CHAMPLAIN - The annual North Country Model United Nations Conference continues to educate students on the difficulty and importance of making decisions at the global level.
The event, held at Northeastern Clinton Central High School March 12-14, continued the long-time tradition of duplicating the atmosphere and debate involved in the actual United Nations. Students from across New York - including the Saranac, Peru, Chazy, Beekmantown, Saranac Lake, Elizabethtown-Lewis, Minerva and Ausable Valley school districts - and Vermont merged together for three days to attempt to solve real-world issues across the globe.
Upon walking into the doors of NCCS, high school students were transformed into representatives from third-world countries, delegates from war-torn Africa - but, more importantly, into teenagers who wanted to find a solution for problems affecting their planet. Moreover, students got the chance to meet with other intellectuals and transfer their knowledge coherently.
"You don't see them as peers anymore, but rather as diplomats," said Colleen Honan, Co-Secretary General of the conference. "If that change is visible, then this conference has done its job in positively enhancing these teenagers' lives."
The conference contained seven various committees, each having unique topics and procedures. In the International Court of Justice, high school teachers played the roles of infamous world leaders on trial for war crimes and corruption. In the Security Council, the topic of nations harboring terrorists was discussed in depth. While, at the same time in the Legal Committee, students looked carefully for an end to the Palestinian refugee problem.
The committees featured guest speakers, such as Dr. James Armstrong, a professor from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, as well as many well-versed international college students. The orators added another aspect to the model United Nations conference - education. The guest speakers spoke on topics under debate and answered any questions delegates pondered.