By Carla Branch
The Model United Nations Club at T. C. Williams High School is small but the members are determined to attend the 2010 Boston University United Nations Conference. All they need is $10,000.
“Last year we attended the Washington Area Model UN Conference because it was here,” said junior Harry Lester Schonberger, a member of the Model UN Club. “That was great but this year our goals are much higher. Going to this conference in Boston would be a huge accomplishment for us.”
Last year, there were only about 15 members of the club. “If all of us are here, we have as many as 30 participants,” said senior Ariana Meltzer-Bruhn, the club’s treasurer. “The purpose of the club is to discuss current global and national issues, just as they are discussed at the United Nations. We have mock conferences and are learning the terminology that is used at the UN as we get ready for the conference in February.”
T. C. hopes to send 15 students and three chaperons to the February conference in Boston. “We have already been assigned our country and we will present issues from that point of view,” Meltzer-Bruhn said.
The T. C. students will represent South Africa. Sisters Maizie and Jacqueline Tai Li Nelson are the only club members who have visited the country they will represent. “We traveled all around South Africa and it was amazing,” Tai Li, a senior, said.
While at the conference, the students will be assigned to committees such as: 1st Committee on Disarmament and International Security; 3rd Committee on Social Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs; 4th Committee on Special Political and Decolonization; Historical General assembly from 1994 on Rwanda; World Health Organization; United Nations Human Rights Council; United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; United Nations Environmental Program; United Nations Children’s Fund and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
“Each committee will prepare positions papers on assigned topics and, if the committee agrees, those positions will be presented on the floor of the conference,” Meltzer-Bruhn said. “It’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of preparation but it will also be a lot of fun.”
The club has already paid the conference registration fee of $1100. “We need money for train tickets to Boston and for food and lodging for 15 students and our chaperons. We have held bake sales and are trying to think of other ways to raise the money for the trip. We are very excited because it would be a great experience for all of us,” Meltzer-Bruhn said.
Anyone who would like to make a tax deductible contribution to the Model UN Club should contact Sarah Kiyak, the club’s sponsor, at T. C. Williams High School, 3330 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314; or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org/va.us.