Gannon University Hosts 66th Annual Model United Nations Session

Posted: November 1, 2018

This year's 66th Annual Gannon Model United Nations conference will be held Nov. 2-3 on Gannon University's campus in the Hammermill Center. The Open Session will take place at 7 p.m. Friday. Mayor Joseph Schember will deliver the Keynote Address and Gannon University President Dr. Keith Taylor will deliver the President's Address. In addition, the Gannon University Model U.N. will gather together at the Erie Mayor's Press Conference on Nov. 1 at 10:00 a.m. for flag raising and presenting a Proclamation to the U.N. Program. These events are free and open to the public; we welcome anyone with an interest who would like to attend and be part of this outstanding legacy.

The Gannon University Model U.N. is the longest-running organization of its type in the country and the second-oldest Model U.N. in the world. Every year, its conference brings together about 450 - 500 high school students from approximately 20 schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York in a simulation of the year's actual U.N. proceedings. Moderated by Gannon University faculty, staff and students, the event is a great opportunity for understanding the complex challenges faced by the international community and learning about diverse cultures and political systems across the globe.

Gannon students and staff have been preparing for this conference all year and are extremely proud to facilitate dialogue and discussion on important topics in world affairs. This year's conference addresses important issues for the U.N. General Assembly such as: combating the use of child soldiers to ensure the safety of the youth globally; establishing reforms in WTO to update current trade regulations; promoting the role of nations to prevent the act of ethnic cleansing; empowering youth for sustainable development and addressing the dangers of pollution in order to have a safer and cleaner environment; and improving responses and coordination in addressing mental health in young people.

In addition to these committees there will be a simulation of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with the topic of economic and social consequences of religious intolerance. As always, the U.N. Security Council simulation will address current security issues, and the Historical Security Council will go back to the year 2002 and address the pre Iraq-War and other events that took place.

There will be several awards to recognize individual students and schools who took part in the conference. Each delegation is asked to submit a position paper covering the issues that will be debated, and the top papers will be recognized and awarded at the conference. Three awards will also be presented per committee to students who are recognized for their efforts in representing their country properly and interacting with delegates regarding the problems presented in committee. The Best Delegate will receive a plaque, and second and third delegates will receive trophies. There will also be scholarships awarded to students based upon academic ability, financial need and participation in the Model U.N. The Overall Best Delegation, which is awarded to the country most consistent with the portrayal of its assigned country and practiced role playing in a respectful and courteous manner, will receive a trophy to commemorate their remarkable achievement.

This year's Secretary General of the Gannon Model U.N. is Muhammad Al-Sahlani, international studies and political science major. The Assistant Secretary General is Megan Shindledecker, political science major and international studies minor. The Program Director is Dr. Anjali Sahay, associate professor in the Political Science Department at Gannon University.