The Model U.N. Program: Teaching Unreality


The Model U.N. Program: Teaching Unreality

August 11, 1983 22 min read Download Report

Authors: Melanie L. and Thomas Merkle

(Archived document, may contain errors)

282 August 11, 1983 THE MODEL U. N. PROGRAM: TEACHING UNREALITY I INTRODUCTION As high school and college students return to class this fall another cycle of Model United Nations conferences will be starting.

The mock United Nations has become a very popular event, involving over 50,000 students yearly in over 2,000 U.S. schools. At these schools, the Model U.N. program introduces young Americans to the U.N one of the world's most important multinational bodi es.

Yet there is considerable evidence that the young participants in the program are not being taught the full truth about the U.N its role in the world, or its impact on the United States. Instead students are being led to believe that the structure, pr actices and issues of the U.N. accurately reflect global reality. The students are not being taught that on many key issues the U.N distorts reality and even exacerbates tensions. The fact that many U.S. public schools are not presenting a balanced pictur e of the U.N. is very serious It raises questions about how carefully parents andbschool officials monitor what takes place in their schools' Model U.N projects There is shocking unreality in the U.N. roles faithfully acted out by the students playing dele g ates from the United States the USSR, Great Britain, East Germany, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and the whole cast of 158 U.N. member states. As they re-create the debates and speeches of the U.N. General Assembly, the special political committee sessions, and t h e forums of specialized agen cies like UNESCO, the students are led to believe that the East-West conflict and the battle between the values of the free world and those of communist world somehow have abated and are now replaced with the North-South Dialo g ue The students find themselves in the frustrating world of the U.N.Is one-nation, one-vote protocol, where the free nations of the West (which pay over 65 percent of the total U.N. budget) are constantly vilified by the undemocratic 2 governments of tiny nations whose only claim to notoriety is often their radicalism and their U.N. membership.

The students find themselves accepting uncritically the U.N.'s through the looking glassi1 distortion of language and the applica tion of the U.N.'s double standard . Young Americans, for instance are being gently persuaded by their'Mode1 U.N. that Israel and South Africa are pariahs, that Israel is just about the sole cause of Middle East tensions, that free enterprise is the cause of poverty in developing countries , and that !!The New International Economic Order" (NIEO) is the only acceptable strategy of economic development. NIEO, in fact, is the core ideology of the U.N today, calling for a mandatory transfer of goods, technology resources and knowledge from the i ndustrial to the developing nations A close look at the Model U.N. program, as it is played in thousands of American schools every year, reveals that the NIEO is its hidden agenda. That school boards and parents want this to be taught by the Model U.N. is questionable. What is needed, it would seem is increased parent, community and teacher atten tion to the actual content and message of the Model U.N THE UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION AND THE MODEL U.N.

By far the most important promoter of the Model United Nations simulations is an organization known as the United Nations Associ ation of the U.S.A divisions nation wide with 24,000 members. In'addition, UNA works with 130 other national organizations. It carries out its Model U.N. and Youth Program through 115 Model U.N. conferences nation wide. UNA is also the official coordinating body for the National U.N. Day program, including celebrations arranged with governors and mayors in 1,200 American communit ies ials with the National Education Association (NEA Also linked to the UNA are educational service organizations with a combined membership of almost 2.4 million.

Federation of Teachers (AFT the National Council for Social Studies, the National Association of Elementary School Principals the National Association of High School Principals, the National School Boards Association and Global Perspectives in Education.

According to Gail Reiss, program director of UNA'S Model U.N. and Youth Department the UNA works through a variety of lkivil national and religious organizations1' to deliver the Model U.N. program to students, teachers and community organizations through out the U.S. Association and writes the W.N. Supplementt1 for its annual "Great Decisionst t manual on foreign policy designed for social studies teachers The UNA has a network of 250 chapters and The UNA works closely with and co-publishes Model U.N. mater They include the American Reiss herself works closely with the Foreign Policy Reiss point ed out to The Heritage Foundation that UNA does not tfsponsorlf any of the Model U.N. conferences. TJNA rather sees 3 its function as a resource bank, training center and internship program for refining and nurturing the Model U.N. Conference.

This it does quite well.

