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Hamden Hall Country Day School
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Mock UN Summit: Student Delegates Tackle Global Issues

Eighth-grade students didn’t have to travel to the United Nations to speak on public policy decisions regarding climate and transportation; all they had to do was visit history teacher David Sokoloff’s classroom in the Whitson Building. Once there, they heard and delivered presentations and penned open letters to UN ambassadors to advocate for the adoption of electric vehicles and resolutions to update climate change pledges.

The 2023 Mock UN Summit topic highlighted the global emergency and crisis of the rise of carbon dioxide emissions and its effects on climate and transportation. As country delegates in a special UN Commission, students were tasked with developing a resolution that calls for sustainable transportation initiatives and decisions. The three resolution options included issuing a mandate for full adoption of electric vehicles by 2030 with no personal or commercial use of gasoline powered vehicles allowed, asking countries to agree to the Electric Vehicle Initiative, and encouraging countries to pledge economic support for electric car sales. Each student extensively researched the economic, technological, political, and regional policies of their country to understand the best approach for their call to action.

"Students walked away excited to connect with diplomats around the world and a greater appreciation of how nuanced public policy-making can be," said Mr. Sokoloff. "In addition, they were proud to be given the opportunity to create and advocate for changes that should provide a positive impact upon economies, the climate and countries around the world."

For the class presentation, each student delivered an opening statement about the current status of electric vehicles in their country and the role in greenhouse emissions before providing their resolution on what their country would do and why. The floor then opened for a full-class discussion on what countries can do to improve transportation and how to implement infrastructure to support electrification. Students noted that each country has different factors to consider such as citizen employment and income along with government support.

Following the mock summit, the students and Mr. Sokloff took a trip to the post office to mail out the letters.
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