Hope College is hosting its 43rd annual Model United Nations conference for high school students.

More than 800 students and faculty from the greater Midwest will compete in the various simulations on March 7-8. Acting as delegates from the 192 member nations of the United Nations in two General Assemblies, four Security Councils, an International Court of Justice (ICJ), and an Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the students will be faced with issues pertaining to the current international affairs.

Issues that will be discussed in this year’s conference include a drug summit, nuclear disarmament, blood diamonds, endangered species, debt forgiveness, food crisis, the Spratly Islands, unrest in Korea, Colombian drug war, and the Egyptian civil war. 

The purpose of Model United Nations is to give high school students an opportunity to take on the roles of professional diplomats with the goal of achieving a particular country’s national objectives while fostering a desired international consensus for real solutions to the questions facing them. Hope College’s department of political science sponsors the event.

Participating students, with the help of faculty advisors, have been preparing for weeks for the conference by working to identify the current issue positions of countries they have selected to represent. Throughout the event, they will discuss with their peer delegates in order to attain solutions that they feel best resolve various international problems.

ECOSOC, Security Council and ICJ members begin their sessions Thursday evening and continue throughout the day Friday. General Assembly members arrive Friday morning and will debate during the day.

In addition to the various sessions, students arriving Thursday will attend an opening banquet at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center that night.  The Model United Nations will conclude with an awards ceremony on Friday, March 7, at 3:45 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The Hope College Model United Nations is organized by students in political science courses aimed at understanding international politics and the role of the United Nations in international disputes and resolutions. The Hope students serve as session chairpersons and perform other administrative tasks throughout the formation and execution of the event.

The secretary-generals for this year’s conference are seniors Ashley Fraley of Wellston and James Teaford of San Luis Obispo, Calif.  The directors for Introductory General Assembly are seniors Colin Mosier of Rockford and Jacob Rozema of Kenosha, Wis.  The directors for Advanced General Assembly are juniors Robert Fountain of Taylor and James Allardyce of Grandville.  The directors for Security Council are senior Derek Warner of Goodrich, junior Enjolie Kollen of Holland and freshman Matthew Meyerhuber of Saginaw.  The directors for Economic and Social Council are senior Irene Mendoza of Fennville and freshman Trevor Barker of Manchester. The directors for the International Court of Justice are senior Jennifer Molina of Bridgeport, Conn., and junior Joshua Cooper of Streamwood, Ill.

The faculty advisor to Model United Nations is Dr. Jack Holmes, professor of political science.