Program Description of Manlius Pebble Hill Model United Nations Team

 Manlius Pebble Hill Model United Nations (MPHMUN) program/team is a debate organization which centers its identity on the premise that five key core values must be adhered to all times if our short-term and long term goals are to be attained. Those five core values are:

  1. Character
  2. Caring
  3. Chemistry
  4. Commitment
  5. Competence

Because Model United Nations is designed to simulate the United Nations, we use debate preparation and Model United Nations conferences to assess the students’ abilities to incorporate these values into their everyday existence.

Our long term goal is to be the best Model United Nations/Debate team in the United States, while also producing students who are prepared to go out into the world with intellectual, psycho-social-emotional, and communicative skill sets necessary to be change agents in a range of ways in their communities. To attain these long/short term goals, the students must become expert in a range of areas, including: (a.) researching information, which will allow the students to make coherent arguments based on reliable data concerning issues related to international politics; (b.) writing position papers and resolutions from other nations perspectives, which will enable students to communicate the complexities of various nations policy positions from multiple perspectives; (c.) oratorical skills, which will allow the students to articulate arguments and persuade others to their position; (d.) negotiation skills, which teaches students to listen, to compromise, and to be flexible where possible without compromising the integrity of their county’s position.

We travel around the US and the world in order to compete against the best teams. Indeed, MPHMUN has traveled to some of the top US colleges to attend high school conferences around issues of international relations. For example, we have gone to Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, and Georgetown University. In addition, we travel the world to London, Dublin, Kenya, and Geneva, Switzerland to attend Model United Nations conferences. A secondary but crucial reason for taking these trips is to expose the students to different perspectives and world views.

The students learn about and argue over a range of issues from world health issues to international economics, from nuclear proliferation issues to the weaponization of space, from land disputes to the trafficking of women and children. All of these issues are current and pressing, and I motivate the students to look at these issues from a humanist lens. That is, students must understand that human beings are involved in all of these issues at some level, and are both benefiting and being oppressed because of decisions that other human beings make.