U.N. programs nation wide, including the National High School and College Model U.N.s in New York and the large .annual Harvard University Model U.N., found that about 72 percent use the UNA Model U.N. Survival Kit1' and/or other UNA curricul um and research materials. Almost 25 percent of these Model U.N.s are run by those closely linked to UNA'S Model U.N. and Youth Department A Heritage.Foundation survey of 25 Model UNA tends to have a strong influence on the American Model U.N. educational event through two avenues: its research mater ials, publications on Model U.N. teaching and its UNA backgrounders on U.N. issues; and its intern.and Model U.N. training program which tends to produce the student managers who run the bigger Model U.N. nati o nal competitions. UNA really has no rival as a Model U.N. consultant. What is most serious is that no consultant to the Model projects balances UNA by approaching the U.N. from a skeptical or analytically critical perspective It is the drama of the Model U .N the careful acting out of actual U.N. working session protocol, complete, in some cases with native costumes like Arabic headdresses and Cuban battle fatigues, that makes the Model U.N. fun for students. UNA has filled a vacuum by helping schools drama tize the U.N. version of international diplomacy in as much detail as a Model U.N. group cares to undertake.

UNA hosts an annual Secretariat Seminar" at its New York City headquarters at the end of the school year in late May seminar invites the student Se cretaries General of Model U.N conferences and their advisors from all over the U.S. for a two-day training session on how to run Model U.N. simulations. This year's seminar featured a day of meetings at the United Nations itself where U.N. officials from the International Labor Organization the U.N. Human Rights Commission and other agencies addressed the group. The discussion centered on simulating U.N. specialized agencies like the International Labor Organization, UNESCO, and the World Health Organizat i on, in addition to the usual Model U.N staging of mock General Assemblies and Security Councils. At tendees included about 40 high school and college students and teachers as well as some representatives of state departments of education. Jordan Horvath, c oordinator of the UNA Model U.N. and Youth Department, notes that the seminar usually draws about 50 participants The The Heritage Foundation was invited to attend this year's Secretariat Semi nar by UNA'S Gail Reiss, but one week later the invitation was abruptly withdrawn. 4 THE UNA MODEL U.N. CURRICULUM: THE NIEO There is a core curriculum for the Model U.N. simulation though it is not well advertised It is'the same l'curriculuml used at the U.N. itself--the New International Economic Order NIEO is base d on the thesis that the capitalist nations of the world are continuing the colonial policies of the 19th century through the free market economy and through transnational corpora- tions and thus are lfexploitingl' the poor nations. The NIEO llsolu tion" t o this l1exploitationl1 is the massive redistribution of wealth from the developed nations to the Third World istration of this wealth transfer is meant to take place through the U.N. specialized agencies The admin NIEO is the central theme of many of UNA' S Model U.N. research materials. For instance, the UNA booklet, The Global Economic Challenqe, suggests the creation of a "soft loanll pool to oil importing Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs). It states that With regard to U.S. and other donor country contr i - butions to international development institutions we recommend that donors do not impose conditions on their contributions as to the country or the purpose to which such funds are applied.2 The booklet also calls for Ilcreation of some new form of credi t instrument1' for loans to LDCs with !'limited credit risk and longer maturities.Il The high school pupils reading the UNA booklet are told that the develop.ed nations have a l1responsibilityl1 to Ifdistribute equitably gains from trade--both between coun t ries foreign aid) and within countries (welfare payments). The booklet fails to mention that these proposals are very controversial and could lead to a planned, semi-socialist global economy outlined in the NIEO. This global economic planning would be pai d for by U.S. and Western tax dollars but administered by U.N. managers.

Another UNA booklet for Model U.N. programs strongly recom mends that technology be given to Third World Nations lication, The Growth of the U.S. and World Economies Throuqh Tech nolo gical Innovation and Transfers, strongly implies that the U.S should adopt a U.N. Code of Conduct for Transnationals including lldisembodied!l technology transfer to LDCs without a corresponding allowance for private investment by Western business firms. W hile the booklet mentions that only certain Third World llpowerhouses,ll such as Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, have moved into the technological age, there is no attempt to explain that the free market economic p olicies'of these countries--the absolute antithesis to the NIEO--is what has made them economically successful This pub Robert

0. Anderson, The Global Economic Challenge, Vol. I (New York: UNA USA, 1978 page v 5 There is no analysis of the internal proble ms that many devel oping countries create for themselves--such as the socialist and price control policies of a Tanzania these are the real causes of underdevelopment. The UNA booklet does not tell its student readers that many specialists on economic dev e lopment fear that NIEO policies could strangle growth and thus sentence a developing country to remain permanently underdeveloped According to many experts THE BIAS IN THE UNA MODEL U.N. CURRICULUM IITeaching About the United Nations,11 a UNA manual for M odel U.N. teachers and students, illustrates some of the worst bias and blindspots in UNA'S (and NEA's) Model U.N. editoriil policy.

