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Local students talk about the world with international peers in virtual Model UN

Members of the Disarmament and International Security Council discuss international small arms trades during the Torrey & Triton Virtual Model United Nations Conference.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Country Day School)

Students from La Jolla Country Day School and The Preuss School at UC San Diego discussed news of the world in the inaugural Torrey & Triton Virtual Model United Nations Conference.

The six-hour event April 25 — held online amid restrictions on in-person gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic — invited students from all over the world to talk about global issues. The theme was “Finding Identity and Belonging in a Global Community.”

Model United Nations, or MUN, is a simulation of how the United Nations works. Delegates select UN committees for debate. The Torrey & Triton conference featured nine committees debating matters ranging from the Iranian nuclear issue to marine pollution.

More than 100 delegates from San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Mexico, the Netherlands and Panama participated, according to Jennifer Fogarty of La Jolla Country Day School.

“Since joining the Torrey Model United Nations team in 10th grade, I have truly seen how impactful MUN was on my global awareness and public speaking skills,” said Sofia Besharati, a senior at La Jolla Country Day who was under-secretary general for the event. “I was beyond excited at the prospect of being able to help provide similar experiences to students within my community. After planning for an in-person conference all year, I was disheartened at the fact that the conference as we originally imagined it would not be possible. ... I am so glad that we were able to pivot the conference to its virtual form because it is now more important than ever to remain united and have the ability to come together with fellow community members to discuss global issues.”

La Jolla Country Day School is a private school for students from age 3 through 12th grade. The Preuss School is a charter middle and high school on the UCSD campus for students from low-income families who are striving to become the first in their families to graduate from college.

The Model UN event also raised more than $500 to be donated to Feeding San Diego, Fogarty said. ◆