UM Model United Nations emerges victorious

The UM Model United Nations [MUN] delegation took top honors at the world’s largest university-level simulation of the United Nations, bringing home the “Outstanding Delegation” award. This honor also garnered the team a proclamation from Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas for the victory.

The National Model United Nations conference hosted more than 3000 students from over 210 universities all over the world in New York City this past April.

In the five day sessions that simulated actual United Nations proceedings, the 14 UM delegates represented the Island State of Cyprus in seven committees that dealt with issues ranging from Financing for Development to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

One unique aspect of this simulation is that two of the five-day sessions take place in the Great Hall of the United Nations. The General Assembly convenes in this hall – where former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened to rap his shoe in protest against alleged U.S. imperialism and Adlai Stevenson gave his stirring address during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The UM competitive delegation was created three years ago, and has since competed against universities in which MUN has been institutionalized and funded for decades.

In preparation for the New York competition, UM delegates convened for workshops every Friday for 2-3 hours starting in September right up until the conference. These workshops covered such topics as diplomacy, public speaking, resolution writing, parliamentary procedure and position papers that reflect students’ knowledge of Cypriot policy.

In addition, guest speakers, such as former U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Ambler Moss, and former NMUN Vice-President Kirk Wagar offered their advice to the team. Faculty Advisor Dr. Pete Moore and Student Advisor Cristina Florez also attended these workshops and provided productive guidance to the delegation.

“UM students are capable of academic excellence at a national level.” -Dr. Pete Moore Faculty Advisor

In addition, students dedicated 10-15 hours weekly researching information for their position papers, which are judged as part of the competition, and developing strategies with their partners.

During the conference, delegates were judged on a variety of criterions, including how well they acted in character and advocated the policies of Cyprus, their mastery of parliamentary procedure, their diplomatic interaction with other delegates, and the degree to which they were an integral part in creating and passing resolutions.

Approximately 21 of the 210 universities in attendance received recognition at the awards ceremony. Only six, UM among them, received the highest award possible – “Outstanding Delegation.” The UM delegation achieved a perfect score in three of seven committees.

“In earning top honors, our students have demonstrated that UM students are capable of academic excellence at a national level,” Moore said. I

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