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29 November 2017
Fall Model UN Training Conference Engages Area Students in Solving Global Refugee Crises

For almost 15 years, the Pan American Health Organization, the Latin American branch of the World Health Organization, has graciously hosted the UN Association of the National Capital Area’s (UNA-NCA) Fall Model UN Training Conference. Each fall, several hundred students acting as country delegates have discussed a variety of current issues.
IMG_6649On November 16, nine schools (four from DC, four from Maryland, and one from Virginia) attend the conference, with 187 total students who participated and represented 94 countries in the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more students than any other previous fall conference before. Over the course of the day-long conference, the students came together to discuss protecting the Human Rights of Refugees.

The conference highlighted the vital work of UNHCR, as well as the diversity of issues in many different refugee situations around the world. In the morning, students were welcomed by the opening ceremony featuring Executive Director of UNA-NCA Paula Boland, Global Education Managing Director Nicole Bohannon and keynote speaker Dawn Calabia. Ms. Calabia is currently serving as a Board Director-at-Large at UNA-NCA, and is an honorary senior adviser to Refugees International on human rights, forced displacement and advocacy. She is also the Secretary-Treasurer of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group and a founder and commissioner of Women’s Refugee Commission.

Following the ceremony, students began the UNHCR committee session to discuss how to best protect the human rights of refugees from the country’s perspective that they were representing. Students learned about the key role of UNHCR in leading international action to protect refugees and to solve the many refugee crises around the world.

As the committee moved into writing their resolutions for the second part of the day, students had the opportunity to engage in international conversations and hone their writing, negotiation, and public speaking skills. The conference concluded with the delegates presenting their joint solutions to protect the refugees around the world to the entire committee.

Under UNA-NCA, Global Classrooms DC also functions as a year-long Model United Nations program for students who care about their global and local communities by cultivating an international perspective, understand the UN system, and interact with other students from diverse backgrounds. It is an opportunity for students to be exposed to larger issues and different people to become more active local and global citizens in the future. 

The Global Classrooms DC Fall Model UN Training Conference is implemented by the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, which is a Chapter of UNA-USA. For more information, visit www.unanca.org/what-we-do/global-classrooms-dc.

Global Classrooms DC also hosts a Spring Model UN Conference at the US Department of State and PAHO. This year, the conference will be held on April 27, 2018. 
 

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