By highlighting the artificial llNorth-South Dialogue,11 while largely disregarding the East-West conflict in this booklet and other Model U.N. materials, UNA does students the disservice of covering up one of the major geopolitical realities of the age.

Faithfully described, however, is the U.N.'s concentration on two issues, which are raised in virtually every U.N. forum fr om the General Assembly to UNESCO: Israel and South Africa. UNA'S Model U.N. research materials encourage support for the U.N.'s continual condemnation of these two countries. In today's U.N the Soviet bloc nations and their allies in the Group of 77, the Third World voting bloc now consisting of over 120 nations, con sistently censure the policies of Israel while promoting the policies of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Though widely recognized as a terrorist group, the PLO is never criti ciz e d at the U.N. for its terrorist tactics. In addition, PLO indebtedness to the Soviet Union for arms and training is openly admitted by PLO leaders themselves. But the use of the PLO as a surrogate subversive force by the Soviet Union to destabilize Israel and the Middle East is never mentioned at the U.N. Nor is it mentioned by UNA in its Model U.N. publications for students and teachers Middle East The UNA "Guide to Delegate Preparation, II designed for briefing Model U.N. students and their teacher advis ors, treats "the U.N and the Arab-Israeli conflict11 in an explicitly one-sided manner.

Though this may mirror what goes on at the U.N it is not an honest guide if it ignores what really has happened in the Middle East. Examples an accusing finger at Israe l for llinvadingll or l1attackingi1 its Arab neighbors. Only once does the UNA handbook mention PLO attacks on Israel The UNA'S five-page summary of the conflict repeatedly points The summary is silent about the well-documented PLO record of terrorism.

PL O has conducted against Israel, which not only has included attacks on civilian settlements, but also on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics Nothing is said about the unrelenting war that the 6 The words llPLO1l and llPalestinianll are used interchangea bly.

This falsely conveys to American students the impression that the PLO is justified when it claims to be the sole representative of the Palestinian people. The UNA summary presents only the possi bility of PLO leadership of the Palestinians. No moderat e Palestinian leadership is mentioned When the summary addresses the infamous General Assembly resolution of 1974 that equates Zionism with racism, the UNA authors sanitize it by describing it as a "face-saving device for the Arab nations The summary almo s t entirely ignores the central issue of the Middle East conflict--the challenge to Israel's right to exist as a sovereign state. Rather, the image of Israel presented by UNA is that of an irritant in the Middle East, supported (for unexplained reasons) by the United States. Nearly all of the sum mary's attention focuses on Palestinian rights--a legitimate issue but not to the exclusion of Israel's right to exist as a state The summary faithfully reports a U.N. commission's charges that Israel shows a I'dis r egard for basic human rights but fails to point out the lack of balance of the commission The summary describes ilIsrael's lack of cooperation with UNIFIL'I--a U.N. force based in Lebanon. Nothing is said about UNIFIL's almost total failure to prevent PLO attacks on Israeli towns The summary is strangely silent about the U.N. allowing refugee camps to be used by the PLO to train terrorists and stock- pile arms The summary, without a balancing qualifier, tells of the U.N. Human Rights Commission's charges t hat Israel is guilty of war crimes.

With such a one-sided presentation of the facts.of Middle East events, the UNA surely cannot expect American students and teachers to understand the crisis in that region. On the matter of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the UNA'S "Guide to Delegate Prep arati on" miseducates those participating in the Model U.N. pro gram It similarly miseducates on other key issues.

Southern Africa Here the UNA Guide faithfully lists all of the U.N. anti apartheid and anti-South Africa resolutions It makes no mention, however, of such critical strategic considerations as the 25,000 Cuban combat troops occupying Angola the training of Angolan police by East Germans; or the training of Angolan troops by Soviet advisors. 7 Marxist guerrilla groups, including the African National C o Ggress ANC the Pan African Congress (PAC--actually a Maoist group) and the South West Africa People's Organization SWAPO Both ANC and SWAPO have strong ideological and military ties to Moscow There is no mention here of the extensive U.N. fundina of produ c ed by the Foreign Policy Association, there is a section on population growth under the chapter called "Africa's Economic Squeeze: Poverty, Hunger and Refugees.I1 Reiss's interpretation of what population growth does to the African standard of living is i d entical to the United Nations view. She says rapid population growth in Africa has "generated imbalances such as growing deficit in food production, shortages in trained people in production and service areas, and rising import costs for energy and food l e ading to a serious balance of payments deficit.Il5 Simon of the University of Illinois, a specialist in population disagrees. He argues that population density has a positive ef fect on the rate of economic growth. He finds that population growth in Lesse r Developed Countries is, in fact, an attractive llinvestmentll compared to other social investments.6 Reiss makes no mention of this controversy over the real meaning of population growth. She only parrots the U.N. use of population growth sta tistics as an excuse for introducing NIEO global wealth transfers Economist Julian The Great Decisions series and the UNA annual U.N. Supplement to it are nonetheless highly recommended to Model U.N. actors by UNA.

