April 26, 2023
Ramapo College was represented well at the 2023 Annual National Model U.N. Conference in New York City. Eight students comprised the delegation this year, representing North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK): Lydia Fries, Alessia Guerriero, Lena Leroy, Riley Petrella, Trisha Naawu, Daniella Smajlaj, Benjamin Straebler, and Naz Tiyaloglu.
The size of the student delegation determines the country’s selection. As one of the 193 member states in the United Nations, the DPRK serves on the General Assembly Committee 1; General Assembly Committee 2, General Assembly Committee 3, and the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). Each committee/agency drafts, negotiates, deliberates, and passes resolutions to address imminent global crises/issues ranging from disarmament, non-proliferations of WMDs, illicit weapons, rural economic development, healthy aging in an era of sustainable development; human rights of displaced population due to climate change, to addressing climate-fragility risks and strengthening action to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). The goal, from each UN committee/agency, was to ultimately vote on and pass a final resolution that would help create solutions to address these pressing topics before them.
This was Alessia Guerriero’s second year attending the Model UN conference. When asked about the value of Model UN at Ramapo College, she shared, “I think getting involved with the Model UN is a great learning experience. You learn more about the world we live in and you start to become more aware about global issues. You also gain a great set of communication skills.”
Ramapo College prepares students for opportunities like Model UN, to which Benjamin Straebler can attest. “Many of my classes helped prepare me for the Model UN conference. Professor Chen’s course on the United Nations was especially useful in providing me with an understanding of the history and functions of the UN.” Lena Leroy, who has also participated in Model UN in previous years, agreed, and said that being active and involved in other clubs contributed to developing a well-rounded worldview. “My classes, as well as my involvement with the United Asian Association (UAA), have helped me to gain a global perspective, which I think is important not only for Model UN, but also helpful in the professional world as people and societies become more interconnected through technology.”
The conference ran from April 10 to April 14 at the Hilton Midtown in New York City, with the closing ceremony held at the United Nations Headquarters in General Assembly Hall. In 2022, the RCNJ delegation represented New Zealand and received Honorable Mention for their work. Students who wish to get involved with Model UN at Ramapo College should contact Professor Chen via email. Follow the RCNJ Model UN club on Instagram!