The University of Indianapolis hosted the 42nd annual United Nations Security Council Conference for University Students (UN Model) last weekend in the presence of four schools, including UIndy. This year’s conference was different from last year’s because, as COVID-19 was the reason for online classes, last year’s conference was followed through Zoom. With the Model UN conference in person this year, students were able to meet delegates face-to-face to discuss agenda items presented to the boards, according to associate professor and director of graduate studies of the international relations program Jyotika Saksena. .
The three participating schools included for the first time the University of Louisville, Indiana University of the Southeast and the University of Manchester, according to Saksena. The educational advisers in attendance from their respective schools were Jyotika Saksena from UIndy, Tricia Gray from the University of Louisville, Margot Morgan from IU South East and Gabriela Ramalho Tafoya from the University of Manchester, according to the conference schedule. This year’s conference, Saksena said, consisted of three councils with fifteen members each who discussed different issues of the day around the world. Items on the agenda included the Arab-Israeli conflict, the United Nations political mission and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the political and humanitarian crisis in Haiti and the civil war in Tigray.
“This year we have three tips. And each board usually has 15 members, including five permanent, ”Saksena said. ” So there is [the] United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China. Then the others are non-permanent members.
With this year’s conference being in person after a year online, students were able to communicate face to face in the boardrooms to discuss agenda items and different countries’ positions on the topic. According to Ellie Wilson, a junior major in international relations and philosophy, students at last year’s conference attended counseling via Zoom and split up to discuss talking points on Discord in order to have private conversations at the conference. within unmoderated caucuses.
“So obviously it’s a lot different being in person where we’re all able to communicate in various caucuses,” Wilson said. “Whether they’re moderated or not and can talk to each other in person as well as pass notes during caucus, if there’s anything we want to get to them more immediately. So these are some of the main differences.
According to Saksena, the protocols adopted for visiting schools were compulsory health checks and the wearing of masks regardless of vaccination status. Saksena said preparation for the conference was more difficult, with social distancing a factor in the process, and although students were designated countries to represent in pairs, they were divided into individual representatives for the councils.
“A portion of at least three or four classes of the semester is devoted to an actual simulation where they stage the conference, but among themselves,” Saksena said. “So that’s what we did. But in terms of preparations, it was a little hard-earned exactly in terms of social distancing and the ability to find the right size of coins available, as so many coins that we had used in the past are now being used. for classrooms.
COVID-19 was a topic involved in discussions around various pressing global issues, according to Nasira Curry, major in political science and international relations. Curry said security measures regarding resolutions of humanitarian crises include the steps of the COVID-19 protocol and ensuring that aid is received taking into account the factors of the pandemic.
“COVID[-19] was a catalyst for some situations, especially for the Ethiopian situation, I believe, because they had to suspend the elections, ”said Curry. “A lot of people in Ethiopia thought it was unfair, that the president was there unfairly or illegally, so that’s what caused the conflict. So COVID[-19] has had damaging things that have happened in other countries other than the United States.
Friday’s portion of the conference ended with keynote speaker Cole Varga’s address titled “The Urgency of Resettlement of Afghan Refugees and Asylum Seekers,” according to the conference program. At the end of the conference, attendees received the first, second and third best delegate, as well as the most representative delegate, Saksena said.