Food UNA collaborates with Newsweek magazine in producing Model U.N. resource materials for the classroom. Newsweek helped finance the UNA IIModel U.N. Survival Kit in 1982 and 19

83. In turn, UNA promotes the free Newsweek social studies materials among teachers.

The NIEO bias of this material is obvious in lesson plans like its January 1982 llMap-of-the-Monthll mimeograph entitled North vs. South: The Have and Have Not Nations." The lesson asserts, under the heading of llFood,ll that Approximately 1 billion people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutri tion, yet world food production has barely kept pace with population growth.

This is typical NIEO distortion of the true world food situ ation. Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins, in World'Hunger Ten Myths, show that right now the earth is producing mo re than enough food to nourish every person on the globe as well as those within the very countries most people associate with hunger and starvation.7 It long has been recognized that there are causes for hunger other than population growth, such as misma nagement of natural resources and food stocks and economic policies that dis courage farmers from producing more than their own food needs.

The Model U.N. source materials should reflect the disagreements on this matter 5 "Great Decisions '83: U.N. Supplement New York: UNA/USA, 1983 p. 14.

Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 198l), pp. 278 and 285.

Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins, World Hunger, Ten Myths, Institute for Food and Development Policy, May 1979, pp. 7-8 9 Disarmament UNA also recommends a new NEA teacher's guide called llChoices A Unit on Conflict and Nuclear War1' as a Model U.N. resource Choicesi1 focuses students' attention on the horrors of nuclear war and the notion of deterrence d efense to check the Soviet buildup is almost ignored; it is sug gested that this is too expensive. Therefore, the favored llchoicesll offered the student by this booklet emphasize nuclear weapons negotiations It is strongly implied that the Soviets want d i sarmament and peace very badly, and indeed have no other llchoice.if Completely omitted is the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the use of Cuban proxies in Africa and the Soviet buildup in Central America. The fact that the USSR is expanding its nuclear and con ventional arsenal is a choice not recognized in lfChoices.ll material on this critical question leaves out a number of con trasting I1choices1' faced by those concerned about their nation's security, such as the choice to discourage an enemy through a superior defense force The need for an adequate U.S.

UNA U.N. Peacekeeping UNA calls U.N. Peacekeeping operations l1the most controver sial, the most highly publicized, many respects the most constructive and successful of its peace and security ac tivities.'I8 In an attempt to substantiate this, UNA offers a woefully inade quate summary of why U.N. peacekeeping activities are so contro- versial and actually ineffective. For example, in recounting for students the history of the United Nations Inter i m Force in Lebanon UNIFIL UNA never alludes to UNIFIL problems such as its inabil ity to control PLO attacks and even its collaboration with the PLO to supply intelligence and explosives to PLO guerrillas.g Nor does UNA provide overall analysis of U.N. pe acekeeping efforts such as the fact that the U.N. has failed to prevent the outbreak of some 93 armed conflicts occurring between 1945 and 19

77. This is despite an expenditure of at least 3 billion 1 billion con tributed by the United States) of U.N. fund s on peacekeeping since the U.N. founding.1 Human Riqhts Another U.N. research leaflet recommended for Model U.N. stu dents is entitled The U.N. and International Human Rights Instru ments." This four-page summary gives flattering portraits of such U.N. d ocuments as !'The Universal Declaration of Human Rights" of 1948, of which. it says ti "Guide to Delegate Preparation New York: United Nations Association 1982-83 edition p. 10.

