Imagine being given the most precious metal that ever existed and being told that you have less than 3 days to write, negotiate, and vote with over 100 other delegations to prevent losing this metal. Now, imagine that metal being the Earth. That is exactly how my delegation partner, Catherine Costagliola, and I felt when we arrived at the 2019 National Model United Nations conference in New York City (NMUN NY). We were tasked with addressing marine plastic litter and micro-plastics, and their impacts on the Earth. I think it’s safe to say that it was a stressful, yet exciting, few days.

I was amazed at the determination everyone had while working on this topic. My delegation partner and I were assigned to represent the Federal Republic of Nigeria. During the process of research and position paper writing, it was comforting to discover that Nigeria is dedicated to finding solutions to fight plastic pollution. Both my delegation partner and I are passionate about environmental sustainability and cleanup, so this fact was a major motivator in this conference.

On top of being able to have a platform to discuss environmental cleanup solutions within committee, I was also given the honor and privilege to speak in the United Nations General Assembly Hall on youth perspectives on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I spoke on SDG 4:  Ensuring quality education. Being able to speak in such a prestigious space was definitely a highlight of my time at NMUN NY. To watch my speech, click here.

Although the days were long, my second Model UN conference turned out to be challenging and rewarding. I am so glad I had the opportunity to participate at NMUN NY!​

– Kannon West ’20