The William & Mary International Relations Club’s Model United Nations (WMMUN) team recently competed at the World Model United Nations (WorldMUN) conference in Melbourne, Australia, with spectacular results.
The nine team members representing W&M brought home the Best Small Delegation Award. The team was divided into four pairs and one single, which participated in four “General Assemblies” and a “specialized agency.” Each pair and the student won an award, giving W&M the small delegation honors.
According to Connor Smith ’14, secretary-general of W&M's Model U.N. conference (&MUN), diplomacy awards are selected by the committee chairs to recognize the delegates who made the greatest impact on committee debate, caucusing and writing resolutions.
“This is William & Mary’s first delegation award in seven years,” said Zann Isacson ’13, W&M’s head delegate. “Although we attend many conferences every year, because we prioritize participation over exclusivity, we do not win many delegation awards. This award boosts our standing on the Model United Nations circuit and gains morale for our club.”
The other members of the team were Matt Hartill ’15, Katie Mitchell ’13, Austin May ’13, Alexcia Chambers ’16, Jeff Rohde ’14, Natalie Roberts ’14, Iman Shakeri ’14 and Tom Scott Sharoni ’15.
Founded in 1991, WorldMUN is the premier Model U.N. international conference with more than 2,000 students attending from more than 60 countries. Like all MUN competitions, it simulates real-world deliberations between United Nations, international organizations and governmental bodies such as the World Health Organization, UNESCO and the World Bank.
Over a series of committee sessions, delegates work together to introduce working papers and eventually draft a resolution proposing a solution to a global issue, such as a security council resolution. The sessions end when the committee votes on all the introduced draft resolutions, generally choosing to adopt a single document that addresses the problem being discussed.
This year’s WorldMUN was hosted by students from Harvard University as well as Monash University in Melbourne.
Isacson, an international relations and economics double major, began prepping the delegation in January, creating delegation scenarios, considering the most pressing world issues, and trying to consider every possible situation that his delegation would encounter after being assigned by the MUN to “represent” South Africa and Panama in the competition.
“From January through March, the team met for six hours a week,” she said. “We developed position defenses, public speaking preparation and team dynamic evaluation. In addition, each team met separately to prepare their own research.”
Isacson has been an active participant in Model United Nations for nine years, or since she was an eighth-grader. She has an obvious interest in international relations.
“To win the Best Small Delegation award at WorldMUN as head delegate is the best way I can imagine to end my MUN career,” she said.