Pace Model UN head delegate Amanda Corsaro '12 (center, at computer), representing Togo, meets with the representative for China and other delegates in a simulation of the UN Security Council at the 2012 Geneva International Model UN conference. Photo by Francis Mayne for GIMUN, used with permission.

Drafting, negotiating and implementing international legal norms is lengthy and involved process, Pace University New York City Model UN students learned this week at the Geneva International Model UN (GIMUN) conference in Switzerland.

“My committee illustrated the complexities of interpreting international law in conflict situations,” said Amanda Corsaro ’12, one of the Pace NYC Model UN head delegates, who represented Togo in a simulated deliberations on the status of Kosovo and counter-terrorism in India in the UN Security Council. From Oakland, New Jersey, Amanda is a senior majoring in criminal justice and political science. She has received multiple awards for her participation in Model UN simulations, such as the National Model UN (NMUN) conferences in Washington DC and New York, North American Model UN (NAMUN) in Toronto and University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations Conference (UPMUNC). Amanda has a keen interest in legal issues; she is an intern at the US Department of Probation and has worked for two New Jersey lawyers.

Head delegate Krupa Patel '12 (right) with the delegate representing Libya, in the Legal Committee simulation of the 2012 Geneva International Model UN conference. Photo by Francis Mayne for GIMUN.

Amanda’s co-head delegate, Krupa Patel ’12, had a similar experience representing Palestine in simulated discussions of norms on pre-emptive war and the legal status of people displaced by climate change in the UN General Assembly’s Legal Committee.

“The shift in power around the world is accelerating at a rapid fast rate and in order to keep up with this shift we must look beyond national policies and learn how to negotiate our way in a world that is far more diverse and advanced than we had ever imagined,” said Krupa, a senior from Morris Plains, New Jersey, majoring in political science with a minor in peace and justice studies. “Negotiations about international legal norms, though time-consuming, protracted and complicated, are an important part of this process.”

Krupa has been an award-winning member of the Pace University New York City Model UN program for four years, including NMUN conferences in Washington DC and New York, NAMUN and Harvard’s World Model UN. She has been an intern at the Public Advocates office in New York City as well as the Associated Press and is on Pace University New York City student government Judicial Council.

“The relevance of Geneva as the birthplace of international law has only increased my reverence and respect for achieving development through cultural diversity, helping me to become a global citizen.”

Delegates in the Human Rights Council, including Jean Dorak '13 (middle row, second from right), applaud progress in their deliberations at the 2012 Geneva International Model United Nations.

The interpretation of international norms on human rights was particularly heated in GIMUN’s simulation of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), which deliberated on issues of freedom of speech and the rights of LGBTQ people.

“I can completely throw myself into preparing and participating in a Model UN conference,” said Jean Dorak ’13, an Honors College junior majoring in political science with a minor in peace and justice studies, who represented Jordan in the HRC. “The environment of these conferences is inspiring because the people there are dedicated to representing their nations in a respectful and intellectual manner.” She represented the Philippines at 2011 NMUN DC and was recognized with an “Honorable Mention” award. From Commack, New York, Jean is a Budget Allocation Advisor on Pace University’s student government and is an intern at the Association for a Better New York.

Amanda, Krupa and Jean were among 11 Pace NYC students attending the prestigious 2012 GIMUN conference this week in the auspicious Palais des Nations former League of Nations headquarters and current location of the UN Office at Geneva.  The theme of the 2012 conference is “Achieving Dialogue and Development through Cultural Diversity.” Participants hail from 49 countries, and committee sessions are simultaneously translated between French and English.

Located only two express subway stops from the iconic United Nations complex on the East River, Pace University’s New York City Model UN program has a 60-year history of excellence in regional, national and international conferences. Model UN at Pace is uniquely integrated into the Political Science curriculum within the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences.