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What Did the 12 GMC Students Learn from the 2011 National Model UN Conference?

Before our 12 delegates go to the 2011 National Model UN Conference in NYC, we met every Sunday for two semesters to get ready for the conference. We invited GMC students who participated at NMUN in past years to talk about their experiences. The team researched and wrote position papers for each committee. Delegates read UN Charter, resolutions, treaties, conventions, and general research about UN.  Delegates did intense research and discussion about Ethiopia, since we were representing this country.  The team held formal session to practice and learn the rules and regulations. Most importantly, they practiced public speaking and how to write resolution. the weekend before we go to the conference, I cooked Afghani dishes by my own hands for delegates because they are special for me. I cooked Basmati rice, Chicken Curry, potato curry and some of our delegates helped with delicious dessert and we had a special dressed up dinner.

2011 GMC National Model UN Team

2011 GMC National Model UN Team

The team went to the conference ready to write resolutions, debate, negotiate and discuss the political topics and international affairs.

Asadullah Sohail, Daniel Kimatarle, Daniel Riley, David Newlands, Denise Castro, Elisa Morales, Karrah Johnston, Kirstin Kelley, Neida Soto, Olesea Cojohari, Pieter Van Bezooyen, and Tsering Sherpa.

Asadullah Sohail, Daniel Kimatarle, Daniel Riley, David Newlands, Denise Castro, Elisa Morales, Karrah Johnston, Kirstin Kelley, Neida Soto, Olesea Cojohari, Pieter Van Bezooyen, and Tsering Sherpa.

As mentioned in our last updates a delegation of 12 Green Mountain College students participated to New York City 2011 National Model UN Conference from April 17th-22nd, 2011. The conference took place in the heart of New York City, Time Square, at Sheraton Hotel. The GMC team was led, managed and papered by the NMUN Head Delegate Asadullah Sohail and advisor Keith McDade. The conference started on Sunday April 17th at 6pm with an opening ceremony at Sheraton Ball room. The key speakers were The 2011 NMUN Secretary General Ronny Heintze and Mr. Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP. Committees were on session from 8am to 11pm everyday from Monday April 18 to Thursday April 22nd.

Opening Ceremony at Sheraton

Opening Ceremony at Sheraton

This conference brought 57, 00 delegates from five continents and over thirty countries and 150 colleges and universities to New York City. The delegation of Green Mountain College was representing The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia at General Assembly 1st, 2nd, and 3rdCommittees, the African Development Bank, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Committee, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

In order to represent a country very well, the team needs to have enough knowledge about the country and UN. The delegation had two semesters of doing hard work, preparation, research and reading the UN resolutions, treaties, conventions, UN Charter, the Eight Millennium Development Goals. More importantly, our delegates researched about Ethiopia. They learned about Ethiopia’s history, economy, culture, religions, geography, politics and the relationship of the country with its neighboring countries and the world.

The mean purpose of National Model UN Conference was to give a unique opportunity for college students to better understand the inner workings of the United Nations while building skills in diplomacy, compromise, group working and drafting resolutions. Our delegation had worked tirelessly to get ready for this conference.  At this conference they wrote resolutions addressing regional conflicts, peacekeeping, human rights, women and children, economic and social development, and the environment at six different committees.

Our delegation had its own Model UN because it was a diverse group of informed and committed leaders from U.S, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Nepal, Venezuela, Panama, Moldova, Turks and Caicos Island. As a head delegate I was happy to observe our delegates putting themselves out there from 8pm to 11pm discussing global issues, negotiating and working with other delegates to write resolutions. Kirstin Kelley and Tsering Sherpa was in General Assembly First Committee and their first agenda topic was Conventional Weapons Surplus Stockpiles. Kirstin mentioned that they “worked on a resolution with the Arab League, African Union, Uruguay, Myanmar, Lebanon, and a few others”. Their draft resolution was passed and they were really happy.

Asad and Neida in GA 2

Asad and Neida in GA 2

Neida Soto and I were in General Assembly Second Committee and our agenda topic was External debt and development: towards a durable solution to the debt of problems of developing countries. Neida and I worked with many African Union countries and wrote a resolution related to the topic.

Delegates at UN General Assembly

Delegates at UN General Assembly

Karrah Johnston and Elisa Morals were at GA3 committee. Their topic was promoting alternative development strategies to combat the world drug trade. Here is Karrah’s opinion about NMUN, “Through my participation in this remarkable conference I have been able to improve on my negotiation, communication, and collaboration skills”. She continued and said,” This is such a unique experience in that it affords an opportunity to interact with passionate, hardworking individuals from all over the world–making the simulation very similar to the actual United Nations experience”. All of our delegates have similar opinions about the conference.

David Newlands and Denise Castro were in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Committee. Dan Riley and Pieter Van Bezooyen were at African Development Bank and their topic was fostering clean water supply and sanitation. Daniel Kimatarle and Oleasea Cojohari were at the World Intellectual Property Organization. More importantly, one of our delegates Oleasea Cojohari was selected as chair for African Development Bank Committee.

David and Denise at NPT Committee

David and Denise at NPT Committee

The conference was ended with a closing ceremony at the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

Delegates at GA Hall

Delegates at GA Hall

Besides all the hard work, delegates had fun as well. Since our delegate was representing Ethiopia, we went to an Ethiopian restaurant called The Queen of Sheba. The “Test of the Queen” dish was amazing. The dish was combined of bread, lame, chicken, beans, beef, cabbage and egg. The last event was the Delegate Dance from 10pm to 3pm on Thursday. Lastly Daniel Kimatarle states that “the conference was a life changing experience. It provided knowledge and understanding of international affairs. I feel blessed to be there”.

Queen Sheba, An Ethiopian Restaurant

Queen Sheba, An Ethiopian Restaurant

By Kirstin Kelley 

I was one of the delegates representing Green Mountain College and Ethiopia in the General Assembly 1 Committee.  We were fortunate enough to have our order of topics passed, and only reached topic one, which was Conventional Weapons Surplus Stockpiles. I was also very fortunate in that I was chosen to speak first out of the 300+ delegates in our committee.  Beyond that, we worked on a resolution with the Arab League, African Union, Uruguay, Myanmar, Lebanon, and a few others.  Our resolution recommend nations work bilaterally to secure borders and prevent illicit weapons trafficking and that further steps be taken on a regional level to ensure cooperating among nations who truly understand each other’s difficulties.  We wrote the most comprehensive resolution out of the nine that went to a vote and it was presented to the plenary and passed.
MUN is a great experience and we made a lot of new friends from all over the world who we wish to keep in contact with.  The delegations of Guatemala (Wisconsin) and Myanmar (South Carolina) have already been in continuing contact with me.  I am excited about next year’s conference and am grateful for the opportunity to go.  This experience has made me contemplate what I want to do with my life, and I am now debating between two dreams I have had since childhood; a career in international negotiations or paleoanthropology.

By Karrah Johnston,

Karrah Johnston at UN General Assembly

Karrah Johnston at UN General Assembly

I participated in the General Assembly Third Committee (GA3) at the National Model United Nations conference in New York City from April 17th to the 21st. My partner, Elisa, and I represented Ethiopia in our committee. The three topics for GA3 were human rights, cultural integrity, and diversity; promoting alternative development strategies to combat the world drug trade; and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. The first task in the committee was setting the agenda, and our preferred order of topics (2, 3, 1) ended up garnering the most votes.

For the duration of the conference, we only worked on the first priority topic: promoting alternative development strategies to combat the world drug trade. Initially Ethiopia worked within the bloc of African nations to brainstorm ideas, but this group split when it became clear that some African nations were more concerned with focusing on the supply side of the drug trade while other states were purely used as transport hubs. Ethiopia’s role in particular is that of a transport hub, so our delegation joined with like-minded nations such as Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Congo, Hungary, Russia, and others to construct a draft resolution focusing on increased border and airport security, improved internal communication within countries, and the implementation of an international informational database detailing established trade routes of illicit drugs.

Through my participation in this remarkable conference I have been able to improve on my negotiation, communication, and collaboration skills. This is such a unique experience in that it affords an opportunity to interact with passionate, hardworking individuals from all over the world–making the simulation very similar to the actual United Nations experience. I would like to thank Green Mountain, our adviser, Keith, and our head delegate, Asad, for making this trip possible. It was truly an unprecedented experience.

The 2011 New York City National Model United Nation Conference,

UN General Assembly

UN General Assembly

A delegation of 12 Green Mountain College students are participating in New York City 2011 National Model UN Conference from April 17th-22nd, 2011. Over the past four years, Green Mountain College Model United Nations Team has existed as a prospect for students to receive an extracurricular education in international affairs. This year the GMC delegation is more confident in preparation for this event due to past experiences of students and alumni.  The delegation have had another semester of doing hard work, preparation, research and reading the UN resolutions, treaties, conventions, UN Charter, the Eight Millennium Development Goals. More importantly, our delegates have been researching about Ethiopia. In order to represent a country well, one needs to have enough knowledge about that country. Our delegates are learning about Ethiopia’s history, economy, culture, religions, geography, politics and the relationship of the country with its neighboring countries and the world.

