2019-2020 Student Diplomat / Jr. Model United Nations

NOTE: Registration for the 2020-2021 program will open in September 2020.  Please reach out to Eric Bumbaca, Director of Student Programs, at ebumbaca@wacphila.org or 215-561-4700 ext. 216 to inquire about future programming. 

Welcome to the Student Diplomat / Jr. Model United Nations Program, a five-month journey that introduces over 750 middle school students to international affairs and cultural diplomacy. With an emphasis on developing students’ research, writing, cultural competency, and communication skills,  the program helps meet the growing demand for global affairs curricula in local middle schools.

The program offers students an exciting opportunity to examine global conflicts and trends while working together to create promising solutions to some of the world's greatest challenges. Additionally, it is designed with an emphasis on building cultural competency and diplomatic skills; expanding knowledge of world geography, cultures, and political structures; increasing understanding of how national and international institutions tackle key global issues. The topics for the 2019 - 2020 Jr. Model United Nations Program topics will be 1) Combating Climate Change and 2) Aiding Refugees and Displaced People 

Program goals for students include: (1) gaining a deeper understanding of world geography, history, and cultures; (2) exploring the mission, structure, and function of the United Nations; (3) applying research and critical thinking skills to specific global issues; (4) learning to write, debate, and amend resolutions; (5) understanding the role of diplomacy and deliberation in international affairs; and (6) developing skills in conflict resolution, problem solving, and cross-cultural communication.  In addition to class or club work facilitated by teachers or parents throughout the school year, the Council meets with the middle school students on three separate occasions between January and May, producing three very distinct programs: The Cultural Diplomacy Conference (January), the Preparatory Conference (March), and the Final Conference (May).

Upcoming Programs

Jr. Model UN Final Conference

As diplomats in the Jr. Model United Nations program, students are responsible for conducting official negotiations on behalf of their designated countries and working with fellow delegates to pass resolutions offering creative and viable solutions to their assigned global issues. The Council builds leadership skills and relationships with current and former high school students by offering the roles of Committee Co-Chairs and Secretary General to our high school students, as well as to college students and Council alumni. Council staff works closely with the Jr. Model United Nations leadership team to prepare them to confidently assume their responsibilities. By using high school and college students to serve in these very visible leadership positions, the Council provides our middle school students not only with experienced Model United Nations participants but also with exemplary (and accessible) role models. 

Program Sponsors

We would like to recognize the Middle East Center at The University of Pennsylvania and The South Asia Center at The University of Pennsylvania for their sponsorship of the 2019-2020 Student Diplomat / Jr. Model UN Program. 

Completed Programs

Jr. Model UN Preparatory Conference

Over the course of two days, the Council meets with all 750+ students to conduct an intensive four-hour prep session that includes an introduction to the United Nations, writing and amending resolutions, and a substantive topic briefing by an expert. Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) hosts both the Council’s Jr. Model UN Prep Conference, as well as the final conference.

Cultural Diplomacy Conference

Produced in partnership with the Penn Museum, 750+ students explore the importance of cross-cultural understanding and diplomacy through collaborative presentations conducted by the Council and the Museum. The program also includes small group guided tours of the galleries.

Middle School Welcome Back Reception

The 2019 Welcome Back Reception invites faculty and administrators from our partner middle schools to attend a special podium event featuring Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. Faculty are invited to a special welcome reception where World Affairs Council staff will introduce topics for this year's programming and preview the program schedule for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Program Testimonials

  • The program forced my students to think beyond their own small worlds in having to analyze the perspectives of others. Debating also forced them to question their own views. My group worked on their own to do their research and were so proud of participating in the program.

    Faculty Adviser

    Shawmont Middle School
  • The Jr. Model United Nations Program has been a highlight of my homeschooling experience (which says a lot as I've encountered a lot of excitement and fun over these 25 years and 7 kids!)

    Faculty Adviser

    Sapere Aude Homeschool Group
  • This program allows my students the opportunity to think globally about major problems affecting the world in the 21st century while learning to think as they represent various countries.

    Faculty Adviser

    Waldron Mercy Academy