Outstanding Delegates from Dubuque Senior High School’s Model United Nations club attended the Iowa Youth Symposium at the State Capitol in Des Moines, a dynamic event bringing together young leaders from high schools around Iowa to discuss pressing global issues. There were 208 participants from 16 different Iowa high schools. Students discussed, debated, and collaborated by assuming the role of United States diplomats within the United Nations. The annual Model UN conference commemorates International United Nations Day and the anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter on October 24, 1945.

This year’s conference featured five committees in which students debated the US position within the UN on reparations, recognition of the International Court of Justice, the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and bans on social media. During committee sessions, students learned about the procedures for engaging in diplomacy and the importance of international cooperation. Participants showcased their critical thinking and negotiation abilities.

The conference featured distinguished speakers, including the Honorary United Nations Day Chair, Jackson Geadelmann who delivered the keynote address. Geadelmann is a current University of Iowa College of Law student and Iowa United Nations Association board member. In his remarks, Geadelmann highlighted the importance of the United Nations to facilitate international cooperation, and especially the need for young people to be involved in building consensus and solving global issues.

During the pre-plenary session, 75 outstanding regional delegates had the opportunity to discuss their position papers and policy proposals with local experts. From Dubuque Senior High School’s Model United Nations club, Owen May, Donovan Dremmel, Olivia Brimeyer, Fred Raymond, Charlie Branscomb, Wyatt Branscomb, Allie Cook, Maura Lawler, Will Wernimont, and Ben Schaefer were selected as outstanding regional delegates to represent Dubuque.

Students participated in roundtable discussions with Dr. Negus Imhotep (chair of the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission), Professor John C. Reitz (Professor Emeritus of the University of Iowa College of Law), Alicia Vastos (Water Program Director for the Iowa Energy Council), Dr. Debra DeLaet (Drake University Political Science Professor), and Dr. Sharonda Woodford (Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Drake University).

Two outstanding delegates were identified in each of the five committees (economic, political, science, social, and technology) for their exemplary leadership, contributions, and ability to build consensus. Ben Schaefer of Dubuque Senior High School was selected as one of two outstanding delegates in the Science Committee and one of 10 students overall.

Dubuque Senior High School’s Model United Nations club provides a setting for young people to learn about the work of United Nations diplomats while engaging in productive discussions with students from around the state. Kristin Weiland serves as the club advisor at Dubuque Senior. Owen May, second year participate in Model UN, said “Model United Nations can help expand your worldview through friendly debate with others…”. Allie Cook started this year as a senior and said “Model United Nations is an enriching experience to learn hands on about the internal workings of international politics. I am so glad I joined because of my newfound knowledge on the subject and the camaraderie that is built within the club.”

For more information about Model United Nations and the Iowa Youth Symposium, please visit Iowa Youth Symposium.