Nineteen student delegates from the SSU Model United Nations Club traveled to New York City for the annual National Model UN Conference in mid-April, and returned home with a Distinguished Delegation award for their work representing Azerbaijan.
The Model UN Club, a nationally affiliated academic club that has been at SSU for 13 years, was led by student and Head Delegate Anika Balkan, and academic advisor Cynthia Boaz, assistant professor of political science.
The conference in New York City, which brought together more than 5,000 students from five continents and 180 countries, simulated twenty committees engaged in discussions of current global issues.
Prior to the conference, Boaz researched the history of policy-making and the demographics of the nation-state Azerbaijan, a former Soviet-held power that borders Russia to the north and Iran to the south.
A friend of Boaz's from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations debriefed the students prior to the summit, as did a representative from the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the UN.
SSU delegates were responsible for being informed of Azerbaijan's position on all major issues, and then represented the nation-state in nine committees including General Assemblies One, Two, and Three; United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Commission on the Status of Women, Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Every resolution sponsored by SSU delegates was passed, including resolutions on health education for women in developing countries, transparency and coordination in nuclear weapons monitoring programs, access to patents for pharmaceuticals to fight HIV/AIDS, immigration reform to address human trafficking, development programs to address poverty in poor countries, regional coordination to fight terrorism through development, and education programs.
"I am so proud of the students," said Boaz. "They worked really hard to represent Azerbaijan."
And, regarding the club's Distinguished Delegations award, Boaz says, "A great end to a busy Spring Break."
Student delegates were Anika Balkan (Head Delegate), Giovanni Albertolli, Kathryn Ancona, Brandon Beymer, Kyle Cakebread, Kelley Cattanach, Will Condon, Joe Glazier, Megan Goins, Katie Havens, Grace Hopfenbeck, Tatyana Kabealo, Lauren Lacayo, Ashley Olazar, Erika Post, Heather Purcell, Sam Wallack, Dan Washburn, and Nate Willis.
For more information on the National Model United Nations, visit the website at http://www.nmun.org/.