Roger A. Brooks U.N. Peacekeeping: An Empty' Mandate Heritage Founda tion Back grounder #262, April 20, 1983, pp. 14-15 lo Ibid pp. 1-2 10 Experts consider it an authoritative interpretation of the human rights provisions of the U.N. Charter, as well as of customary international law. In this respect, it has attained a degree of leg a l importance.ll UNA does not say, however, that the U.N. record on human rights ,has been widely criticized for its double standard. Stu dents are not told that the U.N. ignores human rights violations against the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and r eligion in the USSR, Cuba, Mainland China, the Eastern bloc, Vietnam, and other communist-run countries.12 THE MODEL U.N. GAME IN ACTION The Heritage Foundation attended several "mock United Nations" organized for high school and college students.

Backqrou nd Model U.N. simulations have become something like the world of school sports competition over the last 35 years. There are local, regional and national meetings. A high school or college with thetfunds for travel, which gives academic credit to student players, may send students to attend several Model U.N. events during the school year. Usually any school can participate in any Model U.N. event if it submits an application.

The real competition lies in getting desired country assign- ments. The best roles to play are the USA, USSR and other major countries. These assignments go to the schools with a good Model U.N. track record. Awards are given to the best schools at each e v ent, while top individual performers become Secretaries General and committee chairmen at future conferences. The main criterion for excellence--for schools and for individual students at Model U.N. conferences--is the ability to portray countries and U.N pro tocol as faithfully as possible.

This places the student within the severe limitations of the United Nations itself. Though this leads to frustration, teachers generally assume it is for the best and that the student is learn ing about the real world of international diplomacy. The problem is that the U.N with its tedious, grinding sessions couched in NIEO rhetoric, does not mirror the real world. The NIEO world view, expressed always at the U.N. as the North-South Dialogue does not give the American s tudent an accurate picture of today's geopolitics. The Model U.N. simulation would seem, rather, to lock the student into the NIEO liberal Western Ifguilt complex l1 "The U.N. and International Human Rights Instruments New York: United l2 Nations Associat ion, November 1978 p. 2.

Thomas G. Gulick, "For UNESCO: A Failing Grade in Education," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder #221, October 21, 1982, p. 15. 11 To wit: the U.S. and the Western nations are wealthy because they have Ilexploited'l the natural resou rces of the Third World. There fore, the West must expiate its guilt by giving more foreign aid with no strings attached.

No other view of why the Third World is poor or why the West is economically successful is offered to the Model U.N. student.

All he or she gets is an implicit condemnation of the free market system and the idea that the global socialism of the NIEO will rescue the Third World from poverty.

Model U.N. Conferences This May, Heritage attended the U.S. High School Model' United Nations c onference, held at the New York Hilton. Participating were 1,700 students from 150 schools. All the hotel conference rooms and ballrooms were abuzz with over twenty U.N. simulations ranging from the General Assembly to the Commission on Transnational Corp orations, from the U.N. High Commissionfor Refugees to regional meetings of NATO and the League of Arab States.

The debate and caliber of students were honor roll level and above eight such National High School tournaments reeled off the parliamentary proc edure with a blasC air and re minded the high schoolers of their 1 a.m. curfew. He is nowadays a lawyer, still in his twenties, who likes these Model U.N. meet ings and keeps coming back for more Up to a third of the parti cipants are returnees. When the Model U.N. high schoolers go to college, many return to act as conference officials and moderators.

The national conference is as much a social event as it is a Model U.N. conference The Director of the General Assembly was a veteran of He wielded the gave l But the U.N. is acted out to the maximum. In the General Assembly, messengers hurry from delegation to delegation. There are endless speeches and caucuses In the press room, students mimeograph copies of delegate resolutions ing book from last year's na t ional model U.N. for the Special Session on the Progress of the New International Economic Order It advises the high school delegates that, on the question of Sovereignty over Natural Resources The crucial issue con cerns the laws and regulations over tra n snational corporations which exploit natural resources in a host country.Il UNA refereflce materials are available for student delegates in the press room On a table is a brief UNA does not run the National High School Model U.N but many of the key offici als are former UNA interns or graduates of the UNA Secretariat Seminar. The Director-General this year was Jordan Horvath, UNA'S Model U.N. coordinator.

The National Model U.N. for college students draws about 1,400 students from 140 colleges and universit ies; it was held this year at the New York City Grand Hyatt Hotel. David Bederman a Princeton student and National Model U.N. veteran, graduate of the UNA Secretariat Seminar, who was this year's Director-General observed that about 50 percent of the stud ent delegates received college credit for their participation.

