March 26, 2021 – For the 7th straight year, WYA North America hosted a Model UN for the young women of the WYA Cathedral High School Club. This year was unique, though, as the event was held online due to Covid-19. The topic of the Model UN was the 2021 Commission on the Status of Women, which focused on “women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
The Model UN negotiations, held on March 26, were the culmination of a 4-part series led by WYA North America Regional Director Siobhan Heekin-Canedy with the assistance of club moderators Anne Andersson and Jim Philipps. The first session served as an introduction to the World Youth Alliance’s advocacy work, the UN system, and the Model UN experience. Each participant was assigned a country to research and represent, and during the second and third sessions, they presented the results of their research to their fellow club members. The final session, which coincided with the last day of the Commission on the Status of Women, consisted of negotiations on a sample “zero draft” of the CSW outcome document. Each participant was tasked with representing her assigned country’s views on important issues such as reproductive health, the family, HIV/AIDS, and more. Through this experience, participants gained a deeper understanding of the most controversial issues at the UN and the difficulty of reaching consensus. We’re looking forward to once again conducting this event in person in the coming years!