About the Author: Mark Schlachter serves as Public Diplomacy Chief for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.
The State Department’s Dean Acheson auditorium rarely hosts a more excited and dynamic audience than assembled there on May 11 for the 2009 Global Classrooms Model United Nations conference. The 650 middle and high school students from around the DC area buzzed with interest and curiosity as they prepared for a day of debate, negotiation, and consensus-building. Before they began, however, they received a very personal endorsement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Secretary recalled the participation of her daughter in just such an event and polled the students on international issues of greatest concern to them. Energized by the Secretary’s remarks, the students spent the rest of the day working on such thorny matters as climate change, nuclear terrorism, and migration. By the end of the day, the students were exhausted, the auditorium was empty, and the 2009 Model UN program was a smashing success.
This Model UN program is sponsored and coordinated by the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area as part of the Global Classrooms project. The U.S. Department of State hosted the daylong event.