Harvard Model United Nations: A Weekend to Remember

From Thursday, January 26th to Sunday, January 29th, 40 CRLS students ventured to the Prudential Center in the heart of Boston to participate in the 70th session of the Harvard Model United Nations conference (HMUN). The conference was directed by Harvard students and lasted four days, with 22 hours of intense committee sessions. During these sessions, delegates representing different countries debated on topics and formed alliances with like-minded delegations to ultimately pass a draft resolution. This draft resolution was the product of intense writing sessions, diplomatic collaboration, and lots of hard work.

Delegates were able to see first-hand how diplomacy functions.

Through the Harvard Model UN conference, students were able to learn about international relations, economics, and politics, while also strengthening fundamental skills such as public speaking, writing, and debate. Delegates were able to see first-hand how diplomacy functions, while also participating in it. Overall, delegates from CRLS concluded that the best aspects of the conference were the connections formed. As first-year delegate Jeanne Alailima ’25 told the Register Forum, “I met people from all over the world, got closer with people from CRLS, and strengthened my confidence in public speaking, which was an overwhelmingly positive experience.” Fellow first-year Luca Palma Poth ’25 echoed this sentiment to the Register Forum, explaining, “The HMUN conference was a really positive experience for me as I learned a lot about working with others and in the process, met some really great people. I encourage those who are interested to also join Model UN as I think it will be a great experience like it has been for me.”

In addition to the extreme effort that goes into the preparation of the conference, HMUN also encouraged the formation of international friendships and allowed CRLS students to gain insight on life outside of Cambridge. CRLS students were simply able to take the city bus a few stops to attend this conference. However, some families and schools went to great lengths to send their students to HMUN. Renato Katsuo, a delegate who traveled from Brazil to attend HMUN told the Register Forum, “Working with other people from all around the world, with lots of different views allowed me to expand my borders in regards to my understanding of the world and the people in it. [Afterwards], I [felt] like someone who is much more willing to collaborate and stand up for the wellbeing of others and to tackle the problems of the world.”

Additionally, Saturday night’s “Cultural Extravaganza” allowed delegates from all over the world to present food, music, and traditions from their home countries. Many schools even distributed food and candy that they had brought and had their students perform dances from their country. This provided an excellent way for participants to learn about each other’s cultures and showcased the wide range of backgrounds of the 3,700+ participating HMUN delegates.

All in all, the 70th session of the Harvard Model United Nations conference not only taught delegates many valuable lessons, but also highlighted the privileges and opportunities that CRLS students have, and the responsibility that this community holds to better the world around us.

This article also appears in our February 2023 print edition.