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INTL at the Stanford University Model United Nations Conference XXVI

INTL at the Stanford University Model United Nations Conference XXVI

Silicon Valley International School’s (INTL) Model United Nations Team attended the 26th annual Stanford University Model United Nations Conference held November 11-13. Ten students from INTL’s high school participated in a variety of committees and engaged in rigorous discussion and debate on foreign policy and international relations with fellow delegates.

Before the conference officially began, our delegates roamed around the Stanford University campus whilst competing in the scavenger hunt. One of their tasks was to take a whole group photograph with a range of eight campus attractions such as the Twisted Corinthian Column, the YO sculpture, and the Gates of Hell. They darted off from the Tressider Memorial Union on their excursion that was billed at being a two hour endeavor, only to reemerge after just 75 minutes with all the photographs to boot!

The Model UN team on their scavenger hunt to begin the weekend.

During a working dinner in the union building, students brushed up on their knowledge of the committee topics, polished their opening speeches and interacted with peers from other schools. Our Head Delegate, Silja in 9th Grade, was especially helpful in supporting her peers with their final preparations. Her own position paper was an excellently researched piece for the Commission on the Status of Women. 

Hard at work in the union, the Model UN team prepares for the weekend's debates.

The delegates then headed into the Dinkelspiel auditorium for the opening ceremony. There was a warm welcome from the exceptionally well-organized SMUNC Secretariat followed by a truly inspirational keynote speech from serving Special FBI Agent Kari Denise McInturff, who is also a National Security Affairs Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Kari discussed how she built her successful, and frankly really cool, career in the male-dominated law enforcement industry whilst being a single mother in the Bay Area. Her anecdotes and answers to delegate questions were in keeping with the theme of the whole conference: Breaking Down Barriers. 

Opening ceremony at the Model UN conference.

With that, the delegates headed to their committee sessions to begin their formal proceedings for the weekend. The committees that INTL students participated in were as follows:




International Bioethics Committee

United States of America

Tanith - 10th Grade

International Bioethics Committee

Kingdom of Norway

Rox - 10th Grade

Commission on the Status of Women 

People’s Republic of China

Silja - 9th Grade

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Republic of Peru

Martín - 9th Grade

World Health Organization


Lykka - 10th Grade

Organization of American States 

Republic of Honduras

Lukas - 9th Grade

World Cities Summit

Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam

Nyla - 10th Grade

World Cities Summit

Alderman Geordin Hill-Lewis, Mayor of Cape Town

Nika - 10th Grade

United Nations Human Rights Council

Arab Republic of Egypt

Kaushiki - 12th Grade

Italian Parliament

Minister of Economy and Finance

Yarah - 9th Grade


Over the whole weekend, the delegates gave speeches, caucused with their fellow diplomats, and formed blocs to write resolutions before proposing them to the wider committee. The discourse was highly impressive. Students from INTL were involved in putting forward a range of motions and resolutions that were taken up by their committees. 

For example, our delegate for the United States in the International Bioethics Committee, Tanith, proposed a motion for a moderated caucus on discrimination in the field of genetic information. She then held the floor with a speech laden with ideas for the international community drawn from US domestic legislation such as the 2008 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. In other committees, our students found themselves in the midst of crises that required careful diplomatic wrangling to resolve. 

The Model UN team in the auditorium preparing for the weekend's events.

At break times, and at the end of the sessions each day, our students emerged from their committees abuzz with ideas. Well-fed and watered with mountains of Panda Express and Starbucks  (the true diet of champion MUNers and Stanford students alike) they were then eager to dive back into the complexities of solving the world’s most vexing issues. It is for this that Model UN is truly an excellent undertaking and exemplifies the type of critical thinking and international-mindedness that is a central tenet of the educational journey of students at INTL. 

After the closing ceremonies attention quickly turned to the next Model UN event in which the INTL team will participate: Berkeley Model UN in March. They can not hardly wait!

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