By Sara Biven, Middle School world language teacher
The Torrey Model United Nations team traveled to Panama to attend their first international conference.
The Torrey Model United Nations (TorreyMUN) team recently attended conferences in North and Central America. The first conference, held from October 24–26, was hosted by the International School of Panama. This was the first time the TorreyMUN team attended an international conference, and they were very excited to meet delegates from around the world. Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations and students debated issues from the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar to gender-based violence to euthanasia and more.
The conference was a success, with all of our delegates finding their voice and footing within the debates each day, and making a difference and a mark in each of their respective committees. Four LJCDS delegates received awards for their work within their committees:
Historical Crisis Committee: Matthew Wirtz ’20, Research Award
UN Peace Building Committee: Nikita Nair ’20, Diplomacy Award
Human Rights Committee: Sydney Strawn ’20, Diplomacy Award
UN Women Committee: Lauren Ziment ’20, Best Delegate
We also introduced The Butterfly Project at opening ceremonies and as a part of the conference where students could stop in and paint a butterfly in memory of the 1.5 million children whose lives were lost in the Holocaust. Also at opening ceremonies, we were honored to hear from two 19-year-old representatives from March for Our Lives, who were at the high school the day of the Parkland, Florida shooting. After the three-day conference, the students toured the Panama Canal, the BioMuseum and the causeway, as well as Casco Viejo (the old French Quarter) and the Canal Museum. They also tasted local food and saw traditional dancing at Las Tinajas. The second branch of our TorreyMUN team attended TritonMUN at UC San Diego on October 27. This is our third year attending this one-day conference, which engaged our students on “Scaling up Nutrition,” in the UNICEF committee, “Combating antimicrobial resistance,” in the World Health Organization, “Poaching” in the African Union, and how to solve the North/South Korea situation in the Korean Unification Summit Crisis Committee. This was the first conference for many of our delegates, and they worked hard to prepare to engage in debate with other high school students from around the Southern California area.