Winning Model UN Award Reminds Me What AUN Offers Students – Abdulmalik 

Winning Model UN Award Reminds Me What AUN Offers Students – Abdulmalik 

I was very excited when I learned that I won the 2020 Model United Nations Position Paper Award. While I didn't compete to win (as I forgot there was any award) I did put in the effort to write a great position paper. 

Before attending the conference, each student was asked to submit a position paper addressing the three topics to be discussed in their committee. For instance, I was to represent Libya in the General Assembly (GA1), and one of the topics in GA1 for this year's conference was the 'Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Region of the Middle East'. So I wrote my paper about Libya's position on these topics. The paper comprises a summary of Libya's position on these topics and Libya's proposed solutions in addressing the topics. Out of all the papers submitted, the organizers recognize the best position papers for selection in the Position Paper Award categories.

Our AUN team comprised seven students, each representing a committee, but we couldn't attend the conference because of COVID-19. We did a lot of research and learned a lot about teamwork and communication. Students who represent AUN in the Model UN are selected by Dean Byron Bullock's Office through a merit-based application, recommendations, and interviewing process, all of which take place in the Fall semester. The students then take one credit unit course in the Spring semester to prepare and attend the conference in New York towards the end of the semester. Our instructor, Lucky Imade, guides students throughout and attends the conference with them.

The Model UN is basically a simulation of United Nations conferences by students. Each participating school is randomly assigned a country to represent. For instance, this year, our AUN team was given Libya. Students from each school then divide themselves into groups or in singles depending on their numbers. Each group or student then chooses to represent their assigned country in one of 23 UN committees including General Assembly 1 (GA1), GA2, GA3, WHO, UNESCO, and others. Some committees are large like GA1 (the biggest), while others like HRC are small. Every student (or group) then extensively studies his or her assigned country and the committee he or she chooses. The student then attends the conference as a diplomat representing his assigned country in a committee. For instance, I was representing Libya in General Assembly 1 (GA1). So I needed to be in character--behave as if I am a diplomat from Libya.

I think winning the position paper award reminds me, first and foremost, to appreciate the plethora of opportunities that AUN provides its students, and secondly, that anything worth doing is worth doing well.

By Abdulmalik Garba Aminu (Double major, Petroleum Chemistry and Economics)