Students debate global issues in U.N. format

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NGOs, resolutions, the General Assembly, NATO, the AU, the WHO, IGOs and position papers are all terms one might hear while listening in on a Model United Nations club meeting at Greenbrier High School.

It sounds nerdy to the extreme, but Model United Nations might just be the coolest nerd club out there. The club is part of a larger network that annually meets to simulate the United Nations. There are different regions, chapters and competitions, but they all generally do the same thing at their conferences.

"In the winter, we will travel to Georgia Southern (University) to compete with schools in our region. It's a weekendlong event that ends with an awards ceremony. We did pretty awesome last year. and we are hoping to repeat that," said Emily Bragg, 17, a senior and the Greenbrier Model U.N. president.

In Model U.N., participants write resolutions, debate issues, address the General Assembly and represent countries in committees. Each school is assigned a set number of countries. Those teams learn about their countries' stance on global issues and try to see their resolutions get passed in the General Assembly.

"You end up learning so much about what is going on in the world. You become an expert on every issue, because you have to be to win," Emily said. "I'm really looking forward to this year, too. We have China, Georgia, Venezuela, Poland, Pakistan and Libya as nations this year. They are the hot, interesting ones that everyone wants."

It's not all business, though.

Last year, the Greenbrier delegation (around 80 kids) broke into a rendition of the song Lean on Me in the entrance hall.

"It's a lot of fun -- way more than you would think," Emily said. "I mean, who wouldn't want to watch Greenbrier go for world domination this year?"

Michael Ryan is a junior at Greenbrier High School.


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