Model UN, though a Simulation, Highlights Real-World Problems

Julie Burke Geneva_2

Pace University student Julie Burke ’16, in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva’s Palais des Nations, attending the 2016 Geneva International Model UN conference.

My experience at the 2016 Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference in Switzerland is one I will always remember. The international context, especially at the European UN Headquarters, made this conference that much more authentic. As a delegate of the French Republic in a simulation of decisionmaking by the World Health Organization (WHO), I gained tremendous insight into one of the UN’s many international bodies. During one of my many committee speeches, I spoke about a WHO statistic which reports, “2.9 million newborns die within one month due to diseases that can be easily avoided.” It was after this speech that the gravity of our discussions truly struck me. The subject of infant mortality is not arbitrary, but rather a real and genuine issue in our world. Model UN, while a simulation, is such a unique opportunity for students to engage with real-world problems and seek collaborative and sustainable solutions. I feel so fortunate to have been given this opportunity and strongly encourage new students to explore the many offerings of Pace’s Model UN team.

– Julie Burke ’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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