St. Petersburg College’s Model UN team traveled to Geneva, Switzerland from October 28 to November 3 to compete at the World Federation of United Nations Associations International Model United Nations (WIMUN) simulation. With about 80 percent of the delegates from outside the US, this is one of the most international conferences in the Model UN (MUN) universe. Overall, the team captured the Best Small Delegation award and four of the 12 individual awards at the conference.
What an outstanding effort by our students! The awards include one position paper award, which was awarded to Sofia Angelini; and three delegation awards attained by John Owens, Myleena Hurtado and Kerri Kendrick. In addition, Adam Johnson was one of 10 students (of the 400 total) who was chosen to deliver opening remarks at the Palais des Nations. The team traveled with me, Dr. Douglas Rivero, Chair of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Seminole/Lead MUN advisor and Dr. Kimberly Jackson, Chair of Social & Behavioral Sciences at the Downtown & Midtown campuses.
The competition involved simulating several agencies, such as the International Labor Organization (ILO), and UN organs (Security Council and Second Committee of the General Assembly (GA2). MUN simulations involve students engaging in interactive discussions and writing draft resolutions on a variety of major global issues. In fact, the topics at this conference included the UN Security Council working on resolutions that pertained to the Situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), specifically the renewal of CAR Sanctions Regime in order to ensure the cessation of human rights violations in the area. Catherine Tomcyck and John Owens took part in this committee and represented the countries of the USA and the Ivory Coast.
Another important UN organ, GA 2, addressed the topic of Harmony with Nature. They worked on a variety of draft resolutions that dealt with how to implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Sofia Angelini (Madagascar), Adam Johnson (France), Kerri Kendrick (Germany) and Cooper Hockstetler (Chile) participated in this committee.
The last committee was the International Labour Organization, and they dealt with the topic of Global Supply Chains. As such, they were tasked with working out how representatives from the national governments, employers and workers could come together to improve working conditions for workers in the less-developed world. Myleena Hurtado, Cierra Howard and Kingsley Hollon-Coleman represented the country of Mexico. As you can see, our students were intimately involved with analyzing critical matters dealing with human rights, environmental issues and social welfare.
The students also had the opportunity to visit the Palais des Nations, which is the seat of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) and the initial home of the League of Nations. Faculty members and WIMUN staff arranged for a tour on October 30 that explained to students the history and diplomacy that occurs at UNOG. Students then had an opportunity to take pictures at the UN and purchase UN items from their bookstore. Some of the major agencies that are located at UNOG include the International Labour Organization, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization.
Lastly, the students were able to have some fun. For example, they played chess and checkers at the famous Promenade de Bastions in Geneva. In my view, this was a perfect way for them to work out their minds prior to conference! They also visited beautiful Lake Geneva, as well as some of the great restaurants and chocolate stores in Geneva. Overall, it was a very exciting experience for many of our students, especially because many of them had never been on a plane or traveled outside the country.
Overall, this was an amazing educational experience for our students. Not only were they immersed in a variety of educational excursions, but they also had the chance further develop their writing, diplomacy and public speaking skills. Amazingly, this continues the incredible winning streak of our MUN Team. Jessica Angelini, the parent of Sofia Angelini, recognized this.
“I’m amazed at how well the SPC Model UN Team has done, even at the international level,” Angelini said. “It truly reflects on the school’s support and faculty leadership. My older daughter participates in Model UN at her university in Maryland, and despite being a larger university, they simply do not have the results that SPC does.”
Besides the parents, MUN Faculty members Douglas Rivero, Kim Jackson, Randy Lightfoot, Bledar Prifti, Roberto Loureiro, William Fleming and Gyldas Othamot are extremely honored and proud of the students’ hard work and wins.