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03/15/2016

Model U.N. Celebrates 40th Anniversary March 23-25

Quick Facts

 This year's Model U.N. conference will celebrate the program's 40th anniversary.
 More than 2,000 Winthrop students and 10,000 high school students have participated in Model U.N.
 The keynote speaker for this year's conference is Jean-Victor Nkolo.

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Jean-Victor Nkolo

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – More than 20 high schools attending the March 23-25 Model United Nations program at Winthrop University will be a part of the program’s 40th anniversary celebration. This year’s theme is “40 Years of Unifying the World.”

The Model United Nations' participants will come together for the 40th annual conference at Winthrop and will represent 60+ countries during committee meetings and general session debates. The keynote speaker for the conference is Jean-Victor Nkolo. Nkolo has worked at the United Nations for more than 20 years. He held managerial positions in 10 United Nations peacekeeping missions. Moreover, he has previously served as spokesperson for two presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.

This year’s Secretariat is under the student leadership of Akchita Singh, secretary general; Chase Small, director general; and MJ Miller, coordinator general. The three work to organize the conference, contact the high schools and work on logistics for the three-day event, as well as coordinate Winthrop students’ participation in the conference.

Winthrop’s first Model U.N. was held on campus under the direction of Melford Wilson, professor of political science and current Winthrop professor emeritus, and Alan Rash, the first student coordinator. Since then more than 2,000 Winthrop students and 10,000 high school students have participated in these conferences.

The Winthrop Model U.N. is unique in that it was the first program of its kind to combine participation of college students with high school students. The Winthrop students, who enroll in the United Nations course, are each assigned a country. Throughout the spring semester, the college students study and debate issues commonly discussed in the assemblies of the United Nations.

During the three-day conference, these college students act as delegates to the nation they represent, debating a resolution on Wednesday night and assisting the high school delegates of the same nation as they debate resolutions in committees and plenary sessions throughout the conference.

Here is the Model U.N. schedule:

March 23: Afternoon registration for high school participants. The first session of the General Assembly will be called to order in the early evening. Winthrop college students will debate in the first session.

March 24: High school students will spend the day in committee sessions debating resolutions that have been previously submitted to the secretary general and the two student coordinators. This year’s special committee is the European Union. The keynote address by Nkolo will be held at 11:30 a.m. in McBryde Hall

All alumni of Model U.N. are invited to an evening reception to reconnect and reminisce.

Winthrop Board of Trustees Vice Chair Karl Folkens '78, first president of the General Assembly and second student coordinator, and Nancy Donnelly '77, immediate past president of the Winthrop Alumni Association and parliamentarian of the first Model U.N. at Winthrop, will also share what Model U.N. has meant to them. The reception is 7-10 p.m. on the third floor of the DiGiorgio Campus Center. Alumni may purchase a ticket for $40 that provides access to all special events: the luncheon featuring keynote speaker Jean Victor Nkolo, the alumni reception, and a "Crisis Session" on March 25 for high school, college and alumni participants. All proceeds go toward the Model United Nations fund. Alumni also may add a tribute gift in honor of Wilson and current faculty advisor Chris Van Aller.

March 25: Committee sessions meet again, as well as the General Assembly which meets twice this day, once as a full delegation minus the current Security Council. The afternoon session of General Assembly will be attended by all delegations, including both Security Councils. A "Crisis Session" will unfold from 12:30-3:30 p.m. in Tillman Auditorium for high school, college and alumni participants. Following the closing session, awards will be handed out to delegations, delegates and schools.

Learn more about the impact that Model U.N. has on its participants by watching this 40th anniversary video.

For more information, please contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services, at longshawj@winthrop.edu or at 803/323-2404.


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