Sitting Bull College students attend United Nations Conference
From March 30 – April 3, five Sitting Bull College students attended the 2010 National Model United Nations Conference in New York City. This was a global conference attended by 5,300 students from nations around the globe.
During the week, Sitting Bull College students worked with team members from Texas Southern University to represent the nation of Chile in a simulation of the United Nations and its activates. SBC students worked closely with students from large universities in the Americas, Europe and Asia to seek consensus on important global and national issues.
For five intense days, the students worked to provide representation for Chile and its national concerns in the Model United Nations. To help them do their work, students attended a briefing at the Permanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations, where they met with the actual Chilean delegation and gained firsthand knowledge of Chile’s U.N. role. After Chile’s recent catastrophic earthquake, there was concern that the delegation wouldn’t have time to meet with the team. Fortunately, the Chilean delegation provided a great briefing as well as being wonderful hosts.
The NMUN program is set up in such a way that it mirrors the activities of the actual United Nations, giving students an experience as close to the real thing as possible. Students were assigned a committee based on their countries actual membership in U.N. committees and affiliated organizations. As part of their committee, they submitted a position paper on various global issues representing their nation’s position. Throughout the course of the week, these papers got merged together with other papers and eventually, through a process of attrition and diplomacy, some of the ideas become resolutions. This process involves working with other nations and organizations to form coalitions and groups around shared issues and goals. Students found themselves working with disparate nations to further their shared goals through trade and compromise.
The week ended at the New York headquarters of the United Nations. Each nation cast a vote for or against the final resolutions. This was followed by the closing ceremony which occurred in the famous U.N. General Assembly. The final resolutions were then forwarded to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to become part of the U.N. archive. The students were excited to be in a place where so much history has occurred and continues to be made.
The week was an unparalleled leadership experience that allowed the students to experience how the United Nations actually works. U.N. staff said they look forward to the annual NMUN Conference, because it renews their idealism with a spirit of “how the United Nations should work.”
The five Sitting Bull College students who attended were Jerl Thompson, Monique Runnels and Yvette Gunderson, Melissa Miklos and Kourtenay Iron Cloud. Mark Holman served as the faculty adviser. Sitting Bull College looks forward to sending another team to NMUN 2011.