More than 650 high school students from over 25 schools gathered at Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford Saturday for the 2021 Model United Nations.
It's a two-day event that is a simulated meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in which student teams, each representing a UN member nation, meet and discuss the world's most pressing issues and ways to resolve them.
The topics discussed include the weaponization of artificial intelligence, preparing for the next pandemic, and access to green energy.
The event is hosted by the World Affairs Council of Connecticut.
“The students that are gathered here today are our future global leaders and they’re inheriting a world that is vastly challenged and they are here talking about how we solve some of the world's most pressing issues,” said Megan Torrey, CEO of World Affairs Council of Connecticut. “It’s important to engage them and give them skills to navigate the global landscape."
The program has been around since 1952.
Ria Saxena is attending the conference for the third time and said it gets better every year. She is the student president of this year's Model United Nations Conference.
“When I started MUN, I actually didn’t know much about international world affairs and so I started to learn each year more about the world around me and along with that, just the environment here, meeting delegates from different schools and all -- the people are what make it the best part in my opinion," Saxena said. "So many students are just so enthusiastic about this -- like I see future leaders when I walk into my conference room."