UA&P hosted its first Model United Nations Conference (MUN) last September 25 to 27, with Disaster Risk Management as its theme.
The MUN is a simulation of the UN General Assembly, committees, and agencies. Through the MUN, students get to learn diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. Over 100 college and high school student-delegates from various schools in Metro Manila attended the UA&P MUN.
UA&P alumna Atty. Karen Olivia Jimeno, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC), gave the keynote speech at the opening assembly.
Jimeno spoke about rehabilitation efforts in Tacloban City and other areas ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year. She also discussed the role of the NDRRMC and the importance of disaster risk management.
Senior AB Political Economy student Nicolas Espinoza served as MUN Secretary-General. In his opening speech, Espinoza emphasized the importance of the MUN conference as a training ground for diplomacy and international relations and a channel to fuel passion among the youth in their collective effort to positively impact communities.
Espinoza pointed to ignorance and apathy as the real threat to progress and expressed hopes the MUN will transform the brimming idealism of its delegates into dedicated, tangible service for others.
“The most important thing is that you continue to care about the people that need your help….and be beacons through which others may see the principles of society through which we know that all men are good,” Espinoza said.
Delegates to the conference were assigned to four committees: General Assembly (GA), Security Council (SC), Environmental Commission (UNEP), and Economic & Social Capital (ECOSOC), each tackling specific issues pertaining to Disaster Risk Management. Participants adopted specific roles of a delegate of a member state and worked with other student-delegates to arrive at a consensus on a given global issue.
The conference awarded delegates in three categories. The Best Delegates were Joshua Rahman (University of the East) from the GA committee; Pacem Legua (UA&P) from the ECOSOC Committee and MJ Aludino (UA&P) from the SC.
Honorable Mention awardees were Kyle Pollyne Astrande (College of St. Benilde) from GA; Camille Maala (UA&P), Betina Mascenon (Manresa High School) both from ECOSOC: Sofia Pinon (Poveda High School) from UNEP; and Eduardo Lim Jr. (University of the East) from SC.
The Best Position Paper was awarded to Ashley Barba (UA&P) from GA; Betina Mascenon (UA&P) from ECOSOC; MJ Aludino (UA&P) from UNEP and Courtney Tirol (UA&P) from SC.
UA&P students have also received awards in previous MUN conferences hosted by other schools and organizations. Earlier this year, Nicolas Espinoza, the UA&P delegate to the Ateneo MUN, brought home the Best Delegate award for the General Assembly committee as well as the Best Overall Delegate for the conference. MA Political Economy student Albertine Jun Din was also given an award for the Best Position Paper.
At the MUN hosted by College of Saint Benilde – the longest-running local MUN – Nicolas Espinoza was recognized as Outstanding Delegate, under the International Atomic Energy Agency committee; while Zeke Mauhay was awarded an Honorable Mention for the UNEP committee. Senior AB Political Economy Student Wildy Pahayahay was also awarded an Honorable Mention as part of the IAEA committee during the Geneva International Model United Nations 2014 held at the United Nations Office itself.
The UA&P MUN is envisioned as an annual activity that provides a venue for students to hone their policy formulation skills and develop familiarity with parliamentary-type procedures. POLIS, the official student organization of Political Economy students under the School of Law and Governance, organized the conference.