Pace University Model UN students from the Downtown campus excelled at two conferences this semester, in Rome and here in New York.
“I have learned from Model UN is that there is no better feeling than working together with people with a vast range of perspectives,” said Valerie Pomares who represented Nigeria in a simulation of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the conference in New York. “It gives us a way to see how to bring about possible solutions to issues that are affecting the world today.”
At the 2019 Model UN Rome conference (MUNRome) in Italy, 11-14 March, seven Pace NYC students (Joseph Colella, Selini Drakos, Seneca Forch, Mary-Lynn Hearn, Katherine Ketterer, David Sharif and Carissa Veltri) represented the People’s Republic of China in simulations of the UN Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and UNHCR.
“Model UN is a real-life introduction to the world,” said Seneca, one of the four head delegates who help lead the program, and participated in a simulation of the UN General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament and International Security). “We engage with people from far stretches of the globe both inside and out committee. Model UN brings the world together in one space, and amazing things happen.”
The conference, held in English, drew 700 university students from around Italy, along with small delegations from Germany, France and the USA (including us!). At the closing ceremony, held at the headquarters of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the Pace students were one of only a few universities awarded a “Diplomacy Award” for their outstanding work.
To learn more about students’ experience at MUNRome, read the following student blog posts:
- Selini Drakos: “Surprises in the Security Council“
- Carissa Veltri: “Model UN Teaches Research, Writing and Speaking Skills“
- David Sharif: “Becoming a Strong Advocate for Global Awareness“
A couple weeks later, at the 2019 National Model UN (NMUN NY) conference here in New York City, 24-28 March, 24 Pace NYC students represented Nigeria and Botswana in simulations of a wide range of UN committees. The 22 students representing Nigeria were recognized with an Honorable Mention award; Matthew Thomas and Wesley Goodrich were specifically recognized with an Outstanding Position Paper award.
“Attending Model United Nations brought out confidence in me that I didn’t realize I had,” said Cameron Gattinger, who represented Nigeria in a simulation of the UN General Assembly Third Committee (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian). ” I met new people, spoke in front of a big audience and had to think under pressure; I found myself a lot better at managing relationships and priorities than I thought I would be.”
Ben Jackson, who worked with Valerie in ECOSOC, agreed: “NMUN NY built my confidence to speak in front of an audience — the research process in preparation helped me understand my country, topics and issues.”
The NMUN NY conference this year offered a new and exciting opportunity, for a student from each participating university to express their concerns in a debate about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the actual UN General Assembly Hall. Pace Political Science and History major Kannon West spoke passionately about the importance of education from the same UN podium from which heads of state address the world. You can watch the UN WebTV video of him here.
“At NMUN NY I realized that there are so many challenges facing the world for which the only viable solutions are those that are born out inclusive collaboration and on a global scale,” said Carter Boyd, who represented Nigeria in a simulation of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Similarly, Crystal Isidor, who participated in a simulation of the Commission on the Status of Women, said that NMUN NY “gave me a better understanding of how important diversity is when it comes to working together towards a universal goal.”
To learn more about students’ experience at NMUN NY, read the following student blog posts:
- Kannon West: “From Pace University Classroom to the United Nations General Assembly Hall“
- Paulina Levner: “Learning to Collaborate in Large Groups“
- Jingfan Zhang: “Outsider in US Tries to Become an Insider at the UN“
- Ersa Lybesha: “Learning to Represent Others’ Interests“
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 65-year history of excellence in regional, national and international conferences. Model UN at Pace is a class, uniquely integrated into the political science curriculum within the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and aims to encourage students to develop wisdom, knowledge, skills and community for global vocation and citizenship.
“Taking my first Model United Nations was a hands on experience that gave me a glimpse of what my future could be,” said Jackie Fleury, who represented Nigeria in a simulation of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Pace’s involvement in Model UN is indicative of the university’s broader engagement with the UN. Notably, Pace students and faculty participated in the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning advocacy of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). In the last few years, students and faculty have also worked closely, particularly with civil society, in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Commission on the Status of Women, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UN General Assembly First Committee, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and Arms Trade Treaty. In 2016, Pace University was featured in a report by then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, recognizing its “growing role in disarmament education.”