Augsburg News

News Archives - 2005

Representing Pakistan at the 2005 National Model United Nations

June 2005

During spring break a group of 13 Augsburg students, accompanied by Prof. Joseph Underhill-Cady, associate professor of Political Science, represented Augsburg College at the 2005 National Model United Nations conference in New York City. The conference consisted of more than 3,200 students from 5 continents who discussed pressing issues raised by the United Nations. Some issues discussed included poverty eradication, the AIDS epidemic, trade agreements, reforming the United Nations, counter-terrorism, and safeguarding refugees. Within their committees students spent many hours engaged in conversation in order to write resolutions to the problems.

This year Augsburg represented Pakistan in a joint delegation with Washington State University. The students began preparing for the conference at the beginning of the school year.

"The students really have to see the world through the eyes of that country," Underhill-Cady said. "They have to learn skills relating to diplomacy and negotiation, critical analysis, public speaking and diplomatic writing. And it is a very intense week in terms of the amount of work and effort students have to put out, so it really pushes people and tests their abilities to all work together."

The delegation spent two days at the United Nations Headquarters where they held committee meetings. They also had the opportunity to meet a Pakistani ambassador at the United Nations Pakistani Mission. The ambassador answered questions the students had about issues in Pakistan that their committees would be discussing.

"For me, this experience helps me re-direct my thoughts, energies/efforts, and time to what is really worthwhile according to my own values, interests, and talent," said Augsburg senior, international relations major Renzo Amaya. "It is also a perfect experience in which concepts learned in the classroom begin to make sense."

The group spent a lot of time in their committees where they met other students from all over the world. About 60 percent of the students are from countries other than the United States.

Sophomore, international relations major, Joelle Bickel said she found the conference interesting because you realize that "if you go into this kind of work, these are the people you will be working with."

Besides sitting in committees, discussing various topics, the group also had time to explore the city.

"A big part of the experience was just getting to know the group and being able to share our points of view with each other," said Robert Amaya, a senior, Business and Management major.

"I hope students come away from the experience with the inspiration to live life fully and experience as much and do as much good as they possibly can," said Underhill-Cady. "This was just a stellar group of students-each year the program improves and this year was no exception. They all worked so hard and got along so well, it was a real pleasure to work with them over the course of this year."