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On Thursday, October 27 the Canisius College International Relations Program proudly welcomes to campus 400 students from 19 area high schools for the 38th annual High School Model United Nations Conference. Canisius College students help facilitate this day of diplomacy, public speaking and collaborative, experiential learning.

Coming just three days after United Nations Day, the conference features six concurrent simulated sessions of international deliberative bodies including the United Nations Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The conference also features an historic simulation of the UN Security Council in November 1996, just as the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the Rwandan-Zairean refugee crisis sparked armed conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes region and the Abkhazia conflict threatened to destabilize the newly independent post-Soviet state of Georgia.

A volunteer staff of nearly two dozen Canisius College students will moderate and adjudicate the proceedings, which challenge participants to learn rules of parliamentary procedure and specific countries’ positions on controversial international issues. The staff is largely drawn from the Model UN Diplomacy Organization, a student club affectionately known as MUNDO. Many, though not all, of the club’s members are international relations majors.

Student-delegates will represent countries from around the world – 190 delegations in all – and will discuss, debate and attempt to formulate resolutions on pressing issues of the day, including the situations in Haiti, Libya and Syria; questions of human rights, sustainable development and indigenous peoples; and concerns about fossil fuel dependency and child labor.

The International Relations Program is a multidisciplinary program that offers a major and a minor and draws upon exceptional faculty in the departments of History, Political Science and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, as well as International Business and other programs and departments at Canisius.

We are delighted to welcome the high school students and their advisors to our campus and we hope you will help us in making our guests feel welcome on our campus this coming Thursday!

Submitted by: Jonathan M. DiCicco, PhD, associate professor, Political Science; director, International Relations