Hilton HS hosts 40th Annual Model United Nations Conference

By on November 18, 2019
Secretaries General Hridesh Signh and Isabella Wattie address delegates at the 40th Annual Model United Nations Conference at Hilton High School on November 9.

Secretaries General Hridesh Signh and Isabella Wattie address delegates at the 40th Annual Model United Nations Conference at Hilton High School on November 9.

Buses from 34 school districts as far away as Syracuse and Ithaca rolled up to Hilton High School on November 8, so hundreds of students could participate in the 40th Annual Hilton Model United Nations Conference. The student-directed event provides debate opportunities for both new and experienced high school delegates.

“For the past four decades, Hilton High School has graciously hosted nearly 1,000 high schoolers annually to debate, discuss and address the global issues at hand,” said Hridesh Signh, Secretary General. “I would like to thank Hilton High School for facilitating 40 years of global citizenship and collaboration, and for tremendously impacting the lives of thousands of students.”

Students chaired 17 different committees based on actual UN committees that debate proposals, present position papers and vote on resolutions. Schools select the country/countries they want to represent and delegates prepare before the conference by researching that country’s stand on issues and current problems. Disarmament, Drugs and Crime, Children’s Fund and The Great Turkish War are a few of the committees on which delegates took an active role representing their country while following parliamentary procedures.

Secretary General Isabella Wattie spoke about positivity and gratitude during the opening ceremonies. “In Model UN, we stay positive, and we believe that the world can change and be a better place. This motivates us to try our hardest to make it one,” she said. “In Model UN and the real United Nations, I like to think we operate with a higher amount of positivity. We work together with the positive mindset that our world has the ability to change for the better.”

In addition to being an opportunity to learn and collaborate with students from other schools, Model UN raises funds for charity. Students sold carnations and competed in “Jar Wars” to see which committee could raise the most money for a charity. This year, students raised $3,500 for the Red Cross International. The charity was selected in response to the devastating aftermath left by a series of hurricanes.

Hilton teacher Annette Wattie has coordinated the Conference for the past 10 years. Prior to that, Robert Phillips, a retired Hilton teacher, and his wife, Mary, also a retired Hilton teacher, ran the conference for over 30 years.

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