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Bentley Model United Nations Conference: High School Students Tackle Tough World Issues

June 1, 2005

Waltham, Mass. - While other teenagers were spending the long Memorial Day weekend relaxing, 100 high school students from the Dominican Republic, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts converged on the Bentley College Campus to negotiate peace in the Congo and Sudan, stop nuclear proliferation, prevent the spread of AIDS and reenact the UN role in the Suez Crisis of 1956 - all inthespirit of the 18th Annual Bentley Model United Nations (BMUN) High School Conference May 27-29.

BMUN is an organization of Bentley students interested in international affairs and has been an active and thriving part of the Bentley community and student life since it was established in 1987. Its core mission is the planning and hosting of two annual Model UN conferences, one for middle school and one for high school students.

The conference infuses hands-on, experiential learning in every aspect of the conference during which each student represents a country and participates in a UN body. Each year some 400 conferences are held in over 50 countries, giving educational benefits and personal skills enrichment to over one million student participants over the last four decades.

This year three UN dignitaries participated in the Bentley conference including Jean Bernard Gazarian, Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Training Program for Permanent Missions at the UN Institute for Training and Research; Hamid Abdeljaber, Chief of Middle East Radio Unit and the News and Media Division and Public Information and Liaison Officer with Arab Media at the Office of the Director at UN New York headquarters; and Jose M. da Silva Campino, Political Affairs Officer in the Africa Division of the Department of Political Affairs, UN New York headquarters.

"The combination of high school students eager to learn about the operation of the UN and three experienced UN Secretariat members engaged together in three days of discussion about contemporary UN issues produced a powerful learning experience and generated new hope about the contributions the United Nations can make to our global society" said Donald McNemar, Bentley International Studies Lecturer and faculty advisor for the Bentley Model UN program, along with Assistant Professor of Government Joao Resende-Santos.

McNemar pointed to a surprise emergency session of the UN Security Council called in the middle of Saturday night as a conference highlight for the high school students who were required to deal with an imaginary assassination of the Turkish Cypriot prime minister. After two hours of debate, significant tension between Greece and Cyprus, and instructions from the UN Secretariat members who were advising them, the pajama-clad diplomats passed a resolution supporting peace in the region at 4:30 a.m. - then went back to bed in preparation for another day of UN diplomacy.

High schools attending included: Quabbin Regional High School (Barre, MA); High Mowing School (Wilton, NH); Saugus High School, (Saugus, MA); New View Group (Acton, MA); Alvirne High School (Hudson, NH); Ross School (East Hampton, NY); Snowden International School (Boston, MA); East Lyme High School, (East Lyme, CT); Carol Morgan School (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic).

Bentley offers the country's only undergraduate degree in international studies that requires both a business studies minor and a study abroad experience. The International Studies major combines business instruction with a solid arts and sciences foundation to develop the skills necessary for a successful career in the global economy. International Studies is Bentley's largest degree-granting Bachelor of Arts department, major and minor. Graduates work for multinational enterprises, government, consulting firms and nonprofits, or continue on to study in some of the top graduate programs in the country.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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