High School Students Gather at UM for Model UN Conference

November 18, 2016

MISSOULA – Students from 17 Montana and Idaho high schools will participate in the 51st annual Montana Model United Nations Conference Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 21-22, at the University of Montana.

At the conference, 350 students will represent 96 of the United Nations’ 193 member states, debating and writing resolutions addressing important international issues.

Students will participate on one of five U.N. committees: the Security Council, General Assembly Plenary, General Assembly First Committee (disarmament and security), General Assembly Second Committee (economic and financial) and General Assembly Third Committee (social and humanitarian). Each committee is staffed by a team of UM students from Adjunct Professor Nicholas Potratz’s Model United Nations class, a service-learning course offered by the Department of Political Science.

Events begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday with opening ceremonies in the North Ballroom of the University Center. The keynote address titled “From Montana to the World” will be delivered by Whitney Williams. A native Montanan and graduate of UM’s Political Science Department, Williams is Founder and CEO of williamsworks, an action-oriented consultancy that works with some of the world’s most influential philanthropists, successful corporations and nongovernmental organizations to tackle local and global problems. She previously worked in the White House as the trips director for Hillary Rodham Clinton, designing and managing more than 200 trips to dozens of countries and traveling alongside the First Lady numerous times. Williams is co-founder and vice chair of the Board for Eastern Congo Initiative, the first U.S.-based advocacy and grant making organization focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Students will work on the third floor of the University Center. They will meet in committees from late Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon. At 7:30 p.m. Monday, they will screen a new film, “America’s Diplomats,” produced by the Foreign Policy Association. An ice cream social with UM international students will follow.

Closing ceremonies will be held from 2 to 4:45 p.m. Tuesday in the UC North Ballroom. During the awards ceremony delegates, schools and conference staff will be honored. Five high school seniors will be awarded scholarships to attend UM. All events are free and open to the public.

The Montana Model United Nations Conference is funded by school and delegate fees, as well as contributions from the UM Office of the President, vice president for enrollment and student affairs, College of Humanities and Sciences and Department of Political Science.

For more information, including participating high schools, visit MMUN online at http://www.cas.umt.edu/mun or call Potratz at 406-471-8103.

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Contact: Nicholas Potratz, adjunct professor, UM Department of Political Science, 406-471-8103, nicholas.potratz@umontana.edu.