Geneva Conference Gave Me Confidence to Follow My Career Path

Lisa Smirnova ’18, representing Switzerland in a simulation of UN Women at the 2018 Geneva International Model UN conference in Switzerland.

Participation in the 2018 Geneva International Model UN (GIMUN) conference in Switzerland gave me a wonderful opportunity to immerse myself in the world of international work. The conference that was held in the Palais des Nation, home to the UN Office in Geneva, providing me with valuable insight into the world of diplomacy.

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A Unique Opportunity to Discuss International Policy

Alyssa Curran ’20 at the 2018 Geneva International Model UN conference in Switzerland.

This semester I represented Nicaragua in a simulation of UN Women at the 2018 Geneva International Model UN (GIMUN) conference in Switzerland. It was very different from my experience at the 2017 National Model UN conference in Washington DC.

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GIMUN Was an Unforgettable Experience

Dorin Khoiee-Abbasi ’18, Pace University NYC Model UN Head Delegate, representing Afghanistan at the 2018 Geneva International Model UN conference in Switzerland.

The opportunity to participate in the 2018 Geneva International Model UN (GIMUN) conference was an unforgettable experience. The ability to engage in diplomatic negotiations, perform speeches and collaborate on a single proposal at the UN’s Palais des Nations was remarkable.

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I Was Excited to Share Our Weeks of Research

Aya Taqi ’22 (left) and Sarah Khanfar ’21, representing Papua New Guinea at the 2018 National Model UN conference in New York.

I’ll never forget the rush of emotions that were going through me as I was next in the speaker’s list. I was nervous, because I’m naturally a shy person who avoids public speaking at all costs. But I was also excited.

I was excited to share the weeks of research my delegation partner, Sarah, and I have conducted on Papua New Guinea with the rest of the committee, a simulation of the UN General Assembly at the 2018 National Model UN (NMUN) conference in New York City. After my speech I welcomed the relief, but that’s only because I worked hard to put my fear of public speaking behind me.

This interchange between hard work and relief is how I’d describe my Model UN experience. During the conference, you’re constantly put in situations of high pressure. You have to work with people who are not willing to cooperate regardless of a deadline. You have to persuade delegations to be a part of your working group. This can be tough when you’re representing a small country.

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Jet-Lagged and Motivated, Jolted with a New Drive

Seneca Forch ’20, representing Slovenia in a simulation of the Human Rights Council at the UN’s Palais des Nations, during the 2018 Geneva International Model UN conference.

Our assignment at the 2018 Geneva International Model UN (GIMUN) conference was bigger than what we could have ever comprehended. We embarked on a flight with the intention of being diplomats for our respective countries. We went to enjoy the experience of being out of our own country. In a nutshell, this is our story: yes, we represented different countries in various committees. In my case, I represented Slovenia in a simulation of the Human Rights Council. Yes, we had loads of fun and made friends along the way.

But in interacting with people from around the world, we collectively left an impact as representatives from Pace University, from New York City and from America. Together, we went in with an assignment, and despite ups and downs, left Geneva with a greater mission completed. The experience as a whole jolted a new drive and perspective in my aspirations to pursue law and diplomacy. I caught a glimpse of a bigger picture, and returned to the US both jet-lagged and motivated.

— Seneca Forch ’20

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We Can Create Meaningful Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems

Katherine Ketterer ’21 (left) and Nicolas Iniguez ’20, representing the Republic of the Marshall Islands at the 2018 National Model UN conference in New York City.

Participating in a Model UN conference for the second time was just as, if not more exciting than the first time around. Getting the opportunity to sit inside the United Nations Headquarters during the 2018 National Model UN  (NMUN) conference in New York City was probably the most inspiring part of the entire conference. It emphasized the importance of collaboration for all of us who were attending.

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Model UN Exceeded My Expectations

Natalia Villarreal ’21 (front row, fourth from left, holding certificate), along with other Pace University NYC students at the 2018 National Model UN conference in New York City.

The first few weeks of Model UN class, I felt like I was missing something that everyone else understood. I was writing a position paper, but I didn’t know why. As a delegate for Papua New Guinea, I was researching migration in Libya, but I couldn’t find any connections. I would turn to the background guide, but I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for, and with such a plethora of information, I had no idea what was actually important.

But it all became clear once we started the simulations. Mock sessions on Fridays Friday classes were really helpful for that. As time progressed, things became less ambiguous, more simple, and the workload less. The Head Delegates, my MUNtor, and everyone else in the class, was beyond helpful and willing to answer any and every question I had, no matter how small. They were an enormous help throughout the whole semester and the conference too.

The 2018 National Model UN (NMUN) conference in New York was not at all how I expected it to be — it exceeded my expectations. I met all sorts of interesting people, who spoke a myriad of languages, and were from all over the world. It was draining at times, stressful, intimidating at first, and too, too early, but never disappointing.

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