Thursday, May 23, 2024

CHS Model United Nations Teams Attend County-Wide Conference

The Coronado High School (CHS) Model United Nations (MUN) Teams made their way to Del Mar City Hall last weekend to participate in a county-wide MUN conference. Last year was Coronado’s first year bringing back MUN since Covid. This year, CHS had three teams competing. Veteran members, Co-President Maria Laguna, Co-President Hannah Cohen, and Vice President Pia Gil, attended yet again. While new members, Sophia Daly, Claudia Geraldi, and Jack Kennard, experienced the conference with fresh eyes. The teams advisor, Christopher Irwig, helped ceaselessly support the team yet again.

The conference is sponsored by Rotary International District 5340 and run by Co-Chairs Kevin Cahill and Pauline Lim-Endresen. Rotary District Governor Don Fipps was in attendance as well.

Back in January, teams attended a training day to learn the ropes of how the actual conference would run. Moreover, each team was assigned a country from the real United Nations. In total, forty-two countries were being represented by the over twenty Southern California and some international high schools from Mexico. Coronado was randomly assigned to represent the Philippines (Laguna and Cohen), Italy (Kennard and Geraldi), and Brazil (Gil and Daly).

Coronado delegates (From left to right): Geraldi, Kennard, Cohen, Laguna, Gil, and Daly.

During the roughly two months before conference, delegates wrote speeches and researched their countries stances on the chosen resolutions. Participants enrich themselves with their assigned country’s culture and disregard their personal opinions to create effective debates.

This year the two topics participants had to learn about were “Specific Actions to Address Loss of Global Biodiversity” and “Counter Terrorism: To Build a Safer World.” Gil says, “I knew what to expect so that was different than last year and it definitely worked in my favor. I did lots of research on Brazil, so when I wrote my resolution, I had all my points ready for when we did operative clauses.”

2024 Model UN Conference

On Saturday, March 23, participants started bright and early with the conference beginning at 8 am. Delegates had under two minutes for their General Assembly speeches for each resolution. Biodiversity delegates presented first, then Counter-Terrorism speeches were heard.

Closed-door negotiations occurred in caucus groups for delegates to understand the power of integrity and compromise. Daly says, “People really embody their countries and I think it’s quite admirable how seriously people take it and it honestly makes it so much more enjoyable when people take it seriously and put effort into it.” Daly had interest in studying international relations, but wanted to see if she enjoyed a more junior experience before committing to that field.

Day 1 finished around 4:30 in the afternoon and delegates returned on Sunday, March 24, to begin at 9 am.

Amending the resolutions and the compromises made the day prior took up most of the agenda. “I like hearing all the different countries’ different perspectives and how we work together to unite all the countries, as well as meeting new people since I’m very social,” Gil adds.

Del Mar City Hall set up for the conference.

Invited guest speakers taught participants about related topics. Day 1 speakers included: Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio discussing global security environment, State Department official Marty Judge presenting a slideshow about the power of diplomacy, and Dr. Rasha Roshdry who discussed compromise and her creation of non-profits. Day 2 speakers included: Mayoral candidate Barbara Bry discussing the strategies of political campaigns and Rotary Peace Scholar Bogdan Matuszynski informing delegates about the best practices to advance positive peace.

At the end of Day 2, Delegates receive award certificates from the Secretary Generals, who are student event coordinators. From the Philippines, Laguna won “Most Likely to be the First Female President” and Cohen won “Commendation Award for Concise and Effective Speech.” Italian delegate Geraldi won “The Distinguished Gavel Award” and Kennard won “Commendation Award for Understanding Resolution and Country Topics” and “Most Likely to Work in the Real UN.” Finally, Brazil delegate Gil won “Commendation Award for Organization” and Daly won “Commendation Award for Outstanding Speech.”

Takeaways from the Experience

Model United Nations prepares students to adapt new perspectives on nuanced global issues while expanding their understanding of research and decorum. Geraldi will help take over MUN next year as the senior delegates graduate. “My biggest takeaway from MUN was how you really need to learn how to communicate and collaborate with other people. I would very much recommend MUN to anyone, even if you don’t want to go into a career that involves it,” says Geraldi.


Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna is student at Coronado High School and has lived in San Diego her whole life. She is an officer to numerous clubs on campus, including: Feminist Club, Creative Writing Club, and Activism Book Club. Maria is also very involved with community service. Her passions include fashion, reading, writing, and travel. She shows her love of literature by being a Coronado Public Library volunteer in her free time and working on her own novella. She has always loved doing activities that let her express herself creatively. Maria plans to study fashion and writing after graduating from Coronado High in 2024. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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