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Gannon University Hosts 67th Annual Model United Nations Conference

The 67th annual congregation of the GU Model UN will convene November 8 and 9, 2019, making it the longest consecutively-running Model United Nations in the United States.

The 67th annual congregation of the GU Model UN will convene November 8 and 9, 2019, making it the longest consecutively-running Model United Nations in the United States.

Gannon University will host its 67th Annual Gannon Model United Nations Conference on November 8-9 in the Hammermill Center, 620 Peach St. 

The opening session will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8. Edin Selimovic, a genocide survivor, will deliver the keynote address. Gannon Vice President for Academic Affairs Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D. will deliver the Gannon address. In addition, the Gannon University Model U.N. will gather together for a flag raising at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Erie Mayor’s Press Conference. 

These events are free and open to the public; we welcome anyone who has an interest in attending and being part of this outstanding legacy. 

The Gannon University Model U.N. is the longest-running organization of its type in the country and the second-oldest Model U.N. in the world. Every year, its conference brings together about 450 - 500 high school students from approximately 20 schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York in a simulation of the year’s actual U.N. proceedings. Moderated by Gannon University faculty, staff and students, the event is a great opportunity for understanding the complex challenges faced by the international community and learning about diverse cultures and political systems across the globe. 

New this year are methods of assigning high school students to represent different countries. Schools will no longer represent the same country in each committee. Instead, schools are randomly assigned relevant countries in each represent the same country in each committee. Instead, schools are randomly assigned relevant countries in each learning opportunities for delegates, ensuring all relevant voices are heard on given topics, and aligning with the practices of other conferences. 

Gannon students and staff have been preparing for this conference all year and are extremely proud to facilitate dialogue and discussion on important topics in world affairs. This year’s conference addresses important issues for the U.N. General Assembly including: 

- Restricting the flow of nuclear materials;
- Assuring mental health regulations and protection for disabled persons;
- Promoting awareness of the rights of vulnerable populations;
- Assessing the role of illegal non-state actors on politics and global crime.

In addition to these committees, there will be a simulation of the Arab League and Nuremberg Trials. Both of these are new committees that Gannon is hosting for the first time and is the brainchild of the current Secretary General Randall W. Sutter. The Arab League will be developing a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question, and the Nuremberg Trials will be establishing Principles of Humanity with the trial and prosecution of Nazi leaders post-World War II. 

As always, the U.N. Security Council simulation will address current security issues such as terrorism in Africa and religious persecution, and extremism and the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security. Lastly, the Historical Security Council will go back to the complexities of the political landscape of 1991 including the fall of the Soviet Union and new world order. 

Each year the Gannon Secretariat distinguishes high school students for outstanding participation. Replacing Delegation Awards, School Awards will be presented to the first-, second- and third-highest scoring schools. New this year is the Small School Award where schools unable to staff all committees or that have fewer than 16 delegates in attendance shall be eligible for the small school award. The best performing small school will be awarded. 

All awards are based upon the delegates’ knowledge of and insight into world issues during committee meetings, as well as the skills they display in debating these issues. The criteria for selecting the best school awards are as follows: 

- Knowledge and use of the Rules of Procedure;

- Familiarity with issues and quality of role-playing;
- Diplomatic skill including proper etiquette.

The Best Delegate Award is given to one delegate from each of the four GA committees, Historical Security Council, Security Council, Arab League, and the Nuremberg Trials. A plaque will be given recognizing their diplomacy, knowledge, and etiquette while in committee. Plaques will be awarded to the winners and trophies to the runner-up and second runner-up delegations. 

This year’s secretary general of the Gannon Model U.N. is Randall W. Sutter, a public service and global affairs major. The assistant secretary general is Ammar Krso, who is pursuing a health professional degree. The program director is Anjali Sahay, Ph.D., associate professor in the Political Science Department at Gannon University.  Additionally, Timothy Caswell, Ph.D. and Alexandra Holbrook, Ph.D. are training and leading the Model U.N. Club at Gannon this year. 

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