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Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN)

The Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) is a program located on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County). Each November, hundreds of high school students and teachers from the state of Arkansas and neighboring states attend the AMUN conference as representatives (delegates) of member-states of the United Nations (UN). The delegates participate in simulations of the UN General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, International Court of Justice, and other UN bodies.

The AMUN was formally established by Professor Simms McClintock and several students at UCA, then known as Arkansas State Teachers College (ASTC), in the fall of 1966. McClintock, who had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, earned a BA from Hendrix College in 1951 and an MA from Columbia University in 1953. After serving as a social studies teacher at Crossett High School and studying at Columbia University on a John Hay Fellowship in 1965, McClintock was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of History and Political Science at ASTC in 1966. McClintock served as coordinator of the AMUN from 1966 to 1996. According to McClintock, the “reason for the Model United Nations is to help the student understand better why countries act the way they do in international affairs.”

The first AMUN conference was held at ASTC on January 7, 1967. Some sixty-nine students from ASTC, representing forty-seven member-states of the UN, participated in the conference. In a simulation of the UN General Assembly, the delegates discussed the topics of Palestinian refugees, the Vietnam War, Chinese representation in the UN, and disarmament. David Gruber of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) served as secretary-general of the AMUN conference, and Brett Newcomb of North Little Rock (Pulaski County) served as the president of the General Assembly. ASTC president Silas D. Snow welcomed the participating delegates during the opening session of the conference. Dr. Bedford K. Hadley, chairman of the Department of Political Science at Little Rock University (now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock), gave the keynote address during a luncheon for the delegates.

The second and third AMUN conferences were held in January and December 1968, with Brett Newcomb of North Little Rock serving as secretary-general. Since those conferences, the two-day AMUN conference has been held in November or December each year.

Speakers during the annual AMUN conferences have included Arkansas leaders such as Bill Clinton, Wilbur D. Mills, J. William Fulbright, Dale Bumpers, Vic Snyder, and Winthrop Rockefeller, as well as others such as Monsignor James O’Connell, Counselor Shaul Ben-Haim of Israel, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Martin Herz, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Hodding Carter III, Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Marion Creekmore Jr., Ambassador James Cheek, Deputy Consul General Paul Williams of the United Kingdom, and Ambassador Alan Eastham Jr.

For additional information:
“AMUN Conference Returns to UCA for 49th Year: Preparations Begin for 50th Anniversary.” Log Cabin Democrat, November 17, 2014. Online at http://thecabin.net/news/education/2014-11-17/amun-conference-returns-uca-49th-year# (accessed March 20, 2015).

Arkansas Model United Nations. http://uca.edu/politicalscience/student-activities/amun/ (accessed March 20, 2015).

“ASTC International Relations Students Conduct Model UN.” The Echo (Arkansas State Teachers College, Conway, Arkansas), January 13, 1967, p. 1.

“Model UN Here January 7th.” The Echo (Arkansas State Teachers College, Conway, Arkansas), December 16, 1966, p. 1.

Mark J. Mullenbach
North Little Rock, Arkansas

Last Updated 3/22/2017

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