Agnes Irwin Delegates Attend North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) Conference in Washington, D.C.

Agnes Irwin Delegates Attend North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) Conference in Washington, D.C.

On February 15, 2024, twelve intrepid Agnes Irwin delegates traveled to our nation's capital to attend the 61st annual North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) Conference which was sponsored and run entirely by Georgetown University students. 

"This was the first time in years that AIS attended," said Chair of the History and Social Sciences Department Jake Greenberg. "We had a very successful weekend. The conference was attended by over 3,300 students from all over the U.S. and the world, including countries such as Colombia, Ethiopia, and Brazil." In addition to the specific conference experiences, the Agnes Irwin delegation visited the Icelandic embassy along with the Rockridge School from Annapolis, MD for an engaging presentation about this Nordic country’s diplomatic efforts and fascinating history.

Outside of the many hours spent in committee sessions, where students developed their public speaking, problem solving, and collaboration skills, several social engagements provided a fun break and lots of great meals. Another fantastic element of the conference is the philanthropic initiative. "This year, the conference raised nearly $30,000 for a local organization that supports asylum seekers as they transition to life in the U.S.," said Greenberg. "Overall, it was an outstanding weekend and several of our students remarked that they are already excited to return next year." 

Student Reflections

I was in the "JCC: Basque Independence 1981 François Mitterrand" and I was the French Minister of Labor, Jean Auroux. My committee had a total of 23 directives given to the dais and we passed 19 and did not pass 4. It was such a cool experience. We had such a fun time together trying to free the Basque people (who are now a free state).
Liz K:
I was in the "Economic and Social Council: The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)" and I represented the delegation of Zimbabwe. My block wrote a resolution that focused on improving women’s educational opportunities. It was incredible to meet individuals from different countries and states. I made friends that I will have for years to come. I learned a lot about different countries’ legislatures, specifically pertaining to women’s rights.
My committee was the "Supreme Court of the United States" where I represented three different positions for three different cases. In the first case of Lindke v. Freed, I was Justice Neil Gorsuch. We discussed the First Amendment right of freedom of speech on social media, where in this instance, a government official blocked a constituent on Facebook. The court ruled that the constituent’s rights were infringed upon. In the second case of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, I was the Counsel for the Petitioner. I defended a small fishing business against the mandatory fees a federal agency imposed upon it, and I promoted the overturning of the Chevron precedence which warps separation of powers by transferring legislative authority from Congress to federal agencies if a statute is ambiguous. In the third case of Acherson v. Laufer, I was Justice Sonya Sotomayor. We debated whether or not Deborah Laufer, a self-appointed tester of the American Disability Act, has standing to sue Acherson hotels because the hotel failed to disclose disability accommodations on their website. The court ruled that because she never intended to stay at the hotel and because she never suffered physical or personal harm from the absence of information, Laufer did not having standing to sue Acherson. This SCOTUS committee was such an incredible experience to learn more about law and the inner workings of highest court of the United States. I am grateful for the lessons learned and memories made!
Amelia and Charlotte:

Charlotte and I were a double delegation representing "Sudan in the International Organization for Migration," set in 1975. We debated forced migration and the best solutions to the migrant crisis in 1975. This was an incredibly rewarding experience, and my diplomacy and writing skills have improved greatly over this weekend. We collaborated with high schoolers our age from all over the world to pass a total of 5 resolutions regarding how to safely bring migrates into host countries and help them adapt to their new lives. We made many new friends with whom we will stay in touch, and learned so much about public speaking, research, and collaboration.
Ella and I were in the "27th Special Session of the General Assembly, 2002: World Summit for Children," where we explored exploitation and displacement of children in countries affected by war. We debated the most efficient ways to keep children around the world educated, healthy, and happy. We ended up passing all four of our final resolutions.
Liz and I were in the "Economic and Social Council: The Commission on the Status of Women representing Zimbabwe." We worked on passing resolutions pertaining to education for women in underdeveloped countries, and the effect of poverty on women around the world. This was an interesting and important topic to me and I enjoyed getting to know the people in my committees.
I worked with Olivia in the "27th Special Session of the General Assembly, 2002: World Summit for Children." We worked together to find the best ways to solve child inequalities faced within countries impaired by war. With a few members from our committee, we formed a bloc that worked together to create solutions of these hardships. We ended as a sponsor on one of the resolutions that was passed.
Liv and I were in "UNESCO." We focused on the issue of deep-sea mining, and how countries can still extract necessary minerals while stopping the environmental impact in the high seas. Our general assembly of more than 350 delegates passed two out of four resolutions. Liv and I were sponsors on a passing resolution. A professor from Georgetown, who works with deep-sea mining and the biodiversity of the sea floor, talked to us and answered many of our questions.
Kate and I were in the "United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization" assembly with approximately 350 other delegates. We researched the topics of deep-sea mining and biodiversity and online misinformation. Our committee ended up choosing the first topic. We went through voting procedure, gave speeches communicating possible solutions and our countries stances, asked questions, passed notes to other delegates, and formed blocs. There was a total of 10 working papers. After mergers we narrowed this number down to 4 resolutions. The resolution Kate and I worked on, called Emergen-Sea took a very neutral stance on the Deep-Sea mining issue creating regulations while also promoting allyship between developed and developing nations as they mine for vital minerals for the transition to sustainable energy. Our resolution passed with a simple majority. It was an amazing experience meeting Georgetown students and faculty, people from around and out of the country, collaborating, and using diplomacy to achieve a common goal.
I worked by myself as the single delegation of "Zimbabwe in the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development under the UN Economic and Social Council." After preparing by researching both the topics of The STEM Gap: Bridging Gender Discrepancies and The Role of AI in Sustainable Development, my committee debated on which topic was of more urgency and importance. After choosing to focus on the first topic, I worked along with 120 single delegations to write and pass resolutions in attempt to solve this issue. As Zimbabwe, I specifically focused on writing clauses on how to prevent child marriage from interrupting girl’s educations, and on attempting to prevent the bias generative AI often has against women across the globe. After forming a block and writing a working paper, my block merged with another, and we named our resolution SWISH. As a sponsor, I contributed by writing clauses, gaining signatories, and debating with other blocks on appendments to make. In the end, it passed, and the experience left me with amazing and enjoyable memories, along with great lessons on public speaking and debate.
This weekend I was a part of the SOCHUM (Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian) committee where I was a single delegate representing Sudan. The two topic choices were the impacts of drug trafficking in Latin America and the arbitrary deprivation of civil liberties, but the committee ended up focusing on the first topic. In the beginning, we held a lot of moderated caucuses to discuss each of our individual stances on the topic and to introduce any ideas for solutions that we had. After we had heard from many of the delegations, we started going into unmods where we formed blocs with the people that we agreed with. Over the course of a few sessions, my bloc and I began to write our working paper which we titled, “L.E.F.T.”. Left was an acronym for “legislation, enforcement, funding, and technology”. I worked primarily on the “L” part of the paper since the clauses that we were writing were most closely related to my country’s needs and perspectives. The entire committee ended up having 11 working papers but our chairs were only allowing 5 to ensure that we had enough time to vote on them all, so we ended up having to merge and it worked out quite well. On the last day of our committee, we voted on the resolutions and ours passed! Overall, I loved NAIMUN. I loved walking around DC and getting food with my friends that I met in my committee. I learned a lot about working together and putting myself out there as well as learning a lot about Model UN itself.

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