Twelve students participated in the 2017 Scotland Model UN (SCOTMUN) conference, a small but competitive simulation in Edinburgh, UK, 3-5 March. The conference was unusual in that it had students representing the media as well as Member States of the UN. Danyelle Lepardo ’17 received an award for her stellar work as a reporter in the conference and was joined on the press team by Emily Patterson ’18.
“Going abroad taught me about other cultures and provided me with a new perspective and outlook on the world,” said Mary-Lynn Hearn ’19, an incoming Head Delegate of the New York City Model UN program who represented the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in SCOTMUN’s simulation of UNESCO. She and her colleagues are experienced Model UN student who had to go through a rigorous application process to join the Pace delegation to SCOTMUN.
Also representing the DRC were a graduating Head Delegate, Priya Sakaria ’17, (in a simulation of UN Women); incoming Head Delegates Megan Zubar ’20 (UN Human Rights Council) and Joseph Colella ’19 (UN General Assembly First Committee — Disarmament and International Security).
“The style of conference was also different from others I had attended. I was constantly learning and developing new techniques,” said Mary-Lynn. “We had to be on our toes at all times and willing to work hard.”
Graduating Head Delegates Syuyumbika “Susha” Galimova ’17 and Matt Mainzer ’17 both represented Sweden in a simulation of the UN Security Council, which forced them to be even more on the ball. They responded to real-time changes to the situation, considering peace and security concerns in Myanmar and the Central African Republic.
Nigina Khaitova ’18, another Head Delegate, represented Latvia in a simulation of UN Women. Also representing Latvia were Ly Nguyen ’17 (Human Rights Council) and Elizaveta Smirnova ’18 (International Organization for Migration).
Perhaps one of the most challenging assignments was given to Jason Vargas ’17, who had to represent a judge in a “mock trail” simulation of a dispute between the United States of America and Iran before the International Court of Justice. It is rare that Pace students participate in simulations of legal processes, but he rose to the challenge!
The Pace students were able to learn about Scotland’s unique culture and heritage through exploring Edinburgh’s old town and attending a formal banquet and a cèilidh (traditional music and dancing. Sir George Reid, a Scottish politician and journalist, addressed the conference’s opening ceremony, reflecting on Scotland’s role in global politics.
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.
Pace’s involvement in Model UN is indicative of the university’s broader engagement with the UN. In the last few years, students and faculty have 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.”