Gannon University Students Travel to Participate in North American Model U.N.

Posted: March 5, 2018

Seven Gannon University students with an interest in international affairs traveled to Toronto on February 22 to participate in the North American Model U.N. (NAMUN).

For the students, NAMUN is a rare opportunity to participate in Model U.N. proceedings representing various countries such as Colombia, Jordan, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates. While the seven students are intimately familiar with the workings of Model U.N., their role as participants was novel.

All have been organizers and moderators of the Gannon University Model U.N. for high school students, which is the longest-running organization of its type in the country, and the second-oldest Model U.N. in the world.

Hosted by the University of Toronto since 1985, NAMUN is a forum by which students from colleges and universities around the globe can understand the complex challenges faced by the international community in areas such as security and development, human rights, economic and social progress, and learn about diverse cultures, political systems and history.

Muhammad Alsahlani, the incoming Secretary General of the 2018 Gannon Model UN and an International Studies major, represented Ukraine at NAMUN and addressed the "Question of the Kurdish people" and "Peacekeeping Reforms."

According to Alsahlani, "Being an international studies major, Model UN has helped me understand different countries' foreign policies on different global issues. It also helps me keep up-to-date on problems going on globally and ways that these problems can be solved," he said. "Model UN has also helped me become a better public speaker, build better communication skills, and put myself in the perspective of a nation with different opinions on issues and be able to see it from their point of view."

Hiba Shocair, a double major in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, representing Myanmar at the General Assembly: Arms Trade Treaty Committee said, "This conference, and specifically the topic assigned to me, is very essential to be educated on as a business student and future business person in the world in order to be better and spread peace in all branches of society."

Kyle Peck, a Political Science major, was assigned the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Peck said, "As a political science major, seeing how the United Nations functions is key to developing knowledge about government processes."

Other students on the trip included Mallory Rongier, international studies major; Katherine Greissinger, pre-medical major; Francesco Nati, psychology major; Donoven Chase, history/political science major; and Brian Pete, history major.