Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams Gives Address on Gender and Disarmament at Pace University

Disarmament and Arms Control Campaigners Challenged to Take Gender Seriously

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams delivering keynote address at the 2014 Disarmament Forum at Pace University New York City. Photo: Control Arms.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams delivering keynote address at the 2014 Disarmament Forum at Pace University New York City. Photo: Control Arms.

Activists working on disarmament and arms control need to challenge the belief that violence is inevitable – especially violence by men –and resist the subtle attempts by powerful organizations and people to infer that those who work for peace are somehow weak and “woman-like”, said Jody Williams of the Nobel Women’s Initiative October 17-19, 2014, at Pace University in New York City.

Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 along with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines for her successful coordination of the global coalition that served as the “engine of change” on landmines and, in the space of five years, resulted in the Ottawa Treaty, banning Antipersonnel Landmines. Since January 2006, Williams has chaired the Nobel Women’s Initiative that spearheaded the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict. She has also been a powerful advocate for the prohibition of fully autonomous robotic weapons.

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Pace Model UN Students Represent Global Civil Society, Seek Equality for a Better World

Pace University New York City Model United Nations students at the Union Nations participating in the 2014 National Model UN conference.

Pace University New York City Model United Nations students at the United Nations participating in the 2014 National Model UN conference.

According to Oxfam International, the world’s richest 85 people control as much wealth as the entire poorest half of the world’s population. Recognizing the serious economic, social and political questions this raises, the theme of this year’s National Model United Nations conference in New York City (NMUN NY) was “Equality for a Better World.”

“Your participation in this Model UN comes at a time of opportunity and risk for the human family,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in his message to the NMUN NY delegates. “I count on you to use the negotiating skills you learn in this Model UN exercise to help navigate the real-world challenges we face.”

Pace University New York City students represented several institutions of global civil society — faith-based organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Oxfam — which have played a key role in campaigns to raise awareness of the humanitarian and human rights implications of inequality. This was one of the most challenging set of assignments Pace NYC students have had in a while, as the NGOs and Observer State they represented have some voice but no vote within the United Nations. They had to rely entirely on the power of persuasion and negotiation to get their way.

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Delegate Reflection: Awakening the Inner Diplomat

(Left to Right) Gisselle Rodriguez, Hartley Cavallaro, Natalia Morales, Matthew Jamele and Lilly Bogner participating in a simulation of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at the 2014 National Model UN conference in New York.

Gisselle Rodriguez ’16, Hartley Cavallaro ’15, Natalia Morales ’17, Matthew Jamele ’15 and Lilly Bogner (left to right) participating in a simulation of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at the 2014 National Model UN conference in New York.

The 2014 National Model United Nations conference in New York City awakened the inner diplomat within me. I loved participating in committee, the networking opportunities, the invaluable guest lecturers and the career fair.  The diplomacy skills that were locked within me are now unleashed and I will exert these skills every chance I get.

This class has led me to believe that diplomacy is something that goes beyond what is written in textbooks and it goes beyond what is said in the news. Diplomacy is so much more than convincing people to agree with your ideals, it’s about working towards a better world where the “common good” is put first, where people work together to incorporate the voices of all and to actively work towards ridding the world of evil. Diplomacy is a lifestyle in which one actively seeks to make the world a better place.

That is why for me Model United Nations what more than just a class, it was the portal that led me on my path to global citizenry.

- Gisselle Rodriguez ’16

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Delegate Reflection: Using NGOs’ Weaknesses as Strengths

Harsh Mehta, Nelli Agbulos, Inemesit Essien, a friend and Vato Gogsadze in a simulation of the Commission on the Status of Women at the 2014 National Model UN conference in New York.

Harsh Mehta ’15, Nelli Agbulos ’17, Inemesit Essien ’16, a friend and Vato Gogsadze ’15 in a simulation of the Commission on the Status of Women at the 2014 National Model UN conference in New York.

The 2014 National Model United Nations conference in New York (NMUN NY) was a rewarding educational experience unlike anything I have done before. My partner Inemesit Essien ’16 and I represented the non-governmental organization (NGO) Oxfam International in the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW).

Being an NGO, we were only granted “consultative status”; but we used that weakness as our strength to spread Oxfam’s influence and presence. NGOs were not allowed to vote, but we influenced the debate and incorporated programs and policies crucial to solutions stated in countries’ working papers.

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Delegate Reflection: Toward a Future in Philanthropy and Activism

Hannah Liot '15 representing Australia in a simulation of the UN Security Council at the 2014 National Model UN in New York.

Hannah Liot ’15 representing Australia in a simulation of the UN Security Council at the 2014 National Model UN in New York.

My future in philanthropy and activism requires confidence to advocate for a cause, protest, rally, compile research, write and recruit supporters. Model United Nations has inspired confidence in me to handle these challenges by teaching me a wide range of qualities. It has taught me wisdom, which has made me open and reflective of my thoughts and work.

Through my experiences — such as at this year’s National Model UN conference in New York – I have gained knowledge, which has expanded my understanding of the world, of international relations and of efficient group dynamics.

The Model UN class has also developed my skills, strengthening my abilities and providing me with new tools such as public speaking and resolution writing to help mobilize my goals. Most importantly, Model UN has taught me that patience and persistence can overcome almost any challenge. Model UN has developed my knowledge, advanced my skills and motivated me to be active and assured as I move forward with my career.

- Hannah Liot ’15

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Delegate Reflection: Experiencing the Challenges of Diplomacy

Two friends, Vato Gogsadze, Harsh Mehta and Nelli Agbulos participating in a simulation of the Commission on the Status of Women at the 2014 National Model United Nations conference in New York.

Two friends, Vato Gogsadze ’15, Harsh Mehta ’15 and Nelli Agbulos ’17 participating in a simulation of the Commission on the Status of Women at the 2014 National Model United Nations conference in New York.

The 2014 National Model United Nations in New York (NMUN NY) was a unique opportunity to learn more about the United Nations and its role in resolving existing problems of the world. During the conference, I was able to experience diplomacy in a cross-cultural environment, which was exciting and challenging.

By discussing, arguing, and trying to resolve extremely difficult socio-political problems of the world, students gained knowledge about numerous countries and their interests while improving their public speaking and writing skills.

Overall, I am extremely happy and that I was part of a wonderful learning community and I am convinced that the experience gained from NMUN NY has improved me as a person.

- Vato Gogsadze ’15

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Delegate Reflection: Going to Geneva Model UN Expanded My Horizons

Rumsha Zahid '15 in the gardens of the Palais des Nations at the 2014 Geneva International Model UN conference in Switzerland.

Rumsha Zahid ’15 in the gardens of the Palais des Nations at the 2014 Geneva International Model UN conference in Switzerland.

Attending an international Model United Nations conference is a unique experience and provides a great opportunity to expand your horizon of knowledge.  Model UN allowed me to enhance my diplomatic skills as well as increased my confidence.

Participating in the 2014 Geneva International Model United Nations conference, not only challenged me but gave me the courage to strive for success.  One of the important life lessons I have learned through Model UN is to never give up.  I realized that even though there are many obstacles, one should always go forward and work to overcome them.  Nothing is guaranteed, but as long as a person gives their best, they will certainly achieve.

- Rumsha Zahid ’15

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