CHAMPLAIN — At Beekmantown Central School, Steven Cech is a student; at the North Country Model United Nations, he’s a delegate debating the disarming of nuclear-weapons programs.
“I spent, like, a month and a half preparing,” he said of this year’s conference, where he represented the United Kingdom.
The three-day event, which ends today, is hosted at Northeastern Clinton Central School and includes participants from 16 schools in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, as well as Vermont.
“It lets some of the brightest kids in our area come together and talk about things that they would never talk about at their home school,” said Rod Driscoll, adviser to AuSable Valley Central School’s Model U.N. Club, which sent three students to the gathering.
The conference was founded by and is organized by NCCS, with its Model U.N. students choosing and researching the topics to be discussed, moderating the event and preparing study guides for attendees.
Before arriving, visiting students are assigned a country to represent, committee to take part in and topics to debate.
For example, Elisabeth Palmieri, a student at Rice Memorial High School in Burlington, was named to the conference’s Legal Council, where she represented Iceland in a debate on international drug laws.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming, but it’s still a lot of fun,” she said.
Other conference topics include Syrian refugees, space colonization and health standards of Guantanamo Bay Prison. In addition, students in the International Court of Justice were addressing the issue of the United States versus Russia in the matter of Edward Snowden.
The co-secretaries general of the event, seniors Mathew Orr and Justin Trombly, decided to give this year’s gathering something it has not had in the recent past — a theme.
“They wanted it to be centered on this concept of revolution,” said NCCS U.N. Club adviser Jason Borrie.