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Saint Peter’s Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the High School Model U.N.

High-School-Model-UN-1A record number of high school students from all across the state gathered at Saint Peter’s University this week for the 25th Annual High School Model U.N., which was hosted by the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership on March 1 and 2.

The conference brings together students and faculty advisors from high schools throughout New Jersey to provide them with the opportunity to experience, first-hand, the challenges of international conference diplomacy and negotiation. By assuming the role as U.N. representatives and by actively participating in the resolution of issues of global concern, delegates experience the workings of the United Nations.

“As a NGO with the United Nations, we feel it is vital to provide students from all over New Jersey with the opportunity to debate in mock committees ranging from disarmament to sustainability,” said Leila Sadeghi, Ph.D., executive director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership at Saint Peter’s University.

The schools represented at the event include Mansquan High School, North Brunswick Township High School, American Christian School, Academy for Urban Leadership Charter High School, Marist High School, Eastern Christian High School, Saint Dominic Academy, Pascack Hills High School, Dickinson High School, Middletown High School North, Paramus Catholic High School, West Milford High School, Rising Star Academy, Vernon High School, Colts Neck High School, Palisades High School, Hudson Catholic, Mahwah High School, Cresskill High School, West Mendham High School, Pascack Valley High School, Perth Amboy High School, Tenafly High School and County Prep High School.

High-School-Model-UN-7This year, Omar Humadi, adviser to H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim, Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations, served as the closing speaker for the conference. Humadi has more than 14 years of experience in political advising, consultation and campaign management, administration and finance. As an adviser at the Iraqi Mission to the U.N., he advises on Iraq-U.S. relations, media outreach and engagement and presidential tracking memos on all presidential candidates for the Mission of Iraq and Baghdad.

During his talk, Humadi discussed the importance of the United Nations and misconceptions about it. He also spoke about the dire need for our youth to be engaged civically in both a moral and political sense. He called on the students to politically fight for what they believe in and not cower to the consensus of groups and their ideologies.

“We, as citizens, need to be civically and morally informed and involved in the role of what gets done both locally and at the federal level,” said Humadi. “Decisions are made by policymakers –who are informed by citizens– and have the power of impacting our lives in many ways. Hence why we need to be engaged, informed and involved.”

For more information about the conference and future conferences, please click here.