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UNH Model United Nations Wins Overseas

Lauren Cohen

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This was the first international conference for our Model United Nations team. Last month at the Washington D.C. conference, the students won an “Outstanding Delegation Award,” and four students also won “Outstanding Position Paper” awards. Ten students participated at this year’s international conference in Kobe, Japan. While in Japan they also got to visit Kiyomizu Dera Temple and Hiroshima.
The team members include: Aemin Becker, Ellen Callahan, Dan Mayotte, Ryan Dougherty, Amanda Nash, who was the head delegate, Robert Granoth, who was the head delegate for the D.C. team, Connor Vargo, Josh Lutts, Tori White, and Cindy Zhunio. Each committee (Angola and Afghanistan) has two delegates, and each committee is assigned two different topics to discuss. However, most of the time each committee can only get through one.
The head delegate’s responsibility is to support the team in all ways during the conference as well as teaching the class.
Each team portrays a different country and students simulate what takes place in the U.N. by participating in committee meetings and drafting resolutions by collaborating with teams representing other countries. Judging is based upon participation for staying in character and proper use of rules and procedures. Other participating teams also grade and evaluate each group. Two years ago, U.N.H.’s Model UN was started as a club, but is now a class on Thursday nights. Angola General Assembly’s topic selected was the Elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
“I represented Angola in the General Assembly Plenary and I was really happy to discuss this topic, as earlier in the week we had visited Hiroshima, and got a chance to understand even further the effects of the atomic bomb on people. It was a truly powerful experience, and I was struck by the character of the Japanese to choose to quietly display the aftereffects of the bomb to the world and vow to pursue peace instead of war as a result. Thus, to discuss the elimination of weapons of mass destruction after viewing the destruction here was very meaningful,” Becker, a delegate for this committee said.
Angola Security Council talked about the current situation in Korea, and the Afghanistan ECOSOC talked about disaster risk reduction (DRR). They created draft resolutions to help solve the issues. They also made it to their second topic which was conflict and prevention and the empowerment of women and girls.
In the committee, Becker worked within the African Union bloc on encouraging the conversion of nuclear weapon stockpiles and facilities into facilities focused on peaceful usage through energy generation and the application of nuclear technology in ways that benefited all Member States, especially developing countries. She also worked in another group focused on making revisions to Security Council resolution 1540 – a resolution focused on ensuring that non-state actors (NSAs) never gain access to nuclear weapon facilities or materials.
“My contribution to this working paper centered on the universal implementation of uniform security measures in all nuclear facilities. This was meant to address the fact that not all nuclear facilities are secured the same way; some are more secure than others, and the weaknesses present opportunities for NSAs to secure nuclear material,” she said.
Both delegations, Angola and Afghanistan won top award of “Outstanding Delegation.” Becker and Dougherty of Angola General Assembly and Granoth and Lutts of Angola Security Council also won the “Outstanding Position Papers” award. These students, along with Callahan and Mayotte of Afghanistan Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) all won the “Outstanding Delegation” awards.
The Angola Delegation won every top award possible, which has never been done by a U.N.H. MUN team and has only been done several times at any National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference.
Dr. Chris Haynes, adviser for the team, said, “All of us feel so blessed to have the opportunity to participate in this wonderful program. Most of all, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Phil and Susan Bartels for providing us the means to compete in these conferences. It is because of the generosity and efforts of people like the Bartels that we are able to guide students on their journey to become more globally aware, to gain more confidence, to think and act more reflectively, to overcome their fears, and to take control of their futures.”
Ellen Callahan considered the conference a learning experience. She took what she learned in class and put it to practice.
“Although I am passionate about working out these resolutions, my favorite part of NMUN is not what, but who you meet in conference. I have met so many brilliant students from around the world and I am humbled to have worked with all of them. I am honored to represent the University of New Haven and for the opportunity to travel to Japan. This trip wouldn’t be possible without Mr. & Mrs. Bartels, my professors, parents and classmates. This trip has positively shaped my future and I am forever grateful,” she said.

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UNH Model United Nations Wins Overseas