getting out there and trying different things,” Casey Jackson, Model UN member, said.

Much of the delegates’ work building relationships and making compromises were done in informal sessions, where delegates could move and speak freely in recess. Delegates formed blocs, or teams, who shared common interests and worked together to write their proposals. 

Chad Askew, teacher from Blue Valley Northwest, was pleased to see his students form relationships with the delegates from other schools. 

“Everyone I’ve seen seems pretty well-prepared, and willing to compromise and collaborate,” Askew said. “The skills that they learn as far as interpersonal skills, building the confidence to get your point across, public speaking and interacting with your peers to solve a problem… that’s fun to see when students come out of their shell.” 

JCCC’s Model UN team is gearing up to travel to New York City for the National Model UN Conference, Apr. 10-14, where they will be representing Belgium. The award-winning JCCC team will be competing at the highest level of simulated diplomacy against teams from over 100 UN Member States. 

“For us, it’s a great way to stand out with Johnson County Community College and add to the catalog of success,” Snow said, adding that JCCC will be “very much the underdogs going in.” 

Alongside going up against delegations with more experience, the team will have the chance to meet with the official United Nations delegates from the country they’re representing as well as a trip to the UN Headquarters in Manhattan, NY. 

“It’s the big leagues when it comes to the United Nations,” Snow said. 

Yoshiki Stout, student reporter

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