High School students represent nations in annual Model UN gathering

By Allison Marlow
Posted 12/6/17

With a quick spin on her heels and a cold glance sideways at the U.S. delegation, the representative of North Korea addressed the room.

“North Korea would remind you it only takes one nuclear …

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High School students represent nations in annual Model UN gathering

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With a quick spin on her heels and a cold glance sideways at the U.S. delegation, the representative of North Korea addressed the room.

“North Korea would remind you it only takes one nuclear weapon to decimate the United States,” she said. “We enjoy your president’s use of the phrase rocket man. It describes our position as a nuclear power. How fast can your politicians agree upon a course of action? Faster than we can launch our nukes?”

The oft heard rhetoric was not an official speech or press conference held by the isolated nation. Rather, it was commentary of a high school student, representing the nation during last week’s Model United Nations tournament.

The Baldwin County Model United Nations was held at the Fairhope Civic Center last week, bringing together about 150 students from Baldwin County, Daphne, Fairhope, Robertsdale and Spanish Fort high schools.

The students spent two days negotiating, crafting resolutions and yes, staying in character and spewing the rhetoric made infamous by some of the leaders they represent.

The students have spent months researching those nation’s views on global issues in an effort to be an accurate and authoritative representative.

“It doesn’t matter what they personally feel, they need to be a voice for the country they represent,” said Kathy Nichol, gifted education supervisor for Baldwin County. Nichol said the program challenges students because it requires them to be proficient in all aspects of learning – reading, writing, listening, public speaking, science and social studies.

Students participate in Model UN as an elective class at their individual schools. The assignments are research-based and require hours of extra time outside the classroom.

“I love the fact that by bringing them all together they get to meet each other and realize there are other kids who feel as passionately about these topics as they do,” Nichol said.

The two-day conference gave the delegates three committee sessions to debate topics such as the use of child soldiers, and come to a resolution to solve the issue. On day two an emergency session was held to discuss a global conflict. At last year’s conference aliens invaded. This year a zombie horde was moving swiftly toward France and only one nation held the antidote: North Korea.

Wilson Bullington, a senior at Fairhope High School, served as co-secretary general with Cameron Williams. Ania Krutul served as United Nations president.

Wilson said he enjoys the challenge of Model UN because “It allows you to explore global issues and be an active global citizen.

“In these debates you’ve got to be quick on your feet and respond to an ever-adapting situation,” he said.

He added that the extensive research gives many students a new appreciation nations and leaders.

“It expands your perspective,” he said. “Now you have a level of sympathy and respect for that country. You’ve made a connection.”