Strengthening the Momentum

Middle School Students at the Model UN Conference in 2014

Middle School Students Tackle
Nuclear Disarmament at
Model UN Conference


Can You Volunteer to Help Lead
a Team of Middle School Delegates?

“Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons on earth.  One can destroy a whole city, potentially killing millions, and jeopardizing the natural environment and lives of future generations through its long-term catastrophic effects…. The United Nations has sought to eliminate such weapons ever since its establishment.”
–From the website of the United Nations Office of Nuclear Disarmament

On Monday, March 2nd, the University of Oklahoma will host the Middle School Model United Nations Conference of the Southwest. In a 1-day conference (9am to 4pm), middle school students will practice skills that will help them through a lifetime — knowledge and skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communications, and an appreciation for the good work of the United Nations.

Attendees will learn how to:

Write a position paper;
Formulate a resolution; 
Master parliamentary procedure; and
Caucus successfully

Vivian Armitage

The conference is being organized by Vivian Armitage, a member of the OKC chapter of the United Nations Association. She will pre-assign each student participant to one of several country teams. Each team will receive a country question sheet and an iPad. With help from team leaders, the students will familiarize themselves with their country’s involvement in the quest for nuclear disarmament.

The presence of nuclear weapons in our world is one of those thorny problems that the global community has struggled with for decades. We don’t expect our Middle School delegates to resolve the challenge of nuclear weapons in their 1-day simulation. Even so, the student delegates will have a chance to review some of the incremental strategies that have been advanced by the UN to achieve the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament.

The United Nations “commends… the constructive
role played by civil society in promoting nuclear
non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.”

For example, the delegates will review the 2011 United Nation General Assembly Resolution, “United Action Towards the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.” The resolution (pdf) advocates a multi-prong approach to the control and elimination of nuclear weapons, including multi-lateral steps to:

Reduce the risk of an accidental or unauthorized launch of nuclear weapons;

Establish additional nuclear-weapon-free zones;

Achieve the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty by all “states” (nations) at the earliest opportunity;

Cut off — throughout the world — the production of fissile (bomb making) material; and

Other actions to disarm the world of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control — which is considered to be “essential to international peace and security.”

To the point of the Model UN conference, the resolution “Commends… the constructive role played by civil society in promoting nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, and encourages all States to promote, in cooperation with civil society, disarmament and non-proliferation education which, inter alia, contributes to raising public awareness… and strengthens the momentum of international efforts to promote nuclear disarmament….”


Volunteers are Needed on March 2nd

Some of our Team Leaders in 2014

Team leaders are needed to help lead discussions within the simulated country delegations. Can you help?

Here’s how Vivian describes the job of the team leader:

“You will be a team leader from 9:30- 11:30. The topic the students will be researching is Nuclear Disarmament. Your group will be required to research your assigned country and its involvement in Nuclear Disarmament. Each group will then be given a country question sheet… and an iPad. Your job is to answer questions and assist them as they familiarize themselves with your country’s involvement.”

At the end of the day students will experience an abbreviated Model UN session and will practice the concepts they learned.

If you can help on Monday, March 2nd, please contact Vivian at


A Tremendously Difficult Challenge

from the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs

Virginia Gamba. Director of the
UN Office for Disarmament Affairs

“The United Nations has sought to eliminate such weapons ever since its establishment. The first resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1946 established a Commission to deal with problems related to the discovery of atomic energy among others. The Commission was to make proposals for, inter alia, the control of atomic energy to the extent necessary to ensure its use only for peaceful purposes. The resolution also decided that the Commission should make proposals for ‘the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.’

“A number of multilateral treaties have since been established with the aim of preventing nuclear proliferation and testing, while promoting progress in nuclear disarmament. These include the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests In The Atmosphere, In Outer Space And Under Water, also known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was signed in 1996 but has yet to enter into force.”

“Global norms for disarmament are vital to the sustainable development, quality of life, and ultimately the survival of this planet.”

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