Luke Stone ’20
Last week, Woodberry Forest’s Model UN Team traveled to New York City to participate in the Global Citizens Model United Nations Conference. The Tigers – composed of a team of two fourth formers, one fifth former, and five sixth formers – represented both Colombia and Azerbaijan and made their presence known by leading discussion and shaping debate in five committees modeled after the United Nations General Assembly.
Agus Tornabene ’19, discussing diplomatic protection, received an honorable mention for his active participation in the Legal Committee, and Jack Stone ’18 led a voting bloc in the Special Political and Decolonization Committee while discussing the issue of UN Peacekeepers. Trip Hurley ’18 discussed women’s economic development in the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee, Ed Lindner ’18 and Noel Turlington ’18 represented Colombia and Azerbaijan, respectively, on the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, and Trevor Daniel ’20 served on the Disarmament and International Security Committee.
Although Tornabene was the only one to receive an award (which is rare in Model UN), the conference provided an opportunity for Woodberry’s team to test their mettle in a diverse, competitive conference against veteran delegates, more than half of whom were from different countries including Italy and Kuwait.
While the boys spent almost eighteen hours in committee over three days, GCMUN’s schedule left several hours each night open to allow delegates to explore the city. The sixth formers used their free time on Thursday to walk around the grounds of Columbia University, where they caught up with Woodberry alumnus June Pyo Suh ’17, a freshman at Columbia. On Friday night, all nine team members, including Model UN Faculty Advisor Jairo Rivera, made the trek to a Peruvian Restaurant on the West Side of Manhattan Island where they enjoyed delicious cuisine. The team then walked through the famed Times Square on the way back to the hotel.
Although the city’s food was good, and Times Square was better, the best part of the trip came when the boys had the chance to visit the UN Headquarters on the Lower East Side. Sitting just down the hall from the United Nations Security Council, which was meeting that day, the team members had the chance to debate and vote on the floor of the real United Nations in the assembly rooms used by the UN General Assembly committees.
“The profundity of sitting in the UN Headquarters has yet to manifest itself, but needless to say it was still an incredible experience. I’ll remember this trip for a lifetime,” Stone said.