The original session of the Model United Nations of the Far West was jointly sponsored by Stanford’s International Board and by the Collegiate Council for the United Nations (CCUN), an affiliate of the American Association for the United Nations (AAUN). By the third session, the Model United Nations of the Far West was ready for independence and separated from the CCUN and AAUN. Since that time, MUNFW has continued as an independent student organization. It is now incorporated in California as a non—profit, educational organization open to all national and international institutions of high learning. Although it is neither the largest nor the oldest organization of its kind, MUNFW is well known to other Model UN groups in the United States for its autonomy, the high quality of its delegates’ participation and the authenticity of its sessions.
Stanford University hosted the First Session on April 26—28, 1951. Its first keynote speaker was Dr. Ralph Bunche, the President of the United Nations General Assembly. Three hundred fifty students from three western states gathered to debate issues in a model General Assembly and a few of its committees. From this small beginning, the organization grew in size and scope. However, it did not yet have the Far West designation; it was known simply as the Model United Nations.
Eleanor Roosevelt addressed, via film, the Second Session held on April 2—5, 1952, at the University of Southern California. Mrs. Roosevelt, the US Representative to the Third Committee, was scheduled to address the session in person, but a last minute schedule change brought her to Los Angeles a week early. Her speech was filmed for the session. Seventy—three schools were represented in the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, the Political and Security Committee, the Trusteeship Committee and the Continuation Committee (an early name for Membership Committee, in which participating schools are represented). Delegates were guests at the premier of “Anything Can Happen” starring Jose Ferrar.
The Third Session met on April 15—18, 1953, at the University of California, Berkeley. A coordinating Secretariat was set up in order that the MUN could be operated on a continuing, annual basis. An Executive Board of delegation chairs was also established.
The Fourth Session was hosted by the University of California, Los Angeles. No records concerning speakers, committees or topics are available.
The Fifth Session was hosted by San Francisco State College at the San Francisco Opera House, where the UN Charter was drawn up in 1945. 1,000 delegates were reported to have attended.
The Sixth Session of the “Model United Nations of the Great Pacific West” was hosted by Oregon State University on April 4—7, 1956, in Corvallis. Five hundred fifty delegates from sixty—five schools participated. The organizational Charter was proposed and accepted. A copy of the Rules of Procedure showed that 107 rules were used for the General Assembly and other bodies. The Daily Journal made its first appearance at a conference. Oregon State University provided “Rules of Operation,” which was a guide to the logistics of the conference such as food areas, campus, OPI, etc. The agenda and schedule show the General Assembly, four of its main Committee, two Ad Hoc Committees, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the International Court of Justice. ICJ used a modified Statute for its meetings and legal professionals as judges. Regional Institutes were begun this year.
The Seventh Session was hosted by Stanford University on April 10—13, 1957. The General Assembly and its 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Special Political Committees, the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council, and the International Court of Justice discussed the Middle East, Suez, Cyprus, World Food Reserves, currency convertibility, the International Convention on Human Rights, Hungary, Algeria, and Discrimination in South Africa. Egypt and Jordan walked out of the Security Council during discussion of the Suez. The first set of MUNFW By—laws was drafted. The Executive Committee established the rotation for conference host selection among the three regions at this time.
650 delegates traveled to Seattle for the Eighth Session, hosted by the University of Washington on April 23—26, 1958. The University of Washington seems to have been selected through a bid process. A bid item was a wheel depicting “7 Good Reasons why the 1958 MUN conference should be held on the University of Washington campus…” A contingent of delegates from California traveled to Seattle by train, debating and caucusing along the way.
Delegates from 77 schools had an easier time with the rules — reduced from 107 to 89 — at the Ninth Session hosted by the University of Southern California on April 22—25, 1959. The rules covered much information regarding the structure and organization of MUN, in addition to the procedural rules commonly used at MUNFW conferences today. Delegates at this conference made a concerted, but unsuccessful, effort to contact Fidel Castro of Cuba to make a speech to the conference.
Delegates celebrated “Ten Years of MUN” at the University of California, Berkeley in 1960. George Cabot Lodge, Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs, and Charles Porter, Oregon Representative to the U.S. Congress, were the guest speakers.
