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Erie, PA 16541
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Founded to promote an understanding of the complex problems of international affairs as well as the purposes and functions of the United Nations, the Gannon Model U.N. will draw together some 500 students representing approximately 40 high schools in
the tri-state area. For those who have never participated in such a conference, the Model U.N. offers a challenging education in the dealings among nations.
In the spring or early fall, delegations are assigned country designations and encouraged to begin to study the issues which will be under consideration at the forthcoming assembly. As much as possible, the students are to learn the viewpoint of the government
they are assigned to represent, and are to attempt to speak and vote according to the interests of that country.
During the fall the member delegations meet in regional blocs, corresponding to geographic and ideological groupings within the United Nations itself, to begin to debate the issues and to formulate strategies for the General Assembly. Gannon advisors
may attend these block meetings to assist their organization.
Father Joseph J. Barr, Ph. D., then chairman of Gannon College's political science department, founded the Model United Nations. The International Relations Club originated the concept of Model United Nations at what was then known as Gannon College.
Eleven high schools in the Erie area participated in the event. In March of 1954, the IRC held the first Model United Nations conference for high school students in the Erie area. Since then the conference grew to include more than 800 students from
50 high schools in the tri-state area and Canada. Having been founded in 1954, it is believed that our conference is the second oldest in the nation, after Berkeley. But we are the oldest, consecutively run conference in the world!
Father Barr believed that the U.N. could bring us closer to world unity if every person has faith. For Father Barr, the Model United Nations had two purposes. First, the Model U.N. should give students the opportunity to learn more about world problems,
and in particular, to see the different viewpoints and positions which are at work in the United Nations. Second, it should provide experience in organization, leadership, and debate as well as bring together college and high school students to work
as a team.
As participation increased, the Model assembly was divided into regional blocs beginning in 1958. In 1967, a model Security Council was added to the conference. In 1995, a model Economic and Social Council was added. Also, as the attendance grew, the
agenda was expanded to include more topics of worldwide interest.
Father Barr stepped down as General Moderator in 1968. He left his project in the hands of Dr. James Brasfield, who moderated in the 16th and 17th sessions. In 1969, Dr. Gregor Reinhard took over the responsibility of General Moderator for Gannon's Model
United Nations. Dr. Reinhard served as the General Moderator until 1996 when he was appointed Dean of the College of Humanities, Business, and Education. Mr. Paul Foust was named to replace Dr. Reinhard for the 45th annual Gannon Model United Nations.
Dr. Anjali Sahay, associate professor of Gannon's political science program, is currently serving as General Moderator.
GA1 - Disarmament and International Security (DISEC)
GA2 - Unite Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
GA3 - Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM)
GA4 - Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
The UN Security Council