Model UN Delegation Participates in University of Chicago Annual Conference


Nick Bumgardner, Editor-in-Chief, Advanced Journalism

This weekend, NDA’s Model United Nations (MUN) Club participated in MUNUC 34, the University of Chicago’s 34th annual high school MUN conference.

As one of the world’s most prestigious MUN conferences, a typical MUNUC draws in thousands of students from around the globe, with everyone converging in the heart of downtown Chicago at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel.

This year, though, in the interest of public health, the usual four-day trip to Chicago turned virtual, with student delegates being confined to their own homes via Zoom

With that being said, the conference went off without a hitch, starting on Thursday, February 3, and concluding on Feb. 6.

NDA was represented by two delegations.

One delegation consisted of club Co-Presidents Nick Bumgardner and Nick Massabni, who together represented Nigeria on the UN’s Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN).

They were tasked with finding solutions to the “imminent global debt crisis.”

The other delegation was led by Polish foreign exchange student Michael Budzanowski, representing El Salvador in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

He was given the task of “improving the decommissioning of nuclear plants.”

In the end, one of NDA’s delegations was able to pass resolutions through their committee.

As Nigeria, Bumgardner and Massabni were able to pass a 22-nation resolution that included a broad coalition of developing nations like Ukraine and North Korea and developed nations like Japan and Ireland.

The agreement encouraged debt transparency, increased COVID-19 aid to help economies open faster, a gradual transition away from IMF-based solutions by creating a new global lending system and a recommitment to the UN’s “sustainable development goals” of poverty eradication, quality education, clean water and innovation as steps in reducing a nation’s debt.

Meanwhile with El Salvador, Budzanowski’s committee was unable to reach an agreement on how to tackle their issue.

With many competing interests, the nations of the IAEA could not come up with a working resolution that a majority could agree upon in the time allowed.

Despite this, the IAEA was commended by MUNUC’s leadership as passionate and thoughtful in their debates, and NDA’s delegation was well-represented.

All in all, despite the conference going virtual, the MUNUC experience was still interesting and unique.

“I feel it was a valuable experience.  I got to work on my communication skills in a collaborative environment where I got to work with a variety of people and ideas to accomplish a common goal,” Massabni explained.