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18 Model UN Delegates Shine at Harvard
Model UN at Harvard

When history teacher Christos Galanopoulos heard Olivia Asnes ’25 announced as the Outstanding Delegate winner at Harvard Model United Nations, he threw his arms up and let out a resounding “YES!!!” All of Boston likely felt his excitement. 

Asnes Writing

Olivia was not alone in her success. All eighteen of the students representing King delivered outstanding performances, which was no surprise to Galanopoulos. He had witnessed their journey and seen their commitment play out over time. 

Since the start of the school year, experienced team members and club leaders spent class time, evenings, and weekends training recruits in negotiation, debate, and simulation techniques. The momentum culminated in Boston during Harvard’s 4-day international relations simulation in late January.

“Usually, I know if one or more of our members will win before awards are announced because I visit different committees and watch them while in action,” Galanopoulos said. “Still, I get very excited. I really get emotional about our accomplishment and let the students know how proud I am.”

Harvard assigned King’s Model UN to represent the country of Nepal. The team debated issues including cyber warfare and cybercrimes, the weaponization of space, space exploration and restrictions, preparation for the next pandemic, the future of globalization, representation of women in government, human rights in the digital space, Uyghur Muslims, and migration and displacement in Latin America. The King delegates participated in lobbying, sponsoring, writing, and passing resolutions. 

This was Olivia’s second in-person conference; she competed with roughly 100 students from around the world, many of whom had the experience of fifteen simulations. She earned one of only six awards granted, that of Outstanding Delegate. She also placed second overall for her representation of Nepal in the General Assembly’s World Trade Organization. 

“There were so many delegates in my committee who had a strong leadership precedence and gave captivating and informative speeches,” said Olivia. “I knew by the end of the conference that I had given it my all and put in my best effort. I formed multiple blocks and merged with other groups whose countries had similar views on the topics and eventually passed our resolution. Yet when awards were announced, I didn’t think I would be among those to receive one. I was definitely shocked when they called Nepal for Outstanding Delegate.”

Olivia debated topics surrounding the global shark finning industry and the commercialization of genetically modified organisms.

“It was truly wonderful to see our students actively and seriously engaged in a highly competitive venue and an intellectually charged and intensive atmosphere,” said Galanopoulos. “They gained invaluable experiences and knowledge of major problems facing humanity and the Earth.” 

Olivia is already strategizing for the next conference.

“From past Model UN conferences, I was able to take what I learned and incorporate it,” she said. She will continue that winning strategy. “I wrote down key parts of other delegates' speeches that were very captivating so that I can use them as a model or reference for conferences in the future.”