Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX team stars at National Model UN conference in New York City

April 12th, 2018
The StFX Model UN team pictured at the closing ceremony in the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City.

StFX came back from the National Model UN (NMUN) conference held March 25-29 in New York City with a very impressive finish including two awards—an outstanding delegates award for two students, and an honourable mention delegation award for the entire team, which includes 19 students and faculty advisor, political science professor Dr. Youngwon Cho.

It was the first time StFX students attended this conference. The team received accolades for its collective performance, as well as individual distinction with Mathew Trnkus, a third year student from Montreal, QC, double majoring in political science and development studies, and Hannah Peters, a first year Bachelor of Arts in public policy and governance student from Halifax, NS, receiving the Outstanding Delegates Award for their individual performance in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Model UN conferences simulate the activities of the United Nations in proposing, debating, and voting on resolutions on major global issues, with the simulation taking place under various organs and committees of the UN, Dr. Cho says. StFX has a long history of participating in MUN conferences, with the Harvard National Model UN (HNMUN) Conference being the primary conference to attend. Three years ago, StFX students won two individual delegate awards at the HNMUN conference.

The NMUN-NY Conference is the largest intercollegiate MUN conference in the world, drawing over 5,000 students from over 400 universities and 130 countries. Formally recognized by the UN Department of Public Information as a registered NGO, NMUN it is also a registered Academic Impact Member of the UN.

Dr. Cho says StFX represented Argentina in 13 committees across numerous bodies and departments of the UN, including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Department of Peace and Security, and the Department of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Among the topics addressed were illicit trade in small arms, sustainable development, equitable access to education, accountability and transparency at the UN, climate change, marine pollution, sustainable agricultural practices, post-conflict reconstruction, global drug policies, peacebuilding, eradication of chemical weapons, hunger alleviation, cross-border disaster displacement, and many more. 



“I feel super lucky to have gotten to represent StFX at the National Model UN conference in New York City. It was one of the best moments of my first year so far,” Ms. Peters says.

“Matt and I won the outstanding delegates award for our work in our committee. I was thrilled and a little shocked to have received this award because there were around 140 groups in our committee each representing a different country.”

“MUN is a great opportunity for young leaders and students of all backgrounds and from universities all around the world to come together to discuss solutions to the world’s most challenging issues,” says Mr. Trnkus on the annual mock debating tournament.

“This year our society went to the largest MUN gathering in the world, NMUN-NY, where over 5,000 students competed over a two-week span. Hannah and I were lucky enough to be voted as outstanding delegates for representing Argentina and it truly is a dream come true. We are very much looking forward to seeing the MUN team grow and expand into an annual high quality delegation for years to come.”

“Model UN is a great opportunity for students to learn about international relations and diplomacy while also making close friends, not just from their own university, but from around the world. I'm excited to see Model UN grow at StFX in the years to come,” says Maili MacKenzie, StFX Model UN Society president and a fourth year political science honours student from Perth, ON.  





In addition to the conference, the students visited Argentina’s Permanent Mission to the UN and meet with one of its diplomats, Minister José Luis Fernández Valoni, who briefed them on Argentina’s role and position in the UN. They also got a chance to visit the UN Headquarters, with the plenary session and the closing ceremony taking place within the walls of the UN General Assembly Hall.

Attending this year’s conference was made possible in part by the generous funding provided by the Jules Leger Endowment, the Mulroney Institute of Government, the Department of Political Science, the Dean of Arts, and the McKenna Centre for Leadership.

Next year, StFX will field two delegations: a course-based delegation, and a delegation fielded by the StFXMUN Society as an extracurricular activity. Students interested in the course, PSCI 357 Model UN, should contact Dr. Cho at ycho@stfx.ca; students interested in the society-based delegation should contact Matthew Trknus at x2015jhc@stfx.ca.   

Participating students this year included:

Anne-Marie Mizzi

Brenda Gatera

Celia Chambelland

Clementine Loinard

Hannah Peters

Iffat Sohi 

Maili MacKenzie (President)

Marcus Wilmott (Fundraising Chair)

Matthew Trnkus 

Megan Langhorne

Nic Latulippe 

Patrick Andersen 

Rachel MacQueen

Rosalind Keyes (Vice-President) 

Rose Mergy

Stephen Keyes

Taylor Shaw (Secretary/Treasurer) 

Victoria Morley 

Zachary Vogel 

 

 

 

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