The 2011 NMUN Conference is taking place in the heart of New York City, Time Square, at Sheraton Hotel. The closing and opening ceremonies will be held at the UN Headquarter. The prominent past speakers at this conference have been Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, the UN Secretaries General Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan. The delegations hope to have one of them to speak at the 2011 NMUN Conference.

2011 GMC National Model UN Team

2011 GMC National Model UN Team

The NMUN 2011 will bring more than 4,000 delegates from five continents and over thirty countries to New York City. This conference will include more than 20 committees. The delegation of Green Mountain College is representing The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia at General Assembly 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Committees, the African Development Bank, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Committee, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The mean purpose of National Model UN Conference is to give a unique opportunity for college students to better understand the inner workings of the United Nations while building skills in diplomacy, compromise, group working and drafting resolutions. Our delegation have worked feverishly to get ready for this conference. Now they are ready to write resolutions addressing regional conflicts, peacekeeping, human rights, women and children, economic and social development, and the environment at six different committees.

Our delegation is a diverse group of informed and committed leaders from U.S, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Nepal, Venezuela, Panama, Moldova, Turks and Caicos Island. As a head delegate, on behalf of our team,  I would like thank Student Senate, the Acadmic Departments and the college for providing the delegation team another opportunity to participate at this conference. I would like to thank our wonderful advisor Keith McDade for his help. At the end I would also thank the shining delegates for working extremely hard to prepare for the conference. We are ready to present Green Mountain College and Ethiopia proudly at the 2011 National Model UN Conference.

GMC 2011 National Model UN Head Delegate

Asadullah Sohail


Closing Ceremonies

Here is a slideshow from New York with the closing comments from our day at the actual United Nations.  It was a great trip and the team worked tirelessly and performed admirably.  We can’t wait for 2011!

Meet Orlane

Salaam to all,

It is a privilege to be a Green Mountain College student and it is an honor to represent this college at Model United Nations 2010. The delegation of Green Mountain College was representing the Republic of Congo at MUN. Each one of us represented well GMC and the Congo at a conference with four thousand participants from twenty eight different countries. I personally enjoyed and learned so much. Although I have participated in many conferences in DC, Chicago, Florida, Baltimore and New York where I have learned leadership, confidence and made new friends, MUN was one of my favorite conferences. It was an eye opening experience for me. I learned how the UN functions and the position of each country at a global level. I also learned about myself. I found out that I do not yet have enough knowledge as a global citizen. This conference made me to think about this and take action. In order to live in peace and brotherhood, we must learn about each other and respect one another.

Orlane Monga and I were both at the General Assembly Plenary. The topic that we discussed in this committee was the United Nation’s 10 Year Millennium Development Goals. As the delegation of the Republic of Congo, we worked with the delegates from Canada, Russia and many other African, Asian, European and American countries. Our resolution focused on health, education and sustainable development in developing countries, especially African countries. Our resolution was passed by majority vote and it was a great success. While our delegations represented the Republic of Congo in most of the committees, we were not in all of them. I hope that we can improve our Model UN club at Green Mountain College to bring more delegates to participate in all of the MUN committees, because they are discussing very serious and important issues there. It is sad that we do not have enough delegates to participate in all those important and eye opening committees.

Overall, I had an incredible experience at MUN. I met so many interesting, smart and hard working people. The Model UN changed my perspective and the perspective of all those who participated. All the participants are the future leaders and participating at this conference was the first step toward a successful and bright future. Building leadership doesn’t happen overnight but participating to conferences like Model UN are steps to take. It is important to build relationship with future leaders and MUN makes that possible.

 I deeply thank all of the kind and supportive people who made this conference possible for us. I thank Dr. Paul Falzone for being a very helpful advisor. I thank Laura Huley, our head delegate for working very hard to raise money, to train all of us well and to arrange travel to the conference. Finally, I thank the great, hard working and lovely delegation of the Republic of Congo for doing an awesome job and shining like stars at the Model United Nations 2010. You are the leaders!! GMC Rocks!!

Thanks

Asadullah

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