The Quaker Model United Nations Conference, hosted by Moorestown Friends School, has brought together students from seven Quaker Schools from across the world to participate in Model UN debates that incorporate both the Quaker Testimonies and traditional model UN procedures.
This year, QUNO NY had the opportunity to present the keynote address during the opening ceremony of the conference. Megan Schmidt, QUNO’s Quaker UN Representative for the Peacebuilding Program, spoke to over 100 students about the nearly 75 year relationship between QUNO and the United Nations through which QUNO has worked with generations of diplomats to prioritize peace and prevent war.
In keeping with the Conference’s focus on building unity and community at the international level, Ms. Schmidt highlighted the ways that QUNO roots its quiet diplomacy work in Quaker faith and practice and strives to promote the prevention of violent conflict and build peace. She noted that part of the way QUNO carries out its work is by reaching across divides through convening transformative spaces for discernment and dialogue grounded in the lived experiences of those affected by conflict. Ms. Schmidt concluded by offering reflections on how, in the face of growing fissures in our global community, “the Quaker testimonies are so crucially relevant now in how we all individually live our lives and how we seek to support others to build community,” and celebrated the hope that comes with a room full of young people dedicated to peace and justice.
QUNO appreciates the opportunity to engage with the next generation working for peace and looks forward to similar engagements in the future.