By Moa Golster
Assistant News Editor
The Model United Nations club is going to participate in the National Model UN conference in New York City from March 22 – 26. Alongside over 5,000 college students from around the world, they will discuss and attempt to solve global issues. Sixteen members have registered for the National Model UN Conference in March, and the LIU Post club will represent the Republic of Moldova. With less than a month left, the club members are striving towards becoming representable UN delegates.
“I yield my time to the chair,” said junior Political Science major Siri Birkeland, as she wrapped up her speech about including vulnerable populations in economic and social development. She was one of the first club members – who are also known as international delegates –to get the formal ending line correct during the club’s mock conference.
Formalities, such as how to speak to the chair and other delegates and keeping speeches within the time limit, seemed to be the most challenging obstacle as the club members hustled through the session, which was held on Feb. 12 during common hour in Hillwood.
“Today was a very quick mock session; it usually lasts for a whole day, so we tried to make it very simplified,” said Nigina Khaitova, Founder and Co- President of the Model UN club at LIU Post. She said today was the first Model UN experience for many of the delegates, and that some of them are still frustrated about how to behave in the given context. “But we will practice more, and we will get prepared,” Khaitova said.
Khaitova, who is a freshman International Studies major from Uzbekistan, started the club with fellow freshman Stacey Wells in Oct. 2014. By then, she already had great experience with the UN. She has started three Model UN clubs in different universities in her hometown, interned at the UN Information Office in Uzbekistan, and was a UN Youth Ambassador of Uzbekistan.
In addition, she served as host and producer of her own weekly podcast, “UNews Weekly,” where she discussed the work of UN Agencies in Uzbekistan.
Khaitova explained that the club’s mission is to make more students knowledgeable about the UN system, create more opportunities for them to practice diplomatic debates, and obtain good contacts with the UN. That includes learning how to create position papers, how to debate, and what language to use.
“I joined the club to learn more about the UN, and how the organization work[s]. It’s exciting to learn more about public speaking and how to debate,” Birkeland said. She also described the opportunity to participate in the National Model UN Conference as a great experience.
The club, which is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of all different majors, currently has 30 members. Khaitova said that although students might not aspire to work at the UN or with global issues in the future, being a part of Model UN is a great way to obtain knowledge about some of the many different topics and fields of human life that the UN covers such as healthcare, nuclear disarmament, politics, linguistics, and others. In addition, members will obtain a UN certificate that will be beneficial for their future careers.
In the future, the Model UN club wants to work closely with the UN Headquarters, and are planning to invite guest speakers from the UN to come and talk to students, said Khaitova. The club also aspires to collaborate with the Model UN club at LIU Brooklyn to organize Model UN conferences between the campuses, as well as participate in Model UN conferences abroad.
For more information about the club, contact Khaitova at: firstname.lastname@example.org.