Model United Nations team competes in Canada
The 1919 Paris Peace Conference floundered as the delegates argued the details behind German reparations for damages caused by World War I. The conciliatory American delegation suggested reducing German reparations to certain countries, prompting the French delegate to agree and then demand those reductions be diverted to France.
Playing the role of the French delegate during a simulation of the Paris peace talks, Cadet Angela Yenca took a hard line, demanding that Germany pay for the human and financial toll – with money and land – the war took on France. Germany started the war and the French believed it should pay for the human and financial toll the war had on France.
Yenca was among a dozen students taking part in a simulation of the 1919 Paris Peace Talks, which resulted in the Versailles Treaty. The simulation was part of the The McGill Model United Nations Assembly held in January in Montreal, Canada. Approximately 100 schools from North and South America and Europe represented 200 countries and non-governmental organizations at the event.
Model U.N.s are organized to simulate the inner workings of the United Nations with teams representing specific countries. Each team member sits in a different committee and represents the country in debates to produce consensus through the drafting of resolutions on topics that range from security to the global environment.
The Citadel’s Model U.N. team represented France in the Paris Peace Conference simulation and the Seychelles Islands in the U.N.-related committees. They recreated the major issues debated in 1919, including German reparations, redrawing of European borders and claiming of German colonies. Each student delegate had to truly represent his/her country's views during the simulation as portrayed in the real 1919 conference.
The Citadel’s 2010 team included political science majors Cadet Kevin Stafford (U.N. Disarmament and Security Committee), Cadet Jessica Maas (U.N. Industrial Development Organization), Cadet James Bradley (World Health Organization), and Yenca.
The Citadel competed against Ivy League schools and federal service academies.
Model United Nations simulations are useful tools to help students apply the academic knowledge and leadership principles learned in the classroom, Cadet Maas said.
“The simulation helped me to understand the hurdles and impediments to international cooperation within organizations like the United Nations.” Bradley said. “The leadership principles that The Citadel has given me helped when discussing my country's interests and negotiating with other delegates to ensure those points were included in draft resolutions.”
Story by Terry M. Mays, Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice and adviser to the Model United Nations team. The team received funding to compete from The Citadel Foundation.