The American Mock World Health Organization (AMWHO) was created on January 10th, 2014 on a plane ride home from the Ontario Model World Health Organization Simulation (OMWHO) in Toronto, Canada. Neha Acharya, the founder and now president of AMWHO, attended the conference as an undergraduate junior, and was inspired enough to introduce model-WHO conferences within the United States. With the help of her university, UNC Chapel Hill, and her incredible executive board, the very first simulation of the World Health Assembly occurred in 2014. The success of the conference was enormous, with approximately twenty universities from America, Canada, and France represented. Delegates created nine resolutions on the theme of “Health in Times of Conflict,” and all documents were passed to the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland for commentary.
AMWHO stands as the national model-WHO organization for leading annual simulations in different universities. The organization strives to create chapters across the nation, where students can debate and form local conferences, and gather delegations from their school to attend AMWHO’s national conferences. The organization’s entire purpose is centered around interactive student learning on pertinent global health events like the World Health Assembly. Moreover, AMWHO seeks to have chapters in all universities for furthering the standard of global health policy education in the nation. Given our rotating national conference from different chapter to chapter, students involved in AMWHO can receive a chance to host this now distinguished event at their own university.
Model-WHO is a simulation of the World Health Assembly, the annual global health policy making forum of the World Health Organization. Students who register for AMWHO conferences represent either a WHO Ambassador, NGO Representative, or Media Correspondent, and represent their role accurately throughout the course of the three-day weekend. There are five regional blocks in a model-WHO conference in which WHO Ambassadors will be split into: African Region (AFRO), Americas Region (AMRO), Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO), European Region (EURO), and Western Pacific & Southeast Asian Region (WPRO/SEARO). Before the conference, WHO Ambassadors conduct preliminary research on their country in respect to the chosen conference theme, and understand their country’s stance on the theme from a global health policy perspective. During the conference, delegates will debate and discuss the conference theme with others from their regional block to create resolutions, or policies, during the first two days. On the last day, all regions will convene to debate all completed resolutions, which will emulate the true simulation of the World Health Assembly. NGO Representatives and Media Correspondents will perform similar research prior to the conference and assist the debate in critical ways, as highlighted below.
A WHO Ambassador is an individual representing a diplomat to one of the 194 Member States to the WHO. Ambassadors have full voting rights within the conference, with a sole goal to pursue their nation’s health interests in the Assembly. These delegates are expected to research prior to the conference their nation’s position on the conference theme, their allies and enemies, and how their nation would react to different proposals. Their main objective during the conference is to create resolutions with their fellow delegates in their regional block on the conference theme that best suits their nation.
Delegates representing an NGO must represent the ideals, motives, and objectives of their organization. As a NGO Representative, he/she will receive a personalized schedule during the conference that allows them to sit in and debate with each regional block. This allows them to understand all resolutions being formed in the conference, and their primary focus should be to ensure that each policy has the ideals of their organization incorporated in them. Ultimately, these delegates will provide their seals of approval, or their acceptance of a resolution, before all resolutions head to the final plenary on the final day. NGO Representatives do not have voting rights, but are able to debate formally.
Media Correspondents hold a unique role to the AMWHO International Conference.* These delegates also perform research prior to the conference on their company’s views and tendancies towards the conference theme, and their primary objective is to capture the news and highlights of the conference through video and blog form. These delegates aim to provide news in the same manner their news company does. Thus, they must be well-versed in how to provide the news in that similar fashion, and quickly. Media Correspondents will receive assistance throughout the conference to help capture stories, conduct interviews with the WHO Ambassadors and NGO Representatives, and present a view for all delegates on the exciting and often controversial happenings in other regional blocks.
*Media Correspondents are only represented in the international conference, and not local chapter conferences.
All proceedings in a model-WHO conference use the Robert’s Rules of Order, or parliamentary procedures for conducting meetings. It is a standard form of communication used in the UN General Assembly and WHO’s World Health Assembly, and is for fair and orderly communication among delegates. Each regional block has a Dais, composed of a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Rapporteur. The Chair conducts each session and ensures along with the Vice-Chair and Rapporteur that debate runs smoothly and efficiently. Every AMWHO conference will go through the Rules of Order on the first day, and Chairs teach all delegates the Rules of Order continuously. Therefore, to attend an AMWHO conference, students do not need to have prior experience in model-UN or model-WHO.
Dear future AMWHO participants,
Welcome to the American Mock World Health Organization! I am deeply humbled by the response of students nationwide to the country’s very first WHO simulation-based organization, founded at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The university’s great prestige and long-standing achievements in public health provided an excellent atmosphere for such an innovative and educational organization, and I look forward to witnessing the spread of AMWHO throughout the country.
After some research and discovery of the Ontario Model World Health Organization in Toronto, Canada, I attended the conference as the World Health Organization Ambassador for the Republic of Korea. The conference immensely expanded my understanding of global health affairs, diplomatic relations, and the World Health Assembly, and I understood how necessary such knowledge was for me and my fellow global health policy-oriented delegates. The realization I had of the lack of model-WHO conferences within America directed me to the path of creating this organization. I aim for AMWHO to create two things: chapters within all universities to improve global health education, and a yearly national conference with an environment similar to that of the World Health Assembly, all to educate future global health leaders in the proceedings of international health entities.
I intend for this organization to nurture an interest in global health and global health policy often neglected in a standard health education curriculum. Students will receive the opportunity to sharpen their diplomacy skills, as well as increase their ability to engage in problem solving, conflict resolution, and communication skills through an AMWHO conference. The ultimate goal is educational, where delegates will have the chance to learn about pertinent global health issues through the lens of their respective roles. With prior research, they will understand health policy, develop their leadership, public speaking and organizational skills, and grasp the tools needed for global health diplomacy. I hope AMWHO provides an opportunity that goes far beyond any classroom teaching and furthers national global health education. The AMWHO Board of Directors, Secretariat, and I look forward to helping you establish a chapter in your university, and expanding your ever-growing knowledge of global health affairs.
Any undergraduate or graduate student passionate about global health policy, diplomacy, and/or international affairs, and are able to attend all three days of an AMWHO conference, are welcome. High school students are only allowed to register for the international conference if they have attended a local chapter conference.
Of course! We welcome all eligible students to attend our international and local conferences and gain a new perspective on the realm of possibilities within global health policy.
There is a fee for each AMWHO conference, and the price depends on whether it’s an international or local conference. For instance, the international conference fee for AMWHO 2016 was $65 during regular registration, and is typically $35 for local conferences. These fees go toward delegate breakfasts, lunches, snacks, memorandum, networking nights, and venue.
AMWHO’s primary goal is to educate students across the country on global health policy affairs like the World Health Assembly. In doing so, the AMWHO National Organization has created chapters in various undergraduate universities in order for interested students everywhere to obtain the opportunity to attend a World Health Assembly simulation. We are growing each year, and if you are interested in opening a chapter at your university, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, we have 12 chapters across the United States. Each chapter typically hosts one local conference per year typically in March or April. The annual international conference that convenes 200 students typically occurs in October.
If you are unable to attend the conference, you will receive a partial refund depending on the date at which you cancel. Please review all aspects of the conference registration form to understand such information prior to registering.
To receive the full experience from an AMWHO conference, you are required to attend all three days.
Please visit either the international conference page or the chapter page for the conference you are attending. All conference materials can be found there.