Governor Mark O. Hatfield and Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon welcomed delegates to the Eleventh Session hosted by the University of Oregon on April 12—15, 1961. Frederick Boland, President of the 15th Session United Nations General Assembly, was the featured speaker. A mention of the MUN Review occurs in the Oregon Daily Emerald, but no copy exists in the current archives.
In 1962, San Diego State College hosted the Twelfth Session on April 11—14. A Charter Review Committee was convened to review the Charter of the Model United Nations of the Pacific West. The MUNFW By—laws, 14 in number, first appeared, though they were apparently adopted in 1957. The By—laws were expanded to 24. The Rules were reduced to 36 in number and were similar to the current rules, but saw a separation of P and C Rules. A Rules Committee and General Committee appeared for the first time. The Charter and By—laws were revised at this time. A Full Disarmament Commission was convened.
San Jose State College hosted the Thirteenth Session on April 24—27, 1963. The ‘S’ Rules were adopted for the Security Council, additional changes were made to the Charter and By—laws including changing the organization’s name to Model United Nations of the Far West, and a Permanent Fund was started. In those days of highly competitive bidding (three schools), the University of Hawaii submitted a (losing) bid to Executive Committee (current Membership Committee). Joel Fisher founded the Alumni Association and was its first president.
The Fourteenth Session was hosted by Whitworth College in Washington. University of Hawaii again submitted an unsuccessful bid.
Claremont Men’s College hosted the Fifteenth Session on April 7—10, 1965. Dr. Dorothy Collings of the UN Department of Public Information made a third appearance as a guest speaker. This conference saw the first proposal for incorporation and approved beginning the process to incorporate by approving a new Charter with an incorporation provision. The Committee of 21 debated the financial crisis of the UN and the question of British Guiana. The Committee of 24 discussed the situation in Rhodesia. A Conference on Trade and Development was held also. Hawaii presented a third bid to host.
The 1965 Charter was rescinded and the prior 1964 Charter with amendments was readopted at the Sixteenth Session hosted by Stanford University on April 27—30, 1966. Executive Committee did decide to continue exploration of incorporation after a contentious session. The Secretary—General suggested cutting the size of the conference or extending it another day. Most committees had three agenda topics. The Committee of 33 considered financing of peace keeping operations. TD Rules were issued for the Conference on Trade and Development.
The Seventeeth Session was hosted by Lewis and Clark College on April 26—29, 1967. Eighty—eight schools attended; nearly all represented only 1 country each. The first mention of EC Rules for the Economic and Social Council appeared. The Alumni Association at this time was composed of past MUN Secretary —Generals and Executive Assistants. Three depositories for official records of the MUN were designated, one of which would be at Lewis and Clark College. Incorporation was discussed in connection with providing control for a permanent fund for use by Secretariats as start up funds until fees were received. It was recommended at this time not to incorporate. Costs of hosting a conference and the costs to schools and delegates for fees were the subject of an open discussion.
In 1968, the Eighteenth Session was hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson. No information on the conference is available in the Archives. Membership in the Alumni Association was expanded to include speakers, faculty advisors and long—term contributors to the MUN. The Alumni Association had a very active role in MUNFW throughout the 1970s and 1980s by providing assistance to secretariats, social activities, seminars, and newsletters and as holder of funds in anticipation of incorporation.
For the Nineteenth Session, the delegates traveled to Fresno as CSU, Fresno hosted the conference on May 8—10, 1969. This conference resulted in a major deficit that renewed the discussions on incorporation. The MUNFW Seal was approved by Executive Committee. A listing of depository library items shows more than are currently available. It appears that most of these items disappeared as the depository library actually moved from Secretariat to Secretariat rather than being located in one or more regional/central locations.
April 15—18, 1970, were the dates for the Twentieth Session hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene. The Executive Committee received a legal counsel’s report on incorporation and referred the item to the General Committee. An Alumni Association report appeared on the Executive Committee agenda for the first time. The Alumni Association drafted a new Charter and By—laws and increased its governing board to 15 (it later reverted back to 5). Students from 13 states, Mexico and Canada attended. The reception and social schedule for the conference was almost as lengthy as the meeting schedule.
