UNO’s Model United Nations Delegation Returns from National Model United Nations Conference in New York City with an Honorable Mention Award
UNO’s 21-member Model United Nations Delegation returned from the National MUN Conference in New York this week with an Honorable Mention Award for their representation of The Republic of Haiti (8 UN Committees) and Ukraine (Security Council). This is the seventh consecutive year that the UNO delegation has taken home an award.
NMUN-NYC is the world's largest and most prestigious conference of its kind, bringing almost 5,000 students from around the globe (almost half come from other countries) to spend a week simulating the caucusing, resolution writing, and negotiating of the actual UN. This is the eighth year that UNO has been selected to compete, having previously represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines (2010), Honduras (2011), Austria (2012), Vietnam (2013), Syria (2014), Nepal (2015), and Australia (2016).
UNO’s delegation included the following students: Matthew Bravender, Hope Brusstar, Nigel Copeland, Adriana Farrell, Ariel Hernandez, Milan Holman, Daniel Lamplugh, Jamie Lloyd, Juan Jose Lopez, Lorvelis Amelia Madueño, Amanda Mancilla, Lana Mitwali, Hannah Mohr, Alexis Reed, Barbara Roberson, Lauryns Rodrigue, David Sala, David Teagle, Nicholas Wallis, Chance White, and Rana Zeidan.
This year’s preparation for the conference was particularly exciting. The group began meeting early in the fall semester 2016, when they selected their delegation members and petitioned the National MUN Office to represent Haiti and Ukraine at the conference. In the spring, the group began meeting twice weekly in a course organized by the Director of the International Studies Program, Prof. John Hazlett. This year, the group’s student leadership included Head Delegate Lorvelis Amelia Madueno (2018), with the assistance of Amanda Mancilla (2016), David Teagle (2018), and Matthew Bravender (2017). In this year’s course, students had the benefit of meeting several diplomats from that US Department of State , including former US Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten, Acting Deputy Director of the Haiti Bureau Mr. Stacy Williams, and former Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White. To find out more about Haiti and the diplomats whom the UNO students would be “impersonating” at the conference, we held our final briefing session in New York with two representatives from the Haiti Permanent Mission to the UN, Minister-Counselor Willy Louis and First Secretary Mr. Azaire Paul.
In the Model UN course, students paired up to practice public speaking, study Haiti history, and write Position Papers dealing with nuclear disarmament, migration and human rights, disaster response, green economy, child marriage, and clean water accessibility, among others.
The Conference itself was a life-changing event for many of the delegates. The students worked diligently from 8:30 a.m. till midnight every day of the five-day event. As representatives of Haiti, it was each delegate’s job to articulate that country’s position on the assigned topics and to work with other delegations to formulate a UN Resolution. In its spare time, the group also enjoyed the attractions of the Big Apple and socialized with their new acquaintances at the conference. The highlight of the week came on the final day, when all delegates packed the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations to vote on resolutions, to listen to closing speeches by diplomats and UN officers, and to receive their awards.
In order to fund their participation in the National Conference, the students ran a crowd-funding campaign with help from UNO Advancement officer, Eric Balukonis. The Delegation also received very generous support from the University Administration. Additional support was provided by the International Division, Center Austria, the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of History, the BA in International Studies Program, and numerous UNO faculty, students, and private citizens who donated to our Crowd-funding campaign. The University community’s commitment to and support of the MUN program has, as always, helped motivate the team members to perform at their best.