KCKCC students participate in Harvard University National Model U.N.

KCKCC students participate in Harvard University National Model U.N.

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Students from Kansas City Kansas Community College attended the 60th Harvard National Model United Nations Conference in February. From left to right, front row: Davies Sitenta, Miranda Admire, Kara Garroutte and Ayongwi Tazuh. Back row: Chris Herbst and Associate Professor Ewa Unoke. (Photo from KCKCC)

by Kelly Rogge

Ten student diplomats from Kansas City Kansas Community College recently participated in the 60th Harvard National Model United Nations Conference.

The HNMUN was held Feb. 13-16 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

During the simulation, student delegates gained insight into the functions of the United Nations by actively participating in critical resolution of global conflicts and contemporary issues.

The 10 student diplomats who represented KCKCC worked with more than 3,000 other student delegates from 74 countries worldwide in caucuses and building consensus while debating important global peace and security issues.

More than 200 colleges and universities were represented.

The Harvard Model U.N. is globally considered as the “largest, oldest and most prestigious conference of its kind.”

“Just learning the skills of caucusing and debating world issues was quite stressful and sobering,” Davies Sitenta said. “But it was really a fascinating experience.”

In country assignments, the KCKCC  delegation represented the Republic of Ecuador in six U.N. Committees – Disarmament and International Security Committee; Special Political and Decolonization Committee; Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee; World Health Organization Committee; Historical General Assembly 1993 and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Committee.

Topics discussed included regional security and civil war; biological and chemical weapons; the rights and privileges of undocumented migrants; famine; cybersecurity and cyber defense; preventing narcotics trafficking; multinational corporations and international law; reparations and restitution; biodiversity and the threat to medicine; water sanitation; sustainable transport; sustainable agriculture; comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty and the situation in Afghanistan.

Members of the KCKCC delegation included Mohamed Abdi, Miranda Admire, Eva Bett, Samantha Doores, Kara Garroutte, Chris Herbst, Jesus Perez, Davies Sitenta and Ayongwi Tazuh.

“It was terrifying, the format of the whole thing,” Herbst said. “You were split up into these groups, and we were not sure how we would fit in.”

Tazuh, who represented the KCKCC delegation on the World Health Organization, is an aspiring pharmacist who found his participation in resolving global health problems very rewarding.

His ground-breaking argument that “developing countries do not need foreign aids, rather, they need global partnerships and skills to confront their own health issues and lessen dependency on other nations,” won him the support of 47 delegates representing 47 countries during the conference.

As a result, the HNMUN adopted Tazuh’s contribution as part of its final resolution on the WHO committee and awarded 10 certificates of “recognition” to the KCKCC diplomats for their contribution to global conflict resolution.

Eva Bett and Tazuh worked collaboratively on this committee.

Ewa Unoke, the KCKCC U.N. Model adviser who led the delegation, also received a recognition award.

“Harvard enjoys the reputation as the best university in the world, therefore, in fostering the KCKCC legacy of excellence, it is our responsibility as forward-looking faculty to expose our students to the centers of academic excellence nationally and globally,” he said. “Global Security matters in a post-9-11 world. We hope to continue our annual conflict simulation in September 2014 for the Greater Kansas high schools, especially for Wyandotte, Johnson and Leavenworth counties. High school students would benefit from our Harvard student diplomats’ experiences in conflict resolution and community peacebuilding.”

For more information on the Harvard Model United Nations event or to register for the high school simulation in September, contact Unoke at eunoke@kckcc.edu or by calling 913-288-7119.

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor for Kansas City Kansas Community College.

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