Glendon’s DayMUN reviews the UN at 60


Above: The DayMUN Secretariat and Conference staff (spiralling clockwise from left), Brett Ballanger, Emma Cowley, Olga Ilisan, Krysztina Damjanovich, Nathaniel Schroeder, Mathieu Kissin, Siobhan de Graaf, Helen Lam, Marina Ize-Dukuze (from Greenhope for Children), Camaro West, Sheila Ize-Dukuze (Greenhope for Children), Marilyn Ize-Dukuze (Greenhope for Children), Phylicia Davis, June Findlay, Erica Swanson and Tina Taeput

Glendon’s second annual DayMUN – Model United Nations Day mounted by the Glendon students’ Model United Nations Club (GMUN) – welcomed 50 delegates composed of club members and high-school students from Humberside and Oakwood collegiates on Nov. 18.

After a welcome from Tobi Strohan, Glendon’s director of recruitment and liaison, who provided information to the visitors about studying at Glendon, the club’s secretary-general, fourth-year international studies student June Findlay, presented the theme of this year’s conference: “Challenge and Change: The UN at 60”.

Right: Delegates schmoozing with guest speaker Shirley Farlinger during lunch. Clockwise from left: Sarah Laflamme, Kristi Plastino, Shirley Farlinger, Nefeli Adamides and Amy Gowans

Model UN is an authentic simulation of the United Nations bodies and subsidiary committees, observing UN rules and regulations, including the use of formal debate procedure and a western business attire dress code, with each delegate representing a pre-assigned country, chosen from the UN members.

The day was filled with discussion and deliberation in the two simulated committees. The General Assembly Third Committee (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian) debated solutions for realizing Millennium Development goals, writing resolutions to problems such as extreme poverty and the distribution of development aid. The Commission on Sustainable Development was a hub of activity, producing two resolutions, one on ecotourism and another researching alternative uses and sources of energy.

The speakers’ session brought real-world perspectives to the issues being examined in the committees. Peace activist Shirley Farlinger discussed the relevance and necessity of the United Nations as an international body, in the past, the present and the future. Farlinger also outlined her long-standing relationship with the UN, serving on various committees and at conferences over the years. Martin Bunch, a professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, spoke of his experiences with sustainable development within the framework of his ongoing research in Chennai, India. He illustrated the need for clean water and appropriate sanitation systems, and described the effects of the 2004 tsunami on the region.

A highlight of the day was the presentation by Marilyn and Sheila Ize-Dukuze (aged 12 and 9), founders and spokespersons for Greenhope for Children, a non-profit organization seeking to help children in all regions of the world to overcome hardships such as poverty and hunger. The girls shared their own experiences of being refugees in Burundi, before coming to Canada.

The award ceremony, at the close of the day, honoured delegates for their performance during the sessions. Award criteria included taking the initiative for writing resolutions, demonstrating a high level of diplomacy and maintaining the progression of finding solutions to the issues discussed during the session. Winners included both GMUN members and students from Humberside Collegiate. In his closing address, Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts congratulated the delegates on their work.

A special benefit of the day came with the realization that the conference was profitable for the first time, enabling the GMUN Club to sponsor their members to the McGill Model United Nations Conference in Montreal in January, 2006.

This article was submitted to YFile by June Findlay and Marika Kemeny.