Thirteen members of Baylor’s MOAS team travelled to Washington, D.C. from 20 March to 27 March to participate in the Washington Model Organization of American States (WMOAS) hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Institute for Diplomatic Dialogue in the Americas. Twenty-eight teams from the United States, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Canada and Argentina debated resolutions in five committees and worked through a crisis scenario that involved a border crisis between Brazil and its neighbors over the spread of the Zika virus. Lauren Kim (Senior, Political Science, Riverside, CA) served as Rapporteur on the General Committee and met the new OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. Jacinth Lorna Henry-Martin, Chief of Staff of the Secretary General of the OAS addressed the opening session of the model in the Hall of the Americas and commended the students for their roles in helping to support democracy, hemispheric security, integral development, and peace. The Baylor delegation also attended a meeting of the Permanent Council in which member states hotly debated the issue of the budgetary shortfall as a result of several member states not making their quota payments for several years in a row. The CARICOM states (of which Haiti is a member) opposed drawing down the Treasury Fund to close the shortfall while the United States and Canada recommended the action.
On Tuesday the Baylor team visited the Haitian Mission to the OAS for a briefing on their country. Students met with H.E. Bocchit Edmond, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OAS. The Ambassador spent nearly two hours with the students answering their questions concerning the issues they were working on for the model. He dealt openly with corruption, relations with the Dominican Republic and the electoral crisis in Haiti.
At the model, the team had seven resolutions approved by the faculty board with the majority of those passed in committee by acclamation. Students wrote on topics as diverse as establishing special missions to improve education, creating a food desert map of the Americas, establishing an Inter-American skilled labor cooperative, improving the OAS capacity to support peace accords in the Americas, creating rapid response teams to aid in natural disasters and projects to reduce discrimination and enhance social justice. At this year’s model, three Baylor students served as rapporteurs on the General Committee (Lauren Kim), the Political and Juridical Committee (Ross McLaughlin, Sophomore, Political Science, Argyle, TX) and the Integral Development Committee. (Parker Wooden, Freshman, History, Houston). Members of the Haitian Delegation included: Mucia Flores, Head Delegate (Junior, Political Science/Great Texts, Laredo), Arianna Gomez, (Sophomore, Community Health, Piedras Negras, Mexico), Kelsey Shelton (Senior,International Studies, Highland, CA), Rafael Silva Ramirez, (Freshman, International Studies, Queretaro, Mexico), May Atassi(Sophomore, Finance, Homs, Syria), Clayton Jelinek, (Sophomore, Political Science, Broken Arrow, OK), Marissa Rosario (Junior,Political Science, Waco, TX), Sean Browning (Senior, Medical Humanities, Plano, TX), Andrew Salinas (Senior, History, Houston, TX), and Gaby McCormack, (Juinor, International Studies, Tuscon, AZ) who was elected as the chair of the Special Committee for the 2017 Model.
On Friday, the team visited the Dirksen Senate Office Building for a briefing on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its activities with regard to Latin America. High on the agenda were normalizing relations with Cuba and dealing with the crises in Venezuela and Brazil.
The team was coached by Dr. Joan E. Supplee, the Ralph L. and Bessie Mae Lynn Professor of History.
L to R: Rafa Silva, May Atassi, Lauren Kim, Marissa Rosario, Parker Wooden, Mucia Flores, Andrew Salinas, Gaby McCormack, Ambassador Edmond, Kelsey Shelton, Sean Browning, Clayton Jelinek, Arianna Gomez, Ross McLaughlin
L to R: Lauren Kim, Ross McLaughlin, Rafa Silva, Marissa Rosario, Kelsey Shelton, Andrew Salinas, Clayton Jelinek, Parker Wooden, May Atassi, Sean Browning, Gaby McLaughlin at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Meeting Room.