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ASU hosts model United Nations conference this weekend

Oct. 10, 2008 -- Arkansas State University will be the scene of multiple debates about current and past world issues this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10-11, when the Fall semester ASU Model UN conference will bring top high school delegates from around Arkansas and Tennessee to the Jonesboro campus to take on the roles of ambassadors and judges in a simulation and competition based on the United Nations.

Four members of the ASU Moot Court Team will act as attorneys or advocates for countries in two model International Court of Justice cases, with high school students acting as the judges. The student ASU Model UN Organization will host the meet, which will begin on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in Room 204 of Wilson Hall.

Following the opening session and a meal break, the student ambassadors, each representing an assigned country, will then split up into three different groups, which will debate resolutions and issues from the point of view of "their" countries. All three groups will simulate UN Security Councils, with two dealing with current world issues such as the Georgia-Russia dispute, and one, the Historical Security Council, taking the role of ambassadors in 1990, shortly before a world crisis broke when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Some participating schools may bring current exchange students who will be representing their actual countries, which will add to the realism of the debates, according to ASU Model UN conference director Basia Combs, a graduate MPA student from Jonesboro.

The meetings will be open to the public, with the three Security Councils and the International Court of Justice all slated to meet on the 4th floor of Wilson Hall. Several high school students will also act as the international press, covering the deliberations and publishing a newsletter, under the guidance of ASU journalism students. After the Friday evening sessions, the councils and the court will resume their deliberations on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

Dr. Charles Hartwig, Political Science, is the faculty advisor for the ASU Model UN organization. Contact him via e-mail at, call him at (870) 972-3690, or see the ASU Model UN site at           



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