2023 SPRING WMOAS
2023 WASHINGTON MODEL ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
The Baylor Model Organization of the American States (MOAS) team returned to Texas this week after a successful performance at the Washington Model. This was the second conference the team attended this academic year. In the fall semester, Baylor hosted the Eugene Scassa Mock OAS (ESMOAS) and the Washington MOAS (WMOAS) last week.
Baylor MOAS represented the Republic of Argentina at this year’s WMOAS. The Washington model gives students the unique opportunity to debate critical international issues that the oldest regional political organization handles. The team forged diplomatic consensus and a spirit of Inter-American cooperation as they exchanged ideas and cultures with students from universities from the United States to Peru, representing 21 countries.
In addition to their diplomatic duties, Baylor students had the opportunity to hear an inspiring address by the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro to start the conference. They also visited the Argentine Mission to the OAS and OAS Headquarters. At the end of the conference, Charis Nelson, Staff Assistant to Congressman Pete Sessions and recent Baylor graduate, treated the students to a special tour of the Capitol building. Students also found time to visit monuments, museums, and eat Argentine empanadas and alfajores at Las Lunas de Buenos Aires.
The Washington model is the culmination of months of in-class preparation and research into the OAS and Argentina. Each semester students prepare resolutions and a position paper on various topics related to the international goals and positions of the country they represent.
Logan Butler (senior, History major from Evansville, IN) served as Secretary General of the Model and Oscar Camarillo (senior, Political Science major from Irving, TX) was Rapporteur for the Committee on Political and Juridical Affairs. The team was ably led by Head Delegate Mari Benavides (junior, History and Latin American Studies major from San Benito, TX) and Co-Head Delegate Vanessa Cham (junior, Neuroscience major from Rockwall, TX), respectively. Vanessa Cham presented a resolution to create a pilot program to make Afro-descendants more visible in their communities. All the team’s eight resolutions were approved by the faculty committee for debate, and all passed in committee. Baylor students also played lead roles in the crafting of joint-resolutions from each committee.
Michael Jordan (Harker Heights, Junior, University Scholar) and Sam Joyce (Downer’s Grove, IL, Sophomore, International Studies) served on the Committee on Political and Juridical Affairs. They crafted resolutions calling for a conference to discuss recommendations on term limits and a program to strengthen regional efforts to combat Transnational Organized Crime. Delegates from this committee elected Michael Jordan as their Chair for the 2024 WMOAS.
On the Committee on Hemispheric Security, Jazmine Fajardo (freshman, Political Science from Cape Coral, FL) and Matthew Warrell, (junior, International Studies from Alexandria, VA) passed resolutions calling for a program to support green energy and creating a new shared database to help law enforcement reduce violence in urban areas.
The Committee on Integral Development handled issues related to addressing issues related to the techno-productive labor transition, the continued impact of Covid on adolescents, and the environmental challenges presented by mining. Delegate Abhishek Puppala (junior, Biology from Waco) presented a well-received resolution that would create a mental health education program to help adolescents deal with the effects of long-Covid. He also served as the coordinator of the Joint-Resolution on setting new standards for mining. In the committee’s last session, he was elected as Vice Chair for the 2024 WMOAS.
The topic of the Special Committee this year was Environmental Justice. Jasmine Miranda (senior, Sociology major from Houston) and Kenton Shieh (freshman, History major from Cupertino, CA) worked on this committee to pass their resolutions on creating a Declaration of Rights for Nature and working to address the environmental damage directly attributable to Covid-19. Jasmine took the lead role in her committee in drafting a Joint-Declaration to allow marginalized people to participate in environmental decisions.
Members of the team will also be participating in a MOOT Court competition to be held at Baylor University on April 28-29 in Morrison Hall. They will be simulating a hearing of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Teams include Sam Joyce and Michael Jordan, Aanya Pidiath (freshman, Political Science from Hillsborough, NJ) and Ben Cleveland (freshman, Pre-Business from San Antonio, TX), Victoria Shellenberger (sophomore, Political Science, Phoenix, AZ and Pedro Leonardo Enes (freshman, Economics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Vanessa Cham and Mari Benavides, and Logan Butler.
The team looks forward to sharing their experiences with fellow students, faculty members and administrators. It also wishes to thank the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Global Engagement, Lynae Jordan, and Jorge Vielledent, Dr. Mark McGraw and the Department of History for their help, patience, and support of the team this semester.
Baylor's MOAS Team at the Argentine Mission to the Organization of American States.
Dr. Joan E. Supplee, Professor of History, Emerita, coached the team.
Relevant Websites: www.wmoas.org, http://www.oas.org/en/member_states/member_state.asp?sCode=GUA