Tackling the Complexities of International Diplomacy

450 Student Delegates to Participate in YU’s National Model United Nations from Feb. 21-23

For the 26th year, the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations competition (YUNMUN) will bring together high school students from around the world for an interactive simulation of the inner workings of the real United Nations.  From February 21-23, 450 student delegates from 45 yeshiva high schools and community day schools on three continents will gather at the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Stamford, CT, to play the roles of delegates to actual UN member nations while learning about the complexities of international diplomacy firsthand.

More than 60 YU undergraduate students will be on-hand at the event to facilitate discussions between the high school groups from South Africa, South America and cities across North America on a wide range of issues, including gender roles, human rights and international law.

“Yeshiva University’s annual National Model United Nations is born out of our mandate to matter. We work hard to consistently reinforce our students’ responsibility to help shape the destiny of civilization through the prism of Jewish values,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life.

“Year after year, YUNMUN receives international acclaim because students come away from the event feeling more confident, with a broad knowledge of world affairs, and having gained numerous life skills, including public speaking and critical analysis.  It is truly an educational, Torah and social experience like no other.”

In preparation for the event, students have been assigned countries and appointed to one of 15 committees dealing with issues of international concern, including the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the International Criminal Court, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Children’s Fund. To argue their points effectively, students have been conducting extensive research to ensure that their countries’ interests and policies will be faithfully represented.

To add further educational depth to the conference Seth M. Siegel, an author, water conservation activist, and successful serial entrepreneur, will deliver a special key note address to student delegates. Siegel’s book, Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World, is a New York Times bestseller, and his essays on water and other policy issues have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and leading publications across Europe and Asia.

YU Provost Dr. Selma Botman and Danny Ayalon, former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States and the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University, will also address the students at different times throughout the conference.

The YUNMUN closing ceremonies will include the presentation of awards to the best delegates and honorable mentions on each UN committee as well as remarks from Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel.