Tonawanda News

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March 16, 2013

Decade of diplomacy

Ken East Model UN team wins competition for 10th year in a row

Tonawanda News — They call it a sprint, “a great deal of energy exerted over a short period of time.”

And for the 10th year in a row, that energy has paid off for the Kenmore East High School Model United Nations team.

The team won the honors of best overall delegation for a 10th successive year — and its 11th in the past 12 years — during the Model U.N. competition Tuesday at Knox Hall on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus.

The annual event is sponsored by the International Institute of Buffalo with UB and the international affairs departments of other local colleges and universities. Hundreds of students from 30 schools took part, representing 53 countries to debate issues ranging from “regulating Internet censorship laws” and “gay rights in Uganda” to “intervention in the Syrian conflict” and “North Korea and nuclear weapons.” Ken East represented France this year, although past teams have won as Spain, Portugal and other countries.

History teacher Christopher Knab, co-advisor of the team with teacher Trevor Brown, said the teams receive the resolutions to be debated in February. From there, they must study the issues, research past U.N. actions on them and come up with amendments to improve the resolutions. In addition, they have to do so from the  perspective of their assigned country, and know the protocol for parliamentary procedure at the U.N.

”For that month ... it’s what they do,” Knab said of the students. “They’re nervous, especially these days. ... When they come into the team, they think they have to win. I regret that part. I want them to just love doing it.”

Students from this year’s winning team admitted that there’s pressure to keep the streak going — not from the school’s administration or the team’s advisers, but from themselves.

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