Model UN Team Named Distinguished Delegation at D.C. Conference
A Syracuse University/Maxwell School team participating in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference earlier this month was named a “Distinguished Delegation” (the second-highest award) for its portrayal of the Republic of Finland/Suomi. The conference, held in Washington, D.C., drew more than 1,000 college and university students from across the United States and nine other nations.
To prepare for their simulation of global diplomacy, the SU/Maxwell team members studied the history, economy, politics, geography, culture and foreign policy of Finland/Suomi, the structure and practice of the UN system and the conference rules of procedure (which mimic the procedures of actual UN meetings). The students, all juniors or seniors, researched and wrote position papers on a wide range of topics, from climate change to the role of women in peacekeeping. They practiced public speaking, negotiation skills and resolution writing in weekly workshop sessions.
Preparations also included a pre-conference Skype briefing with two representatives from Finland’s/Suomi’s permanent mission to the United Nations; a meeting with Bradley R. Turner ’10, who had completed a one-year Fulbright in Helsinki; and, upon arriving in D.C., a briefing at the Finland/Suomi embassy that included, among others, the embassy’s deputy chief of mission.
There were 11 undergraduate international relations majors on the team. Katherine Conti, Taylor Dunne and Siddarth Senthilkumaran served as co-head delegates. Other participants were Laurel Bennett, Oloruntobi Dare, Georgia Eisenmann, Michelle Guo, Taylor Krzeminski, Paola Garcia Soto, Delaney Van Wey and Jack Woltman.
During the three-day conference, NMUN staff evaluated delegation participation based on portrayal of the assigned country’s UN representatives, engagement in conference sessions and use of the rules of procedure. Dare won a “Best Position Paper” award and Conti and Soto won “Best Delegate” awards.
The NMUN conference is sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association and the United Nations Association of the United States of America. The SU/Maxwell team received support from the international relations program, the Maxwell Dean’s Office, the College of Arts and Sciences, the estate of Robert Mowitz ’41 BA/G’47 and generous SU-MAX-MUN alumni. The delegates themselves also participated in fund-raising to help cover conference costs.