Several Lee University students participated at the National Model United Nations conference in New York alongside thousands of other students from universities around the world.
NMUN is a simulation of the United Nations. At the conference, Lee students became United States diplomats, representing the interests of the U.S. in the U.N. while also contributing ideas and working with diplomats from other countries to solve world problems. Pairs of students focused on a different aspect of U.S. foreign policy. The goal is to work with other diplomats to write a Resolution, or a piece of international law where the U.N. makes policy recommendations on various subject matters.
“I often hear from my students that Model United Nations is a life-changing experience,” said Dr. Ana Alves Shippey, associate professor of political science at Lee. “By participating in the Model United Nations, students get to feel and experience why global diplomacy matters, and abstract ideas they learn in the classroom become concrete to them. They interact with thousands of students coming to the U.S. from all over the world to attend the conference, and they get to see how culture matters. Model U.N. is an amazing experience, and I am so thankful that I get to introduce it to students at Lee.”
To prepare for the conference, students take the Model United Nations course, where they learn about the United Nations, the country they are representing, and a specific foreign policy issue for which they must offer creative and feasible solutions.
This year, students worked with other diplomats to discuss the threat of explosive devices and nuclear proliferation, biological diversity, the eradication of poverty, sustainable and inclusive social development, narcotic drug trafficking and drug policies, gender equality and the rights of women in work, sustainable economic growth, access to energy in Latin America, sustainable aquaculture, and transforming food systems for healthy diets.
Lee students won multiple awards during the conference. Katie Krueger, a freshman international studies and digital media double major, won Best Position Paper Award for her position paper in the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Position papers are submitted prior to the conference outlining a proposed solution to a problem and must align with foreign policy goals while receiving the support of other countries.
Ellie Earles and Zadie Fiveash were awarded Outstanding Best Delegates in Committee for their work in “Commission on the Status of Women.”
The Lee group won Outstanding Delegation Award, the top-level award for a delegation.
"Participating in the National Model UN conference gave us the unique opportunity to learn about and practice diplomacy,” said Ms. Earles, a senior double major in international studies and Spanish. “Through the preparation in and outside of class, as well as during the conference itself, we enhanced our skills of research and writing, public speaking, and inclusive teamwork. We also had the challenge of maintaining our position as the U.S. delegation, as we sought to find common ground to create sustainable resolutions with other delegations. For me, NMUN proves that diplomacy and peace are possible in the real world. It is a challenging yet rewarding experience!”
Students do not need to be political science majors to participate.
For more information about National Model United Nations, visit https://www.nmun.org/.
For more information about participating in the NMUN conference, contact Dr. Shippey at firstname.lastname@example.org.