School of Education news

Michela at the UN

Experiencing the UN

Michela Marazzi, a third year student on our Education BA(Hons) course has just returned from a trip to the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. She told us how she came to be there and how the trip has inspired her.

“I attended the Change the World Model of United Nations (CWMUN) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City. CWMUN is an annual international meeting attended by more than 3500 students from all over the world, in which they debate the major issues of the international political agenda, developing leadership, research, writing and public speaking skills as well as problem solving expertise.

“I applied through an Italian NGO in ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) called Diplomatici, which offered scholarships to enable young, motivated students to participate to the experience in order to train them in international careers for a more ethical development of the planet.

“The program is a three days simulation of the work of the UN, where students from different countries work together as delegates, each of them representing a country in a specific committee, with the ultimate goal to write and approve resolutions regarding the main conflicts on the topic discusses, through mediation and negotiation with other nations.

“I was assigned to represent Egypt in the General Assembly committee discussing three main topics: Weapons of Terror: Non-proliferation of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms; Children in armed conflicts; The Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in South Asia.

“In preparation to the experience, I had to write a position paper stating Egypt’s perspective on the assigned topics, considering past UN programs, resolutions, and agreements the country has participated in, remembering to remain in character and providing valuable solutions. The position paper is the starting point of discussions with other countries during the simulation.

“It was exciting to work at the Headquarters of the United Nations with people from all over the world, discussing key geopolitical, social and security issues, feeling like a real delegate for a couple of days. The simulation was very interesting but also challenging.

“Even though I studied a lot before going and I am passionate about politics, many other students had a more political background and knew better how to move through procedures and resolution writing. I learned a lot in regards to how the UN works and its diplomatic importance in allowing a place for discussion with representatives of countries worldwide.

“As a third year student, I applied to the program to find out if a career in international policies for development could be an alternative to my passion for teaching. The experience inspired me and allowed me to expand my horizons to different opportunities, as well as giving me a better understanding of the power relationships in the world of international relations and diplomacy.”

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Kerry Burnett • April 23, 2019

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