By Rebecca J. Flavin, lecturer in political science and Model UN advisor
Baylor University’s Model United Nations team was named an Outstanding Delegation at the 2019 National Model United Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 8-10, 2019. In addition to this team recognition, which is the top-level team award given at MUN conferences, eight of the team’s 12 members received Outstanding Position Paper or Outstanding Delegate in Committee awards. The team roster and list of individual award winners are provided below.
These awards are especially noteworthy, as this is the team’s first time attending the fall NMUN-DC conference. Moreover, our team has been named Outstanding Delegation at national conferences in four consecutive semesters.
The fall NMUN-DC conference brought together approximately 900 university students from around the world as they simulated United Nations committees, playing the role of diplomats while they negotiated and crafted resolutions on topics such as:
- The Impact of Climate Change on Global Food Security
- Ending the Use of Improvised Explosive Devices, Landmines, Cluster Munitions and Other Explosives
- The Link Between Women’s Empowerment and Sustainable Development
- Preventing Marine Plastic Pollution through Sustainable Consumption and Production
- Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and
- Strengthening Peacebuilding to Mitigate Conflict
Baylor students represented the nation of Kuwait in six committees: General Assembly First and Fourth Committees (GA), the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the Security Council (SC). The team spent three months preparing to represent Kuwait, researching and writing position papers on two assigned topics in advance of conference. One of these topics was chosen by the committee during the opening session for debate during the conference sessions.
We are always delighted when our students are recognized with awards by conference staff and their peers, but the rigorous academic preparation for and professional development provided by the conference are what the students celebrate most about their MUN experience. The team’s co-assistant head delegate, Sophia Fulton (junior, Business Fellows), captures the spirit of the conference so well when she says:
“NMUN DC showed me how students from across the world could combine shared expertise and research with individual perspectives to solve problems the world currently faces. One of the best parts about Model UN is its emphasis on constructive collaboration over competition. To be successful at NMUN DC, participants must work together for the good of the body, not just the member state they represent. Furthermore, Model UN offers students a fun yet effective avenue to develop skills necessary for their future careers, from clearly writing and speaking on policy proposals to graciously leading their peers in the work. NMUN DC encourages students to be the very best version of people, taking the skills they learn during the conference out into the world and using them to advocate for others and lead their world into a better future.”
Esther Ihowa, an international exchange student from France studying at Baylor this academic year, values the personal lessons she learned from the experience, including “to not let any barriers stop you from living your dreams, whether if it is the language barrier, your race or origin, or what others may think of you. It only takes one step of courage to realize that the world also needs you.”
For a full list of conference topics, the full list of participating schools and award winners and other conference information, visit www.nmun.org.
In February 2020, Baylor’s Model United Nations team will travel to Houston to participate in TexMUN, representing five member states in four committees. In April 2020, the team will travel to New York City to participate in NMUN-NY, representing Sri Lanka in eight committees.
Awards at MUN-DC received by Baylor students include:
Outstanding Delegations in Committee
Members of the team who were honored with individual recognition in three of the six committees in which we participated include:
- Security Council: Ben Hunt and Jenny Nguyen
- FAO: Jonathan Chew and Preston Heard
- UNEA: Glenn Buchanan and Raquel Nunez
Outstanding Position Paper Awards
Members of the team who received Outstanding Position Paper Awards in three of the six committees in which we participated include:
- GA 1: Sophia Fulton and Lauren McLane
- Security Council: Ben Hunt and Jenny Nguyen
- UNEA: Paper drafted by team alternates Evan Armstrong, Jerin Barling, Carter Anne Jones and Shelby Toles, with editorial assistance on the final draft from traveling team members Glenn Buchanan and Raquel Nunez.
Index for photo at top, taken at the Old Senate Chambers in the U.S. Capitol:
Front row, left to right:
Jennifer Nguyen (freshman, biochemistry and political science), Glenn Buchanan (sophomore, international studies), Anna Kate Walker (freshman, economics and international studies), Raquel Nunez (senior, University Scholar), Maria Torres (senior, international studies) and Lauren McLane, co-assistant head delegate (sophomore, professional writing and rhetoric and international studies)
Back row, left to right:
Sophia Fulton, co-assistant head delegate (senior, Baylor Business Fellows), Ben Hunt, head delegate (senior, University Scholars), Preston Heard (senior, history), Jonathan Chew (junior, Baylor Business Fellows), Esther Ihowa (international exchange student from Paris, France) and Caelan Elliott (sophomore, University Scholars)