Bay Area high school students will take on the challenges of global diplomacy

Bay Area high school students will take on the challenges of global diplomacy
Posted on 11/14/2019

Approximately 370 Bay Area high school students will convene this coming Friday and Saturday at Diablo Valley College for the 29th annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference.



This Friday opens the 29th annual session of the Contra Costa County Model United Nations (UN) conference. This academic event is produced and directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and coordinated by Ibrahim El-Kazaz, of Best Delegate, along with members of the Model United Nations Club at U.C. Davis. The two-day event enhances high school students’ understanding of the United Nations and its role in global issues. Participating students (delegates) each represent a nation and negotiate on that country’s behalf.


During the conference, delegates will debate international issues in 10 committees, including Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), Security Council (UNSC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and International Organization of Migration (IOM). Topics discussed will include Use of Drones, The Question of Yemen, Protecting Endangered Species, and Migration and Climate Change. and For a complete list of committees and detailed topics, please visit this web page.


“We are pleased to see so many high school students throughout our county, Bay Area, and beyond take advantage of our Model UN program,” says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey. “Along with learning about the organization and world issues, Model UN is an excellent opportunity for students to display all the hard work and preparation they have put in, as they successfully discuss, persuade, and work with fellow committee members on real-world problems and complex international relations. The skills they are currently refining with this program, such as research and presentation, will be the same ones they’ll use in college and/or in their future careers.”


This academic event also offers students an opportunity to gain substantive knowledge about the cultures and policies of the countries they represent. They can learn the mechanisms for peaceful resolution of disputes, while at the same time honing their interpersonal skills. They must practice writing and speaking skills in order to persuade delegates from other attending schools.

Model UN differs from other CCCOE academic-event programs, such as Mock Trial, in that it is not so much a competition as it is an event. Participants are commended for outstanding committee work and certificates are awarded to committee rapporteurs. Individual delegate winners are recognized for their debate skills, leadership skills, knowledge of the issues, and presentation of key resolutions. The event closes with a ceremony that recognizes the outstanding delegates. 



Friday, November 15, 4:00 - 8:30 p.m. (Welcome, remarks, introductions and keynote speaker will begin at 4:00 p.m.). Model UN committee meetings to follow at 4:30 p.m.


Saturday, November 16, 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Committee meetings will run through most of the day, with the closing and awards ceremony following at 4:00 p.m.)



Diablo Valley College (DVC), 321 Golf Club Rd. Pleasant Hill, Calif. The event’s opening and keynote speech will be held at the DVC Commons. The awards and closing ceremony will also be held at the DVC Commons (Main Street Bistro if it rains). Committee breakout sessions will be held in DVC’s Mathematics Building classrooms. Campus map.



These are the 14 high school teams participating in this year’s Contra Costa County Model UN: Acalanes High (Lafayette), Athenian School (Danville), Berean Christian High (Walnut Creek), California High (San Ramon), Campolindo High (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), Christian Brothers High (Sacramento), College Park High (Pleasant Hill), De La Salle High (Concord), Dougherty Valley High (San Ramon), Foothill High (Pleasanton), Harker School (San Jose), Liberty High (Brentwood), and Miramonte High (Orinda).



Audio, video, and photos are welcomed. Great visuals of Model U.N. pageantry, including: approximately 370 high school students (representing 83 countries) filling up the Diablo Valley College’s Commons, each representative carrying a bright-colored sign signifying their country, and an elaborate decorated stage with numerous flags representing countries from around the world. Best action time slots will be:


Friday, 4:00 p.m., all students will be in attendance for the general assembly keynote address. *Lisa Martin, executive director of MUN Impact will serve as the keynote speaker at the Opening Plenary ceremony. The Plenary will be held outside DVC’s Commons

Saturday, 4:00 p.m., entire Model U.N. will gather once more for the general assembly awards and closing ceremony. This will be held outside in the DVC’s Commons.


The Media is also welcomed to cover the smaller committee sessions throughout both days, as well. The committee sessions, which are run by the U.C. Davis United Nations Club members will be held on both days in nearby DVC classrooms, located in the Mathematics Building.


For additional information about the CCCOE’s Model UN and other academic events, please visit their website. 


* Lisa Martin is the founder of several MUN organizations, including Online Model United Nations and MUN Impact. A veteran educator, she has spent over two decades working to develop Model UN programs and to make MUN accessible to all. She is the Executive Director of MUN Impact, and is working to develop deeper relationships with NGOs and UN agencies, building bridges between communities that have much in common but often lack a connection point. In a former incarnation she was the Director of THIMUN Qatar. She currently resides in northern California.



Follow Model UN updates at #cocomun


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