Meet me in Saint Louis
"It opened my eyes to global culture," said Robert Kinsman. Kinsman, a PSU junior from Mission, Kansas is speaking about participation in the Midwest Model United Nations conference held in Saint Louis, Missouri. "It opened my eyes to how the UN really works."
Sean O'Malley, also a junior from Mission, agreed.
"For me this trip was a learning experience through and through," said O'Malley. "Having learned about world issues and then seeing that knowledge applied to legislation in a concrete setting was very exciting."
Each of the students who attended from PSU were able to sit on committees in the Model UN.
"I sat on the Third Committee (Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian), which was to find alternative approaches for refugees, human rights, and fundamental freedoms," said Kinsman. "We used skills such as debating, negotiating, and cooperation to find allies who supported our stance on these issues."
For Loisina Ambeyi, a senior from Kenya who is majoring in Political Science with a minor in International Studies, this was valuable experience for the career to which she aspires.
"I want to be a Human Rights advocate/rapporteur with an NGO or the UN itself," said Ambeyi. "With this conference, I had the advantage of not only seeing but experiencing and being involved in the United Nations process and understanding its inner workings."
The Human Rights Commission and other UN bodies have rapporteurs, who are professionals that investigate for the report findings. Human rights nongovernmental organizations also have investigators. Several of the speakers and attendees (active and retired diplomats and state department officials) spoke of how their experiences at Model UNs lead them down their career path.
As a part of the Model UN, the students were treated representatives of their "nation" at all times.
"The whole time we were there, we were reminded that we were representatives of the nation which were assigned and were to act according to that nation's beliefs and goals," says Ambeyi. "Our delegation represented Thailand which was very fun."
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