Model United Nations @ PBS

Geneva MUN

The PBS Model United Nations program, which exposes upper-grades students to different people and cultures around the world, is an integral part of the school's mission to produce global citizens. Through the MUN after-school club as well as annual MUN conferences, students research countries and political issues around the world, meet international and Palestinian peers, and gain valuable perspective on global issues.

During the second semester of the 2012-2013 academic year, PBS established its first MUN club led by English Department coordinator Anna Zelenz. Students met regularly after school to learn about the United Nations, current events, the global community, and diplomacy. Students had a chance to enhance their research, writing, debate, and presentation skills. MUN also enabled students to learn about cultures, problems, and challenges other countries are facing. In June 2013, six students in the 8th grade became the first group from PBS to travel abroad as they participated in the Geneva Model United Nations, where they represented Ethiopia during the conference. At the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, PBS sent its first group of students to a Model United Nations conference in Geneva. “It is not only our goal to provide Pioneers students with a rigorous education in Nablus,” says Anna Zelenz, a PBS teacher and MUN trip leader, “we also aim to expand their understanding through travel and experience. With the challenges facing Palestinians today, we want our students to be engaged global citizens.” The Montessori Model United Nations Conference, held in Geneva, takes a more cooperative approach to negotiations and is less focused on debate. There are no winners or losers in these discussions, just allies. The students work for months prior to the trip: researching their country assignments, familiarizing themselves with the rules and procedures of the conference, and writing their topic proposals. The goal is to be well-prepared for the conference discussions and ready to collaborate with other students on their councils.

In 2014, a second group of students attended an MUN conference in Geneva, and that same summer, a third group of students participated in an MUN training and conference hosted by the Ramallah Friends school. In January 2015, eight girls from 9th and 10th grade participated in the Fourth Annual Palestinian Model United Nations conference at the Ramallah Friends school.

The school has an active MUN after-school club, started last year by 10th grade students.

Model United Nations Trips

Geneva - June 2013

Geneva MUN

Six students from Pioneers Baccalaureate School recently had the opportunity to travel to Geneva, Switzerland to participate in a Model United Nations Conference. The students (Rawya AbuRabie, Khaled Abu Goush, Noor AlMaslamani, Dawoud Amad, Waleed Anabtawi, and Sami Kilani) performed very well at the conference after months of hard work and preparation.

Model United Nations is a forum for students from around the world to participate in a series of mock committees focused on solving real world issues. This conference, put on by the Montessori Model United Nations Organization, brought students from China, Norway, Belgium, France, Palestine, Canada, America, and Nigeria together for three days of intensive debate, collaboration, and policy development. Students at the conference act as ambassadors of a pre-assigned country, researching various issues for various UN committees. The conference is meant to help participants learn how the international community acts on topics such as peace and security, human rights, food and hunger, the environment, and globalization.

The students from Nablus, representing the country of Ethiopia, were standout participants at this year's conference. Though there are no prizes given in the Montessori Model United Nations, the Palestinian students demonstrated their enthusiasm and preparation throughout the conference - actively participating in debates, writing and sponsoring resolutions, and delivering speeches in front of the MUN General Assembly. The administrators of the event even suggested the Pioneers students take on higher leadership roles at future conferences.

The three-day conference also included a 'Cultural Night' meant to showcase the talents and traditions of the students' native countries. The Pioneers Baccalaureate School participants put on a dabka performance (choreographed by chaperone Hatem Hafi) and passed out sweets to the crowd.

Geneva - June 2014

Geneva MUN

On a hot summer afternoon, June 2, 2014, eight PBS students and two teachers begin their travel to Geneva, Switzerland. For some of the students, it would be their first time in Europe, and for others, their first trip outside of the Palestinian borders.

Participant and 8th grade student Qamar Anabtawi says, "MUN is a great and exciting challenge. The best thing about it is getting to go to Switzerland and meeting new people, and learning about the United Nations and the cultures of other countries. Some of the challenges were learning how to write a position paper, researching about other countries, and practicing public speaking. I think that we're going to have a lot of fun, and Ms. Kelsey and Ms. Muna have prepared us well!"

Ramallah - August 2014

Geneva MUN

In the summer of 2014, August 14-17, a group of 12 students from our 8th grade class participated in the annual PalMUN summer training program and conference, held at the Friends School in Ramallah. The program consisted of two training days, during which the students were introduced to MUN, including the procedural terms and technicalities, through different role-playing activities. After the two rigorous days, the students participated in a two-day mock conference, where each student represented an appointed delegation. The conference was split into two General Assemblies; General Assembly A discussed the topic, "The shoot-down of the Malaysian passenger plane over the Russia-Ukraine border," while General Assembly B discussed the topic, "The question of the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic."

The conference hosted students from seven different schools in the West Bank, allowing the students to develop friendships with many other students and exchange experiences. It was a great opportunity for everyone to learn, grow, and develop many skills while becoming more aware of current global issues. We are very grateful for the Friends Boys School for inviting us to participate, and for all the work that was put in to execute such a successful and informative program.

Ramallah - January 2015

Geneva MUN

On the wintery weekend of January 29th - February 2nd, 2015, eight girls from 9th and 10th grade (Rawya AbuRabie, Safa Kharouf, Loujain Masroujeh, Amar Amad, Noor AbuRabie, Sara Ismael, Qamar Anabtawi and Sara AbuGhoush) participated in the Fourth Annual Palestinian Model United Nations conference, held at the Friends School in Ramallah.

The conference hosted about 300 delegates from eight different schools from Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The conference consisted of eight different committees, four of which PBS students participated in. The theme for this year's conference was "Burning down walls," in memory of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The topics discussed by our students were:

  • Measures to prevent terrorist groups from acquiring weapons of mass destruction
  • Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East
  • Dealing with Globalized Jihad, with focus on ISIS
  • Financing the reconstruction of African countries following the 2014 Ebola outbreak
  • Ending territorial claims over Golan Heights
  • Providing international protection to journalists working in conflict zones
  • Measures to improve the current status of asylum seekers
  • The Question of the post-war situation in Afghanistan
  • The Question of the People’s Democratic Republic in North Korea

The students passed resolutions on global issues, made connections with other students, and learned a lot about leadership and the importance of being aware of global matters.