Minnesota students test diplomacy skills in huge model UN conference

Published 8:49 am Monday, April 9, 2018

By Nina Moini

MPR News/90.1 FM

More than 800 students from across the state traveled to downtown Minneapolis for this weekend’s YMCA Model UN conference.

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Heading up the three-day conference, is the president of the assembly, 17-year-old Eden Prairie High School senior Nibir Sarma.

“My job is to make sure discussion flows smoothly and we are able to have a healthy debate,” Sarma said.

YMCA program organizer Orville Lindquist says this year’s Model United Nations delegation is the largest in the program’s 32-year history.

“Students want to be heard and have an impact and they want to find new and interesting ways to do that,” Lindquist said.

Minnesota’s program is open to grades 7 through 12.

Students work on their policy proposals for weeks at their individual schools leading up to the conference and Sarma said the goal is for delegates reach a compromise in several policy areas.

“It’s a really intriguing experience for anyone who comes and visits so I’m sure even members of Congress would have a lot to say and learn from what we do here,” Sarma said.

The conference runs through Saturday at the City Center Marriott Hotel.