The Model UN Program is a simulation of the United Nations (UN) for the purpose of actively educating participants about international events, perspectives, discussions, and debates. Participants role play as diplomats representing various nations while simulating open sessions and committee discussions at the United Nations.
The Berkeley College Model UN Program, which was started by Dr. Rahul Bedi in May 2010, enables students to gain a global perspective on the current issues facing the United Nations. Under this program, Berkeley College students learn to "make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing international cooperation to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world" (http://www.unausa.org/modelun).
The group meets regularly every Wednesday (during the Student Activity Period) from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM in room B406 at the NYC Midtown Manhattan location.
The 2011 Berkeley College Model UN team trained, under the direction of Dr. Martin Weinstein and Dr. Bedi, to participate in the National Model UN Competition, which took place April 17-21 at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City. The competition’s closing session was held at the United Nations Headquarters.
The Berkeley College team was assigned to represent the Republic of Botswana. Students played the roles of ambassadors and diplomats as they presented resolutions and took positions that are in line with Botswana’s current policies. In preparation, the team was briefed at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana by the Mission’s diplomats on March 30. Students also reviewed the UN vocabulary and procedures that enabled them to draft resolutions for the conference.
Berkeley College's Model UN team participated in the following six committees:
- General Assembly First Committee (GA1): Alice Peta Gay and Sady Ramirez
- General Assembly Second Committee (GA2): Lacey Garnett and Elisabeth Frogner
- General Assembly Third Committee (GA3): Aya Elshakshuki and Jeanita Guerrier
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): Tedra Brandy and Ana Lopez
- African Development Bank (AfDB): Jose Navarro and Lisa Burkert
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT): Ine Hordvick and Stefanie Willches
Stefanie Willches was the Head Delegate and was responsible for coordinating all six committees.
Comments from Team Members
"This coming competition has become a positive challenge and a great opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities as Berkeley students. We will be proud of representing Berkeley College and hopefully bringing not only some medals but also the experience to pass on to other students for future competitions." (Stefanie Willches)
"The Model UN is a unique experience that is helping me learn and have fun at the same time. Taking the role of a real diplomat is helping me understand firsthand how the United Nations works." (Jose Navarro)