The Junior United Nations Assembly (JUNA) of Alabama is a student-run model United Nations Assembly for Alabama students in grades six, seven, and eight.
Since 1991, JUNA has increased awareness of worldwide issues, demonstrated how the United Nations works, and emphasized the importance of diplomacy and problem solving among nations, peoples, and cultures. More than 1,000 students from over 75 schools have participated. The two-day event includes a meeting of the security council, opening assembly, committee meetings, and General Assembly meetings in which resolutions are presented, discussed and voted upon. JUNA ends with a reception where awards are given and students' accomplishments are celebrated.
Each delegation, composed of 5-7 students, represents a different nation of their choosing (depending on availability). Guided by their teacher sponsor, students research their nation, identify a problem or issue in that country or elsewhere in the world, and write a resolution that proposes a solution to the issue. Resolutions are presented first in committees and upon passage are presented in General Assembly. Here delegates discuss, question and vote just as they would do in the real United Nations. Students wear the native dress of their country and make a flag to use for recognition in the General Assembly.
JUNA develops skills in public speaking, critical thinking, teamwork and leadership. Students in grades 7-10 can serve as Secretary General, Vice Presidents, clerks, security council monitors and committee chairmen. One measure of JUNA's popularity is the number of students who return for second and third years at JUNA and then serve as student leaders and officers. The problem solving and leadership skills that students learn at JUNA are skills that they can use for a lifetime.
Susan Dulin, Director
John Mark Edwards, I3 Academy
Carson Jones, JUNA delegate and student leader, Political Consultant
Julia Peterson, Retired teacher, at Crestline Elementary
Sumner Starling, Community volunteer; parent of JUNA delegates
Melinda Storey, Retired teacher, Mtn. Brook Elementary
Susan Downs, Founder of JUNA, Founder of KidsPlay Alabama, Head of Bruno Montessori School
Yancey D. Williams, JUNA delegate and student leader, Yale Medical School