The National Model U.N. conferences for both high school and college students were addressed by U.N. officials. The faculty at the college conference, for instance, heard an address by a Non-Go vernmental Organization (NGO) representative to the U.N. on the subject of Namibia. He was almost as critical of the U.S and U.S. corporations as he was of South Africa. At the high school meetings, officials from the ILO, UNESCO and WHO talked with facul ty members.

The biggest high school Model U.N. conferences are in New York in May, at Georgetown University in February and at Harvard University in December. The biggest college events are the Model U.N. of the Far West in April, the Harvard meeting in Fe bruary and the national meeting in late spring.

Many Model U.N. faculty advisors remark that it is difficult for delegates to play the role of the United States. According to Dr. Richard Brynildsen, advisor to the Wisconsin-Minnesota Regional Model U.N Th e students representing countries with opposing views [to the U.S.] adapt extremely well. The role of the U.S. is more difficult, since the Third World and the East Bloc tend to play an aggressive role. The U.S. is on the defen sive." Christine Allen of t h e Oregon High School International Relations League agrees: "The most difficult country to represent is the U.S. It's hard to be the center of all attacks.1r At the Cleveland World Affairs Council Model U.N the U.S. is usually poorly represented, accordin g to youth director Maria Campbell, who added that most interest is in countries like Poland, Argen tina and the Central American nations.

Model U.N.s and the NIEO There is considerable pro-NIEO sentiment at the Model U.N.S At the Philadelphia World Affair s Council Model U.N. this May keynote speaker Leon Gordeneker of Princeton's Center for Inter national Studies told students and teachers that the NIEO is economic development to provide for the right to have a decent living He did not discuss the sociali s t underpinnings of NIEO and its plan to extract the "decent living1' from free world tax payers. Nor did he discuss the role of corrupt or irresponsible Third World governments in keeping Third World nations poor In Allendale, Michigan, student Scott Grah a m, President of the General Assembly in the recent Grand Valley Model U.N told Heritage he endorsed the NIEO The NIEO is a good thing. Where economic inequality exists so do the increased chances of war." He added that "High school students sympathize wit h the Third World. Their views haven't been implanted deep enough for them to be pro-U.S.

They are more open to other views.II Oregon advisor Christine Allen said: "These kids feel there needs to be a redistribution, for example, of [global] wealth and technology. 13 The reaction of teachers at the Philadelphia World Affairs Model U.N. to the M odel U.N. teaching device is probably typical of teacher advisors nation wide. They agreed that the main pur pose of the Model U.N. is to educate students concerning current events and diplomacy. The trouble is that the U.N. sees "current events" through i ts NIEO filter. As for learning the "rudiments of diplomacy,Il the U.N. is a better laboratory for study of power bloc voting and socialist propaganda tactics than for study of It diplomacy. I The composite picture obtained from more than two dozen Model U.N.s is that the project tends to cast the U.S. as a capitalist villain and the West in general as the exploiter of the Third World.

Nationalism, the free market and defense spending are generally associated with exploitation and imperialism at the Model U.N.S.

Support for the New International Economic Order and global economic development administered by the U.N. and its agencies is the.implicit theme of most Model U.N.S. These are offered to the Model U.N. student as probably Ifthe only wayt1 of solvin g Third World underdevelopment and the world economic crisis very nature of today's U.N. and the Model U.N. policy of replicat ing the real United Nations as closely as possible naturally lead the student to see the NIEO and the United Nations administrat i on of a NIEO global welfare state as the.only solutions to securing peace and ending warfare among the nations The This is a distorted view of international economics and Third World development It does not show that the West is already generous with its loans and foreign aid credits. It does not acknowledge the important role of private investment. And it fails to tell students that individual liberty is usually repressed in those countries advocating NIEO.

CONCLUSION Today's Model United Nations program in the U.S. is uncritical of the United Nations and biased in favor of the NIEO because of the strong influence of UNA NEA and their affiliates. A balanced program in international affairs for U.S. high school and college students is urgently needed.

A he althy alternative to the Model U.N. program that could provide high school and college students with a realistic picture of today's geopolitics would be to conduct a Itmock East-West Summit Students could act out the actual diplomatic battle of the U.S. a n d its Western allies versus the Soviet Union and its Eastern bloc satellites. Third World coun tries would be either participants or observers. Pro-Western national liberation movements would be represented as well as Marxist-oriented groups and they coul d debate each other. Multi ple meetings could be held under the Summit Meeting banner on subjects as diverse as defense, education, human rights, global ecology, use of space, natural resources and trade and foreign policy.


Melanie L.

Thomas Merkle