The United Nations is considered a symbol of international unity and progression. During the 2012 General Assembly of the United Nations held in New York City in late September, four UVU students and two faculty members were able to attend.
Jesler Molina, founder of the Model U.N. Club at UVU, Jordan Greene, Macote Ambrozio and Mara Orchard were the students who attended the U.N. General Assembly. Brain Birch, associate vice president for engagement and Geoff Cockerham, advisor to the Model U.N. Club, were the accompanying faculty.
“I better understood why in the U.N. it is a little harder for resolutions to pass,” Molina said. “You have to really be careful about what you say. One of the things that really surprised me is that there was a really good personal relationship with all the ambassadors, they all have a really good friendship.”
Education in how an international organization works and witnessing it first-hand was invaluable in the students’ perspective.
“This has been an amazing learning experience, just being able to hear from the most influential leaders around the world, it has been incredible,” Orchard said. “Learning from each of their speeches and how they represent their countries and address the international community, it has opened my point of view and extended my perspective of what really is happening around the world.”
Planning, funding and participation from students were crucial to allow the opportunity to be involved with the U.N. General Assembly.
“I’m president of the Model U.N. club at UVU,” Molina said. “I founded the club in 2010 and it was the goal since the beginning [to go to the General Assembly].
The Model U.N. club also was able to participate in a competition in San Francisco which helped them make further connections.
Because of invitations from the ambassadors of Albania, Hungary and Uzbekistan, students were able to not only attend the General Assembly, but even sit next to delegates from Albania on the floor level.
The students who attended the General Assembly this year came from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures and motivations, though all of them had the desire to understand how the U.N. works.
Club membership is open to anyone who is interested in world affairs and how the U.N. works. Contact Geoff Cockerham, advisor to the Model U.N. club at UVU, for more information about the club.