The 21st Session was held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, hosted by Occidental College on April 28—May 1, 1971. At this session, the Republic of China was denied credentials as the representative of China. This was followed by the similar action in the New York UN General Assembly meeting in the fall. Thus, the model modeled the way for reality. This session also saw a departure from the norm for MUNFW bidding to host sessions. Since the 6th session, bidding had frequently been lively and very competitive. However, the 21st Session closed with no viable bid presented to host the 23rd Session. Ben Cashman, advisor to Seattle University, began searching for a host.
The 22nd Session was hosted by Seattle University at the World’s Fair Site in Seattle, Washington on April 19—22, 1972. Delegates commuted to Seattle Center by the monorail every day. The final report consisted of 305 pages! While the Middle East, South Africa and Nuclear Weapons continued on the agenda, new attention was being given to Development and the Environment. At this session, a proposal was made to have the Alumni Association investigate incorporating as a non—profit organization. Forty percent of the Fresno debt was retired after this session.
The University of the Pacific (Stockton) hosted the 23rd Session in Sacramento, California, on April, 11—14 1973. The pageantry of this opening Session probably has not been met since. Walton Raitt, advisor, had been cajoled by his “friend,” Ben Cashman, to host the Session after the close of the 21st Session. Dr. Raitt checked with his students, got the blessing of his school and found the place in Sacramento. An advance Bid Review committee was formed before bids were formally presented. A slate of Board of Directors for the purpose of incorporation was presented and approved. A request was submitted for a Law of the Sea Conference. Concern about the escalating costs caused the Executive Committee to impose a $50 limit for delegate fees (this included 3 nights’ quad housing, 3 dinners and 2 lunches). The Fresno debt was paid off in full at the close of this conference.
Portland, Oregon, was the site for the 24th Session hosted by Oregon State University in April, 1974. MUNFW had now outgrown most college campuses and was pushing the limits on hotel space in some areas. Portland found delegates having meals in the garage as all other space was being used for MUNFW meetings! The Conference on the Law of the Sea was added to the MUNFW repertoire of meeting groups. The Bid Review Committee was formalized. Incorporation was not completed before the conference. Joel Fisher, counsel, was instructed to process the Articles of Incorporation for the Model United Nations of the Far West. A new slate of Board of Directors was approved. A model budget outline for future bids was adopted. Another problem facing delegates was increased travel costs as gas was in short/limited supply.
CSU, Fullerton hosted the 25th Session on April 16—19, 1975, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. This was the year that MUNFW was officially incorporated as a non—profit, educational corporation in the State of California and an “Executive Board” was elected. Opening Session was delayed so everyone could go to Disneyland during the day. The Disneyland Hotel was upset with the MUNFW (something about bubbles in the fountain?) and MUNFW with them. The dispute eventually got settled. The MUNFW “family” expanded to include the World Population Conference and the World Conference on the Law of the Sea. The GA was assigned a topic of its own. It appears that the Alumni Association opened its membership to all delegates who paid annual dues.
UC, Davis, hosted the 26th Session on April 7—10, 1976, near the airport at Oakland, California. Again, facilities were stretched to the limits as several committees met in the “tubes” (connector hallways between hotel wings). And, for the first time, lunches were not included. But, there was this enterprising “hotdog” vendor outside several meeting rooms at lunchtime. Debate was so intent in most committees that late night, including an all nighter in GA, meetings were held.
Many organizational and structural changes occurred at this conference. Over the years, the Guides to Participation and the Rules, still 36 in number and 3 sets, were up—dated by the Rules Committee. Also, marked changes began in the meeting groups; ICJ was not convened, but UN Development Program and the UN Environment Program were included. Over time, changes in the United Nations, the growth of agencies and affiliates to the UN, and the diversity of student interest prompted secretariats to structure the meeting bodies to reflect new interests.
The MUNFW, Inc. was in its infancy and there was much uncertainty about its operations. An Executive Board was elected by the Executive Committee to act on its behalf between annual sessions. It also constituted the Board of Directors for MUNFW, Inc. Many of its members were also officers and board members of the Alumni Association. The time had come to sort all this out and to determine the course of the organization in the future. The Executive Committee established a Task Force to study other MUN programs in the country; MUNFW, Inc.; Secretariat responsibilities and liabilities; MUNFW monies: Revolving Fund, Permanent Fund, conference finances, and fundraising; regional divisions and problems; school chapters of MUNFW; Charter and By—law revisions; guidelines for growth and development including academic involvement with other organizations; and the impact of MUN programs. The role of the advisors, with the school and its chapter and with a secretariat was added to this. A report would be given at the next session.
Sunny San Diego, California, was the location for the 27th Session hosted by San Diego State University on April 13—16, 1977. 1300 delegates from 80 schools from 10 western states and Canada represented 118 countries at the Session. In addition to the customary UN bodies, this conference included the Food and Agricultural Organization and the Special Committee in the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (Special Committee of 24). The Alumni assumed control of the archives and established a depository at University of the Pacific. Also approved was a video to be produced by Santa Barbara City College. A few changes were made to the Charter and a number of mostly editorial changes were made to the By—laws. Revisions were also made to the rules and guides to participation. The Task Force produced a 26 page Delegation Handbook a how—to book for forming, preparing and funding delegations.
Returning to the Seattle Center (and the monorail commute) in Washington, Seattle University hosted the 28th Session, April 12—15, 1978. The General Assembly and its 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Special Political Committee were convened. Also meeting were the Security Council, Economic and Social Council, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health Organization and the International Court of Justice. Issues included General and Complete Disarmament, the Question of Palestine, the UN Decade for Women, the Study of Nuclear Weapons—free Zones, the effect of the Environment on World Health and the Control of Human Reproduction. The Task Force forwarded the Secretariat Handbook — a compilation of common practices in forming a Secretariat and preparing to conduct a conference. The Alumni Association began issuing a newsletter.
The 29th Session was hosted by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, on April 18—21,1979. Focused on the theme The United Nations: Forum for Peace and Development in the 1980s, the issues addressed were the New International Economic Order, GATT, International Monetary Reform, Ocean Resources, Cyprus, the Middle East, South Africa, Nuclear Proliferation, Technology Transfer, Territorial Independence, and Individual Rights during Armed Conflict. Delegates met as the General Assembly and its 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and Special Political Committees as well as the Security Council, ECOSOC, UNCTAD and the Law of the Sea Conference. Costs again came under consideration, and the banquet was the only meal kept in the delegate fee structure. A proposal to separate out housing from the fee structure was defeated. The rules and guides to participation received minor adjustments. Also, two retiring advisors were gifted with huge gold-plated aspirins and a bottle of wine each.
San Jose State University hosted the 30th Session in Palo Alto, California, on April 17-20, 1980. The 15-member Commission on Elimination of Discrimination drafted a Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The four sets of Rules (P, C, EC and S) were reviewed and brought into agreement with present practices and procedures. Ambassador Anthony Quainton, Chairman of the U.S. Committee to Combat Terrorism, delivered a timely, informative and entertaining speech on. Taking the speech to heart, a few hi-jinks by delegates did disrupt the conference for half a day; but all committees completed their agendas.
University of Oregon hosted the 31st Session on the campus in Eugene, Oregon on March 25-28,1981. Delegates got to explore the campus and its unique, eclectic collection of buildings as they went to their meetings. Escalating delegate costs to attend conference caused the formation of a 16-member Task Force to avert a split of MUNFW. The Task Force met during the conference and identified three major needs: stabilize and reduce costs, encourage potential host bids; and obtaining adequate facilities at a reasonable cost. While it discussed a number of options, the Task Force concluded it needed more data before it could make recommendations. It would investigate the situation with a final report due at the next conference. Again, conference closed without a bid to host the 33rd Session. A Bid Selection Committee was established to solicit bids. Six schools later indicated an interest in bidding and one was selected. A major realignment of the items in the Charter and By—laws occurred.
Back to Disneyland for the 32nd Session hosted by Long Beach State University at the Marriott Hotel and Anaheim Convention Center (across the street from Disneyland) on April 22-25, 1982. The Middle East was still an issue. National Liberation Movements, Namibia, Afghanistan, Nuclear Free Zones, and Implementation of the Principles of the Decade for Action on Racism and Racial Discrimination were also on the agenda. 76 schools represented 110 UN member countries.
The Task Force report resulted in an Executive Committee (now Membership) decision to try a central location, the Red Lion Motor Inn in Sacramento, California, for a minimum of three years to stabilize costs. The process will retain the regional rotation for bidding. However, the session closed without a viable bid for the 34th Session. The MUNFW, Inc. Board of Directors was asked to solicit bids and make the decision.
During sun-splashed days (when a few showers were ignored) and balmy desert evenings, Arizona State University hosted over 1,000 delegates and advisors at the 33rd Session on April 20-23, 1983, in Scottsdale, Arizona. ASU introduced the World Bank to MUNFW. Mr. Paul M. Cadario, Senior Loan Officer, Western African Programs II, The World Bank, attended as advisor and observer. He was very impressed with the scholarship and enthusiasm of the delegates. Other new bodies were the Special Committee Against Apartheid, Conference on New & Renewable Energy Sources, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The conference banquet was an outdoor western barbecue and featured Samuel Clemens, alias Mark Twain (alias William McLinn, a former MUNer and past president of the Alumni Association) expounding on women’s rights, the moral majority, prejudice and other relevant issues of the day. For the third year, conference closed without a host for the 35th Session and the MUNFW, Inc. Board had to solicit bids and select the host.
The first experiment with a central site began with the 34th Session hosted by Oregon State University on April 12—14, 1984, in Sacramento, California. Things got off to a shaky start when delegates did not make hotel reservations in a timely manner; but, everyone eventually got into the Red Lion and the meetings went smoothly. The Iran/Iraq war was an issue; and the Ad Hoc Committee on International Terrorism, the Special Committee to Investigate Practices in Occupied Territories and the World Bank were convened. Again, no school bid to host for the 36th Session. It appeared that this was becoming a common occurrence for MUNFW. A proposal to separate the role of conference logistics from the substantive role of the Secretariat was introduced.
CSU, Hayward hosted the 35th Session on April 10-13, 1985, at Sacramento, California. This was year two of the central site experiment. The World Bank was convened for a third year. The World Health Organization, the Special Committee on Apartheid, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Court of Justice were also convened. Nearly 140 member and observer nations were represented in eleven meeting groups. There was competition in bidding to host the 37th Session and the MUNFW opted to leave the permanent site to again rotate through the regions. The first IBM computer system was purchased for MUNFW – a double floppy (5 1/4″) disk drive.
Members of the Alumni Association formed the Secretariat for the 36th Session held on April 9-12, 1986, at the Red Lion in Sacramento, CA- the third year of the experiment. Staff and delegates arrived from Alberta, Arizona, British Columbia, California, Idaho, Minnesota, Nova Scotia, Oregon, Saskatchewan, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Meeting groups included the Commission on the Status of Women, the International Law Commission and the World Bank. At the closing of the conference, Steve Baker, Secretary-General, stated that the Alumni would be back in 2000. Some additional “housekeeping” was done on the rules and the Great Plains was added as a region.
UC, San Diego hosted the 37th Session in San Diego, California, on April 2-5, 1987. A surprise guest speaker, Mark Twain (that aka William McLinn) appeared at the banquet. New bodies for the conference included the Negotiating Committee on the Financial Emergency of the UN, the Special Committee on the Charter of the UN and the Special Committee on Peace Keeping Operations. The ICJ was also convened. Delegation preparation and evaluation of policy statements was a topic for the General Committee. Rules and the Charter again received minor adjustments.
