At St. John’s Prep: A Review of the Recent Conference

Mrs. Forsgard captured Model UN smiles after a successful conference.

Mrs. Forsgard captured Model UN smiles after a successful conference.

On Saturday the 10th of December, Montrose made her presence known at the 4th Model United Nations Conference of the year, hosted by St. John’s Prep of Danvers, Massachusetts. There was a wide spectrum of committees on which Montrose girls contributed discussion and resolutions, such as the World Food Programme of the UN and the School of Athens on Forming a Nation-State.

As the program commenced, opening addresses from the hierarchy of the St John’s Prep Model UN team and the Head of School were given, giving background, purpose, and inspiration to the conference as well as introducing the guest speaker of the morning, Abid Amiri, from the Afghanistan government before the Taliban conquered the area. He spoke about the help that was provided to Afghanistan after America’s fight to find and dismantle the aggressors from 9/11.

The main points of the argument were that the money that was spent was not spent on what the Afghans wanted it to be spent on, but what the donors chose for their money to go towards. He also believed that the money was well-monitored on where it went and how and to whom it was going. Mr. Amiri most strongly stated that after almost 20 years of millions of dollars being spent and the US’s withdrawal from the country, a government like the Taliban could gain power.

Following the presentation, delegates were to separate themselves into their committees. In the World Food Programme room, the conference opened with all the delegates circling about the room speaking on their assigned country’s position and views on the subject of the food crisis caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine. The main foods that decreased in their production in Ukraine were wheat and sunflower seed oil, but the majority of food production in the country has greatly decreased by a lack of manpower and loss of Russian-occupied land. An additional factor that affects the impact of the remaining Ukrainian commodities in many ports on the Black Sea is in Russian hands, for instance, the Mariupol ports.

Concluding a few debates surrounding the greater topic, resolutions directed at solving the problem were drafted, to be followed by further debate to address any hitches in the design, then creating the results. The resolutions proposed to a) provide immediate food and monetary aid to Ukraine in their time of need; b) sanction all Russian oil exports; and c) for Russia to release the Black Sea Ports of Ukraine, and in return, have food sanctions on the country’s products to be alleviated.  Both directives a and c were passed, having supporting countries provide aid to Ukraine while also relieving some of the pressure Russia has put on Ukraine’s ports while loosening sanctions on Russian food. These both assist in ending the food shortages by releasing Russia’s surplus food into the global economy and providing food to civilians and soldiers in Ukraine.

Regarding the positions presented at the conference, they varied greatly surrounding the Ukraine food crisis.  Countries with policies and views assimilating those of many Western countries who pledge support to Ukraine think the crisis was created at the hands of the Russians and can be solved by loosening the tensions in Ukraine and returning its farmlands and giving the opportunity for the farmers to go back home and tend to their lands. Controversially, countries like Russia and Syria believe that the West and all countries who fund Ukraine’s defensive efforts are at the root of the problem by instigating more fighting, struggles, and deaths from the side of the war that, in their opinion, does not deserve to prevail.

All who attended the conference view it as an enriching experience and a great opportunity to meet others and push themselves to be better. Carolina Florez ‘26 said: “Model UN at St. John’s Prep was so informative, and it was a great conference to go to as a beginner,” and many similar things were stated by others, including Ava Russo’s ‘23 comment on how “It is always fun to meet students from across the state.” Many others enjoyed the opportunity to push themselves to grow in new areas. “I’ve never been a part of a conference where I acted as a person rather than a country, so it was a unique experience to be speaking on behalf of a former Formula 1 racer.” (Ava Russo ‘23) “It was really interesting to attend a conference with a key position. I felt much more involved and secure in my position, and as though I was able to clearly articulate my ideas.” (Meredith Baker ‘23). This was also commented on by Leslie Baker ‘24: “I was in the Drug Wars committee, and we ended up passing a resolution at the end. I was a leftist drug mafia leader, and we ended up being killed from the resolution. Overall, it was a fun experience, and I definitely got to practice my public speaking skills. I presented a resolution, and even though it was not passed, I would not have spoken in front of all those people before this conference, so I count it as a success!” 

As all of the delegates gathered at the stairwell as the day came to its close, everyone came out with warm and successful feelings inside even though, according to Lily Anderson ‘25: “it was cold!” Many learned more about the world around them, how it works and what actually happens, along with connecting with people state-wide and school wide.


By Elisabeth Smith ’28, Rising Middle School Editor