On March 29, the Saint Mary's delegation to the National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York City, won a ‘Distinguished Delegation’ award for their work representing Bulgaria.
NMUN is the world’s largest Model UN, and can trace its founding back to the League of Nations. It is the only Model UN that takes place in the actual UN headquarters in New York, and sees 5,500 students from more than 130 UN member countries.
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for students,” says Political Science chairperson Dr. Marc Doucet, “to get this kind of real-world experience, and interact with students from around the world.” Since Saint Mary’s first delegation in 2003, more than 200 students have attended, making the conference an opportunity to build international connections and gain a greater global perspective. This year was the most international Saint Mary’s delegation yet, with 21 students attending, from Canada, India, the Bahamas, Saint Kitts, Japan, and the UK attending. They represented fields of study including Political Science, International Development Studies, Economics, Sociology, and Business.
“It really strengthens our delegation because the UN is not solely political,” says Abby Dooks, a Political Science and International Development Studies student. “It deals with everything from education to human rights to business to economics, so you need that diverse expertise to understand the topics.”
This year, students visited the Bulgarian Permanent Mission to the UN, and met with diplomats at Bulgaria’s permanent mission to the UN, to discuss current global affairs and issues.
Dooks was attending this year for the second time. “The highlights were different from last year—this year it was really seeing other students achieve the same milestones I did last year, especially those were might have been nervous. One friend of mine was worried all year, concerned that she wasn’t going to be able to speak in front of the entire room, and so a highlight for me was when she did her speech and was just amazing. Those are the moments that make these experience so worthwhile.”