The 2013 YMCA Model United Nations Conference was held January 4-6 in Hershey, PA where 1,500 student delegates from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware simulated the duties of UN Ambassadors. The local Community YMCA Delegation was comprised of 147 students from local high schools. Several of the delegates from Red Bank Catholic earned special honors.
RBC junior Aidan Byrnes was elected by his peers to serve as the Secretary General, the highest position in the United Nations, for the 2014 Model UN Conference. Over the next year, Aidan will help decide a theme for the 2014 Conference, lead workshops for the 40 officers and oversee all of the committees. As Secretary General, Aidan will also attend the 2013 Conference on National Affairs, a weeklong conference of an elite group of students from around the country, held in North Carolina this summer. He has been involved with Model UN since his freshman year, when he was selected as Outstanding First Year Delegate. He went on to be elected by his peers to serve as Vice Chair of the General Assembly for both the 2012 and 2013 Conferences. Aidan calls the program an excellent opportunity for young men and women to gain important skills and awareness: “Model UN encourages people to speak publicly and then gives them the confidence to do so on the complex issues facing our world.”
RBC junior Tom Toman was elected to be the Chair of the 2014 General Assembly, the largest assembly and central body of the UN, comprised of approximately 120 delegates. He will be responsible for selecting topics of discussion for the General Assembly, will review the delegates’ research papers and will preside over the General Assembly during the conference.
Freshman Chris Lomonanco won the award for the Outstanding Research Paper for the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee. The topic of his paper was “Defending Andrew Jackson.”
Junior Kate Davin was a delegate representing Israel, which won the Outstanding Country Award.
During the Conference, students research, write, present and debate resolutions to address important international issues, such as poverty, resource sustainability and more. The purpose of the Model UN Program is the help students become informed and feel empowered to make a difference in their local communities and in the world at large, regardless of their age. The theme of the 2013 Model UN Conference was Youth Empowerment.