Delegate Reflection: Learning to Respond to Crises in Model UN

Pace student Oleh Puryshev in the United Nations General Assembly Room during the 2015 National Model UN conference in New York City.

Pace student Oleh Puryshev in the United Nations General Assembly Room during the 2015 National Model UN conference in New York City.

During this year’s National Model United Nations conference in New York City (NMUN NY), I represented the Republic of Rwanda in a simulation of the UN Security Council, along with my delegation partner Annie Stishov ‘18.

The committee mostly consisted from international students with only two states represented by American colleges. Every participant shared an interesting background of their own with specific political views on the topics. The committee was relatively small with only 15 member states (Permanent Five members and 10 selected states) and was the only one that dealt with simulated crises in real time.

Even though the agenda was set in favor of discussing the issue of ISIL in the Middle East, we as member states amended the agenda after receiving important updates about the ongoing conflict in Yemen. This was a unique experience, because we started to discuss a topic without a proper background preparation on the issue. Within the following 24 hours all delegates not only managed to do decent research on the topic but also produced two draft resolutions and a presidential statement that were all adapted by acclamation.

I can proudly say that Rwanda was leading the discussion and incorporated its ideas in every document. This accomplishment directly relates to our in-class preparation before the conference. Only with proper guidance in how to properly research and represent your country’s position we were able to proudly represent Pace University.

It was a great pleasure and a unique experience to be a part of such a collaborative and a dedicated committee. All delegates were able to put away their egos and personal beliefs in order to work unanimously towards producing a positive change in the current global problems. If all officials were only able to do the same, the world would be a much better place.

To read more about Pace University New York City’s award-winning performance at the 2015 NMUN NY, click here.

– Oleh Puryshev ‘16

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About Matthew Bolton

I am assistant professor of Political Science at Pace University and author of Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance.
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