By: Patrick Brown ’17
Thirteen Cheshire Academy delegates traveled to New Haven from January 21-24 to participate in the 42nd annual Yale Model United Nations (YMUN) Conference. They were among some 1,700 students hailing from more than 40 countries, who discussed fascinating issues ranging such as the elimination of human trafficking, improving global access to education for women and the integration of Turkey into the European Union.
The annual YMUN conference is the culmination of a months long process beginning in November, when students are assigned countries and topics. Most Cheshire Academy students represented Cyprus this year, with some new delegates representing states such as France, India, and Kenya in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Students are further divided into committees, which vary in size from General Assemblies (capped at 100 delegates) to Regional Bodies (28 European Union member states.) Each committee has individual powers and restrictions which delegates must study in addition to their topics and the platforms of their countries prior to debate.
Over the course of the weekend, delegates spent nearly 20 hours in debate. Each committee was lead by a team consisting of undergraduate members of the Yale International Relations Association. Dais teams worked together to select topics in which they were passionately interested and profoundly experienced. They used their expertise to cultivate thoughtful discussion and help delegates not only to create better solutions to the issues at hand, but to develop a greater understanding of the increasingly globalized community.
The secretariat of YMUN extended special commendation to Nadya Ponthempilly ’18, who received the honor of Outstanding Delegate for excellence in representing France in the United Nations Human Rights Council. This distinction is especially remarkable for an underclassman. Congratulations to Nadya, and to all members of the Cheshire Academy Model UN Association for their participation in and commitment to the team.