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New Canaan High Students Think Global at Model UN

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – As you might imagine, it’s a challenge for New Canaan High School sophomore Annie Ludtke to represent a country to which she’s never been.

Yet, she was Thursday, taking up the cause as a delegate for Yemen on a pseudo-international stage and supporting its fellow Middle Eastern nation Iran as other countries pressed for information about Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities.

“We believe that (Iran) currently does not have nuclear weaponry and if they are found to have nuclear weaponry, then we should take action. But we should discuss it as they do not and focus on them having more positive nuclear energy,” Ludkte said.

The experience was part of New Canaan High School’s annual Model United Nations day, run by members of the school’s Model UN Club. The day gave students a chance to participate in debates and negotiate measures, hoping other nations, often with other agendas, would see it their way.

The floor of the high school’s Wagner Room was littered with paper, some notes between delegates, others draft position statements made to get the job done. Members of the Model UN club, considered one of the best in the nation, helped keep the meetings in order.

Although she was nervous about making Yemen’s case before a big audience of her peers, Ludtke said she felt in her element about making her stand.

“It just kind of flowed and I’m really loving what I’m doing and strategizing with other countries,” she said.

Fellow sophomore Juan Pablo Rivera-Garza, enjoyed taking on the role as the representative from Belarus, a country that benefits economically from Iran. He said it was fun being a villain of sorts since he doesn't agree with Belarus’ defense.

“I really find it interesting that we have the opportunity to look at real-world situations and try to find solutions for them,” he said, adding he may join the Model UN Club next year.

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