For the first time in its history, MUNFW delegates traveled to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, for the 38th Session on April 21-25, 1989. Concurrently meeting with the MUNFW Session was the International Conference on the United Nations’ Role in World Peace also hosted by the University of Regina. In addition to the MUNFW contingency, delegates arrived from Canada, Scotland, United Kingdom, India, the People’s Republic of China, Tanzania and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to students from the University of Regina serving on the Secretariat, staff members included alumni and students from other schools. FAO, World Bank, ICJ, and the International Labor Organization were included in the meeting groups for the conference. Despite the large numbers at Regina, this was the beginning of diminishing size for the MUNFW as the number of traditional MUNFW schools decreased.
The 39th Session was hosted by the University of Washington on April 13-16, 1989, in Seattle, Washington. The World Health Organization was added to seven of the customary UN bodies. This was another year in which the Secretariat members came from other schools in Oregon and Washington to assist UW with the conference. 52 schools represented 92 countries at the conference. Concern about the falling number of schools, prompted Executive Committee to establish a Membership Committee for the purpose of recruiting schools to MUNFW. Early feelers were introduced concerning bifurcation (a split of conference duties between a permanent Director and changing host schools) and a consistent hotel chain for the conference.
Riverside Community College, the first community college to bid, was the host for the 40th Session on April 19-22, 1990, in Ontario, California. The World Press was introduced. It revived the concept of the Daily Journal and added “guest” articles by “representatives” (actually students) of foreign press on the events of the conference. WHO, UNEP, World Bank and ICJ were conference additions. The conference opened with the banquet. Fourteen members of the Diplomatic Corps of Los Angeles spoke at various meetings of the conference or met with delegates. The formal Issues Book (similar to the UNA “Issues Before the General Assembly” publication) was introduced for this conference. Annotated Agendas describing the issues to be debated at conference and resources had been previously included in pre-conference mailings. A comprehensive Delegate Handbook was introduced at this session. It covered basic preparation for a conference by a delegate. A brochure announcing the conference was produced. However, no bids for the 42nd Session came before the close of conference.
As it had throughout the 1980s when economics encouraged the MUNFW to try the central site concept, other factors were prodding the organization to examine the causes of not receiving competitive bids for conferences. In the 1980s, a sliding scale for fees, based on distance from conference, was initiated. The Alumni came to the rescue to provide a secretariat in 1986. It was noted that schools and students had changed. MUNFW needed to initiate a new way of holding conferences so students could still have the experience of MUN. The idea of an Executive Director position to take care of the logistics of the conference, i.e. hotel contracts, room set-ups and equipment, DPI equipment, etc. was discussed for several years. The problems were probably more apparent to the MUNFW Board than to most of the delegates and advisors. However, the Executive Committee approved the bifurcation of the secretariat and solicited candidates for the position of Executive Director. At the October, 1990, Board meeting, the Board selected Michael Cline as its first (and still) Executive Director. The actual practice of bifurcation evolved over the next three years. It was also at this meeting that the host for the 42nd Session was selected.
Stockton, California, was the location of the 41st Session hosted by the University of the Pacific on April 18-21,1991. The World Press and World Bank were returning bodies and the Organization of American States was convened. Executive Committee was busier that it had been in the recent past as it had to consider the many proposed changes resulting from the approved bifurcation and Executive Director. A major consideration was the declining attendance at MUNFW conferences since the Regina conference. The Great Plains was dropped as a MUNFW region. Another was moving the administrative elements of a conference from the host school to the Board and Executive Director.
A Rebirth of World Peace was the theme selected by UC Davis for the 42nd Session on April 23-26, 1992 at the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco Airport. It appeared on a poster and brochure created for the conference. The World Press became a regular addition to the MUNFW schedule. The World Bank appeared for the ninth time, almost a regular. The International Law Commission was convened to work on the Convention for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and to draft Codes of Crimes Against the Peace and Security of Mankind. Anticipated changes to occur under bifurcation were further discussed and approved.
Central Washington University assisted by the University of Puget Sound hosted the 43rd Session on April 15-18 at Bellevue (outside of Seattle), Washington. The theme was The Advancement of Women and the Commission on the Status of Women was convened. A Student Academic Conference was convened. It attracted several papers written and presented by students and judged by a panel of alumni and faculty. Financial awards were given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place writers. This was the last conference solely under the direction of a student Secretariat and, unfortunately, it suffered a financial loss. Fortunately, bifurcation was to take effect with the next session. However, through the generosity of a Board member and the fiscal prudence of the Executive Director in subsequent years, the MUNFW, Inc. was able to recover the loss.
