, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 3, 2014

Model UN team launches fundraiser for NYC trip


“The idea of it is to teach kids to be globally responsible,” LaChapelle said. “They can learn international relations, they can learn research techniques...techniques in negotiation and compromise. Basically it’s designed to help them be more globally educated, more globally aware.”

Seniors Christian Cyr and Conner Reynolds will represent Brazil before the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, which will discuss drug trafficking. Brazil is the world’s second-largest importer of cocaine, Cyr said, so they’ll try to create a multilateral drug task force with neighbors Bolivia, Columbia and Peru, whose borders are popular targets for smugglers. The primarily-Brazilian force would then hunt traffickers in other countries.

But it’s more difficult than a handshake.

“Of course, because it’s Brazilian soldiers in those countries, that could break sovereignty, so you have to get agreements from them,” Cyr said. “And when you’re trying to get more than one country on a task force, they don’t always want to fund it.”

Cyr’s plan is to lobby the United States for grant funds and technology to stop the organized trade, then set aside domestic funds to rehabilitate addicts and cut off demand.

With 12 years of experience since LaChapelle was hired to create the team, Newburyport’s Model UN is considered quite skilled in the region. At their usual Maine conference, they’ve won Best Delegation for several years running, as well as numerous individual awards for diplomacy and public speaking.

“The club is very well established, we’re a very accomplished group,” he said. “This is a chance for our kids to showcase their skill on a greater scale.”

That greater scale is reflected in their country assignment: while NHS is often assigned large, influential countries like China, Russia and the United Kingdom, in the New York, those important roles will go to schools with a history of high performance at the conference.

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