Reporting on his committee’s accomplishment one evening at the 50th Yale Model United Nations Conference in New Haven, CT, Yancheng Zhao ’26 broke into a grin and said, “We made world peace!”
That’s all in a day’s work for the 2,000 high school students from 45 countries who convened to craft, discuss, and vote on resolutions addressing a compelling array of global topics. According to Megan Niu, Secretary-General of YMUN 50, the delegates “work towards consensus on international events and develop leadership and teamwork skills that are crucial in shaping our next generation of world leaders.” Through research and role play, students learn fundamental lessons about historical and current issues.
BB&N’s 17 delegates represented Japan, Andorra, and the Philippines, among others, on committees including Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the World Health Organization, and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Four students received awards for their individual committee work over the course of the four days: Lea Freiin von Hilgers ’25 won Best Delegate, and Sofia Egan ’26, Matthias Paulson ’26, and Salar Sekhavat ’26 earned Honorable Delegate recognition.
The prevailing sentiment, though, was that participation alone was rewarding to everyone. MUN Club Senior President Lucy Greenup ’24 said, “With many diverse experiences represented by delegations from all around the globe, team members have the chance to talk with kids they would never have had exposure to otherwise. Many of our delegates have made friends that they talk to year-round outside of MUN.”
Yancheng’s “world peace” announcement conveyed the excitement many delegates experienced in their long hours of work. In his case, the feeling stemmed from getting Russia, China, and the United States to set aside differences and agree on a resolution aimed at preventing chemical accidents worldwide. “There was a lot of discussion in our committee about the importance of collaboration,” he said. “The goal of the UN is to work together, to create a better world. I had fun doing that!”