Representing the Republic of India, 24 FIU students participated in this year’s Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) conference in Boston. As a result of their collective efforts, the FIU Model United Nations team returned from the conference with increased respect for FIU and its academic reputation.
This year’s HNMUN featured more than 3,000 students from 6 continents and 37 countries and was held at the historic Boston Park Plaza Hotel. FIU MUN delegates participated in rigorous parliamentary debate, fierce diplomatic negotiations and preparation of draft resolutions, reports and directives.
Overall, 11 out of 24 FIU students were individually recognized for their substantive contributions during their respective committees.
The following FIU delegates were recognized during the HNMUN awards ceremony:
Best Delegate (first place): Watlyn Clervoix and Aaron Heria: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Outstanding Delegate (second place): Cristine Ale and Iohana Sanchez: United Nations Human Rights Council
Daniela Gonzalez and Ryan Brooks: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Nahir Davila and Octavio Mella: The Special Political and Decolonization Committee
Honorable Mention (third place): Hayden Simms: The Historical Security Council of 1967
Yesenia Alfonso and Ana Portal: World Health Organization
“This year’s team set a number of FIU records at HNMUN,” said John Stack, director of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). ”For the first time in FIU history two first year delegates were awarded the Best Delegate award. Moreover, HNMUN 2011 was a record setting year for second place awards as well, with the previous high being just one.
“What makes this year’s accomplishment so extraordinary is that six of the award recipients were participating in their first ever intercollegiate Model United Nations Conference, which is also the highest total of first year FIU delegates winning awards at Harvard.”
The Harvard National Model United Nations conference serves as an opportunity for FIU delegates to prepare for the National Model United Nations Conference held in New York City each spring. This year’s team will represent Uruguay and will look to replicate its team success from previous years.
Cristine Ale and Ryan Brooks, FIU Model UN co head-delegates, said, “this year’s team understands the importance and necessity of equaling previous year’s team success. To this point, our delegates have given up every Saturday this semester to participate in mock conference simulations, which can last as long as 8 hours. These simulations are necessary because NMUN bases its awards criteria on the entire delegations performance, rather than individual delegate performance.
“Coming together to win a delegation award is the ultimate reward for all of the hard-work students have given to the Model UN Program and we look forward to representing FIU this April.”
Ray Hernandez, FIU Model UN program director, said, “Like many of the team’s that have come before this year’s team, our delegates this year truly put the ‘international’ in FIU. This year’s team is comprised of delegates from 13 different countries. Having such a broad team milieu undoubtedly contributed to their success.
“Their performance at HNMUN also shows that FIU is a university with a high caliber and diverse faculty. It goes without saying that the students would not have achieved success without the incredible instruction provided by dedicated faculty and staff.”
The FIU MUN Program is under the auspices of SIPA’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies and is a political science course offered each spring. The program is supported by the Student Government Association, Office of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and SIPA’s Department of Politics and International Relations.