Model UN practices politics, receives award at global conference
Apr 24, 2014
North Central College’s Model United Nations (UN) program received an Honorable Mention delegation award for its performance at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York City April 13-17.
The conference featured more than 5,000 students from around the world, participating in a simulation of the real-life diplomacy of the United Nations. Each school’s delegation was assigned a country to represent during the simulation, where it collaborates with other delegations to pass United Nations resolutions.
North Central was assigned the African country of Angola. Students prepared for NMUN conferences throughout the fall and winter terms, traveling to Chicago, where they represented the Czech Republic, and New York at the end of each term, respectively.
North Central’s contingent received an Honorable Mention award from the conference committee, which grants the award based on several performance standards.
“The award recognizes a delegation being ‘in character,’ actively participating and demonstrating a proficient understanding the rules and procedures of the United Nations,” says William Muck, assistant professor of political science and Model UN faculty advisor who led the student group to New York City. “A delegation award is a major accomplishment and testament to all the hard work the students put into representing their country.”
While in New York, North Central students visited the Angolan Diplomatic Mission to meet with Angola’s press attaché and elections official Xavier Rosa, who discussed the history, economics, politics and culture of the African nation.
“Our students (standing, below) were able to have an informal conversation with Mr. Rosa about the major issues and challenges facing Angola today,” says Muck. “He spoke in Portuguese with an English translator. However, one of our students actually spoke Portuguese, and it was thrilling to watch her discuss Angolan policy directly with Mr. Rosa in Portuguese.”
International student Fatlum Gashi, of Kosovo, was among the North Central contingent that represented Angola during the conference.
“I got to meet many people from different countries and different cultures, which was great,” says Gashi. “It’s really interesting to see youth from other countries interact while creating solutions for the biggest problems of the world.”
Gashi, who’s majoring in international relations and hopes to eventually participate in international politics, says his experience in Model UN was “priceless.”
“It helped me create a great network of people with the same interests,” he says. “I learned how [the U.N.] creates resolutions, what topics they discuss during diplomatic talks and how caucusing works. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Written by Troy Kelleher ’16