In addition, MUNFW underwent a major structural reorganization over the summer of 1993. Executive Committee became MUNFW Membership with Rules, General and Outreach as subcommittees. The MUNFW Charter and By-laws became the Governing Documents to provide guidelines for the operations of a Secretariat and the conference. There were changes to the Board of Directors for MUNFW, Inc. Some positions were by virtue of the position in the organization (Secretary-General and Advisor for past, current and incoming sessions) and some positions were filled by election. The Board now proposed candidates for the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Council, but Membership elected from that slate or from the floor. The Alumni Association elected its own President and nominated candidates for the student representative from each region; Membership elected. Membership elected its own chair. Additional community and corporate members were to be nominated and voted upon by the Board members. The Board revised its By-laws to reflect these and other changes, becaming a working Board to guide MUNFW into the future.
The 44th Session was hosted by Whittier College on April 15-16, 1994, in Glendale, California. The theme, Human Rights, considered issues such as Refugees, Relation of Human Rights to Development, Racial Discrimination, Right to Self-Determination, Rights of the Child, Torture, Follow-up to the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, Persecution of Religious Minorities, Reproductive Rights of Women, and AIDS. Other issues were the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Palestine, Peace Keeping, Colonialism/Apartheid, Social Development, Special Disaster Relief, Agricultural Subsidies, Trading Blocks and Free Trade Barriers, Using Trade to Develop Third World Countries and Relationship of Health and the Environment.
At this conference, the idea of reducing the number of sets of rules to just one was introduced and accepted for the GA, main committees and agencies, groups that had used the EC rules. The Security Council (S) rules did not change. The guides to participation were also consolidated and matched to the rules. The student academic conference was dropped due to lack of student interest in the endeavor. This was the year that another west coast conference was formed by former MUNFW alumni and schools. Attendance at MUNFW dropped to 27 schools with around 400 delegates. However, there was a noticeable improvement in the quality of the delegations.
Restructuring the United Nations for the Next Fifty Years was the theme for the 45th Session in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, which was founded in San Francisco. San Francisco State University hosted the conference on April 19—23, 1995, at the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco Airport. The conference was a preliminary event for the “UN at 50″ celebration in San Francisco. Introduced was the concept of working groups limited to 35 members each: the Working Group on the Beijing Conference and the Working Group on Charter Reform. ”Reform” was included in a number of issues for the conference. The Special Political Committee had a name change to Fourth Committee. The previous designated Fourth Committee had dealt with issues concerning colonization and independence, now a moot issue for the most part. San Francisco brought in several speakers, some specializing on one area or topic of the conference, to speak with the committees. Miriam College made its first trek from the Philippines. Judy Mayotte of the Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, found herself at the Stanford Medical Center for surgery and recuperation after a fall.
At this Session, MUNFW again embarked on a central site location: the San Francisco Bay Area. The Hyatt at the airport was selected for its proximity to the airport, easy access to San Francisco, and its competitive cost (compared to downtown San Francisco). The conference was expanded to a 4-day conference with an evening free to explore the city. The Alumni Association became inactive as a separate entity for the time being. The position on the Board was transferred to the Chair of Membership. The Board and the Executive Director had assumed most of the activities of the Alumni. The session was noted for the lovely reception for advisors, delegation chairs and the speakers, compliments of the Hyatt at the Embarcadero.
For the 46th Session, the consortium idea really caught on. Five schools, headed by Whittier College, formed the Secretariat. The other four were Western Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University, Southern Oregon University and Lee College. Whittier had hosted the 44th Session only after bifurcation. As a sole host, they realized that many schools in MUNFW did not have the students or resources to host a conference by themselves, but they could participate in conjunction with other schools. The theme for the conference held on April 10-14, 1996, was Environment and Development. Regional Organizations was a meeting group to consider Cooperation between the UN and Regional Organizations, Role of Regional Organizations in Promoting Development and Protecting the Environment, and Use of Regional Organizations in Peace Keeping Operations. The Fourth Committee still considered De-Colonization, but also Religious Toleration and Peace Keeping. The Executive Committee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees discussed Repatriation, Refugees and Physical Health and Third Country Resettlement of Refugees. Charter Review dealt with Expanding the Security Council and Collective Intervention of States. Iraq, Cuba, Africa and the Israel/Palestine Situation still confronted the Security Council. Noting the low numbers of delegates and schools at conference, Membership expressed concern over the competitor to the south.
San Francisco State University headed another consortium with Mesa Community College, University of Judaism, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Western Oregon University, and the University of California, Riverside. The theme for the 47th Session was Economic Progress and Social Justice. The conference was held on April 9-13, 1997. Bifurcation was in full swing and the consortium system worked well, despite many difficulties having six schools throughout the west functioning as the Secretariat. Genocide, Weapons, Industrial Espionage, Intellectual Property Rights, Information Security, and Water for Drinking, Sanitation, and Irrigation were among the issues debated. 31 Schools were present, including the Naval Academy. Certificates of Participation were given to attending schools in recognition of student completion of the preliminary work for conference, i.e. Country Profile, Policy Statements and Resolutions. At the close of this session, MUNFW went “on-line” with its own web site and schools were encouraged to use the web, e-mail, fax and telephone to contact the Executive Director for conference information.
Whittier again headed a consortium, with Western Oregon University and Mesa Community College, to host the 48th Session on April 15-19, 1998. Under the theme of Post Conflict Peace—Building, the MUNFW discussed Strengthening the Relationship and Coordination of Peacekeeping, Humanitarian Assistance and Development, Effect of Conflict on Children, Post—Conflict Integration of Soldiers, Review of Peacekeeping, Administrative and Structural Reform and External Debt Crisis. Guidelines were used to award certificates of participation. Membership set requirements and criteria for awarding certificates in the future. Criteria included Political Profile, Policy Statements and one Resolution and a timeline for submission. Policy Statements would be evaluated by a panel of faculty advisors. In view of the consortium model for Secretariats and bifurcation, the Membership adopted a Governing Documents provision, Non—Lead School Secretariat Selection.
Attention was drawn to an overture from our competitor to the south to “merge” the two conferences and preliminary discussions were authorized and held. Infrequent contact was made for the next few years, however no positive movement occurred to bring about the “merger.” The issue of adopting National’s/UNA rules arose again. A comparison of UN rules, UNA rules and MUNFW rules was done and no changes in the MUNFW rules were recommended or adopted.
By now, Mesa Community College had graduated to heading a consortium with Western Oregon University and Cal—Poly, San Luis Obispo to host the 49th Session on April 15—18, 1999. The theme was Building Global Peace and Security in the 21st Century. The conference addressed issues such as Global Responsibility versus National Sovereignty, Reassessment of the Role of the IAEA in Arms Control, the Importance of Social Infrastructure as a Component of Human Rights, Responsibility of Multi—national Corporations in Developing Countries, and Reconciliation of Environmental Concerns and Economic Development. UN Reform (Charter Review) considered Strengthening the Coordination and Cooperation within the UN System.
The “merger” talks with the western competitor collapsed. MUNFW, due to its practice of selecting a site and a Secretariat two years in advance, moved on to selecting the Hyatt for 2001 and 2002.
True to Steve Baker’s promise in 1986, the MUNFW Alumni are hosting the 50th Session of the Model United Nations of the Far West on April 19—23, 2000, at the Hyatt, San Francisco Airport. The theme, Equality in the 21st Century, determined the slate of committees and issues. The alumni members range from one to 20+ years each in MUN experience. All of them have been delegates at past conferences, many served in other Secretariats, some are members of the MUNFW, Inc. Board of Directors. All are dedicated to the philosophy of the MUNFW and its importance as an educational program.
This brief history of 50 years of MUNFW by no means includes the wealth of memories past and current alumni, delegates and faculty advisors treasure. Those items will remain as memory, fond reminiscences or someday become part of a future full—fledged book. A complete listing of sessions, host schools, Secretariats, and speakers are found elsewhere in this book.