Hundreds of Chicago Middle and High School Students Debate World Issues at 11th Annual Global Classrooms Model UN Conference

April 26, 2013

CHICAGO — More than 400 middle and high school students from more than 20 Chicago Public Schools are attending the United Nations Association of the USA’s (UNA-USA) Global Classrooms® Chicago Model UN Conference at the Chicago History Museum today. The event features a keynote address from Dr. Joan Prince, Alternate Representative of the United States to the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz. Discussion topics for students include: access to education; sustainable development; migration in Latin America and the Caribbean; and the situation in North Korea.  

“Today these young students begin a journey that will connect them with the United Nations and its work around the world for years to come,” said UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden. “At UNA-USA, we’re calling this next generation of global leaders GenerationUN, and the work the students of Global Classrooms Chicago perform today will prepare them to better confront the world’s most pressing problems.”

The popularity of Model UN simulations in the U.S. has grown steadily at both the high school and middle school levels. However, most simulations are sponsored and conducted by private academic institutions. With the expansion of the Global Classrooms program UNA-USA brings the experience to an increasing number of public schools and their students, engaging more than 25,000 students and teachers annually.

Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third largest public school district, marks its 11th year as a Global Classrooms implementing partner. More than 40 area teachers and facilitators will participate in the event; more than 35 volunteers from The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago will support conference operations.

Watch the Global Classrooms Model UN Documentary “Decorum” at

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Media Contacts:

Joseph Catapano


The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to informing, inspiring, and mobilizing the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years, UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. Learn more about UNA-USA’s programs and initiatives at

About Global Classrooms

The United Nations Association of the USA’s Global Classrooms Model UN is an educational program that engages public middle school and high school students in the United States and abroad in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials. Global Classrooms is the only comprehensive program of study and instruction based on Model UN, the largest Model UN network both inside and outside the United States, and the only Model UN provider focused on underserved populations. Impacting more than 25,000 students and teachers annually, Global Classrooms is implemented as a stand-alone curriculum, co-curricular, and as an after school program. For more information, visit

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit