PLATTSBURGH? Harry McManus has finally agreed to speak at an opening ceremony for the Model United Nations summit at NCCS. He is usually a behind the scenes guy, said Emily OHara, one of the two North Country Model United Nations (NCMUN) secretaries this year. Hes an excellent speaker, but hes modest. It is appropriate that he speak this year because we are celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the Model UN at our school. It was 36 years ago when McManus and six students went to their first Harvard Model UN. It was then that he realized what a wonderful opportunity it was and set out to organize a similar event at Northeastern Clinton Central School. It took some time, but by 1978 NCCS hosted its first NCMUN with McManus at the helm as advisor a position hes been delighted to have held ever since. This years event is slated for March 8-10 and it doubles as a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the NCMUN. As such, McManus and the two Model UN Secretaries, OHara and Audrey Gillette are hoping to get the word out to as many of the 350 UN Alumni as possible in hopes of getting them to attend. They are also urging alumni to bring any photos or other memorabilia to share. Our focus is on the alumni. We are hoping to have the display set up by year for everyone to get a look at, said McManus. According to Gillette they also have a few new special events planned for the celebration, including McManus' speech, which will kick-off the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. After 30 years of his hard work we definitely want to appreciate him, Gillette said. They joked that for McManus the biggest challenge may be coming up with some new, updated wittiness to share. With the school budgets constantly being tightened, this may well be the last year for McManus as advisor and it may be the last time NCCS students can afford to go to Harvard or even host the NCMUN. We want to be able to keep the Model UN going at NCCS, said OHara, noting the positive impact it has had on the lives of students. OHara explained that the Model UN gives the students a sense of awareness of the global issues and what is going on in the world around us. The Model UN is set up similarly to a sporting competition, with six different committees representing legal, political, economic and social issues as well as human rights. Topics of debate will include global warming, illegal immigration, international legal rights, bio-energy, human trafficking, just to name a few. There will also be two prestigious councils set up to represent the International Court of Justice. According to OHara they will be holding two mock court cases, USA vs Iran and Korea, followed by Israel vs Lebanon. I would like to create a Harvard Model UN alumni fund to offset the costs of the 30th year commemoration and more importantly, to make Model UN scholarships available for high school students who cannot afford to participate, McManus said. The trio has also planned for a NCMUN video-power point presentation and the unveiling of the Harvard and North Country Model UN plaques during a special reception planned for Friday at 5 p.m. at the American Legion on Pratt St, Rouses Point. Gillette said they have also booked the two NCCS select vocal chorus groups, Kaliedosais and the Acoustifellas to perform during the event. We are hosting 20 schools from both New York and Vermont, said OHara. Gillette shared that this years guest speaker is Dr. Douglas Skopp, a history professor at Plattsburgh State University. To find out more contact Harry McManus at 297-7753 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.