York Model United Nations delegates bring home the hardware

Over the past year, the York University Model United Nations (YMUN) has won seven awards at three North American Model United Nations conferences.

Above: Members of the Model United Nations at York University

A student club, YMUN provides delegates with opportunities to attend conferences and events in Canada and the United States. This academic year, YMUN sent delegates to the Queen’s University Model United Nations, the McGill University Model United Nations and Harvard University’s World Model United Nations, held in Taipei, Taiwan.

At the Queen’s Model United Nations conference, which took place Nov. 11 to 14, 2009, in Kingston, Ont., York delegates Michael Xiao, Rebecca Wall-Clarke and Manahil Khan received honourable mentions in recognition of their contributions to the debates.

At the McGill University Model United Nations, the largest mock UN event hosted by a Canadian university, York delegates were among 1,400 students from over 80 schools across Canada and the United States at the conference, which took place Jan. 28 to 31. YMUN delegate Jonathan Holder received the McGill University Model United Nations Book Award and YMUN delegates Angad Deengar and Jason Gwartz received Best Delegate Awards for their diplomacy and work performed in the committee sessions.

Finally, at Harvard University’s World Model United Nations conference, held March 14 to 18, the Joint Diplomacy Award was given to YMUN delegates Xiao and Alethia Bundy. Xiao and Bundy received the honour for best understanding of their nation’s foreign policy and their expertise in using this knowledge to promote peaceful solutions to global crises.

“York Model United Nations has received a new pinnacle in its award count,” said York political science student Omair Hussain, vice-president of external affairs for YMUN. “We have worked hard this year to ensure that our delegates are well prepared and versed in the process of debate.

“Our three-hour weekly meetings are used as a basis to guarantee our delegates are ready for the strong competition they will face,” said Hussain. “Our goals are to provide our members with the proper tools and strategic skills necessary to succeed. As a past participant and award winner, I know the hard work and dedication needed to triumph at these competitions. We are proud of the efforts achieved by all our members and are particularly proud of this year’s award recipients Jonathan Holder, Angad Deengar, Jason Gwartz, Michael Xiao, Rebecca Wall-Clarke, Alethia Bundy and Manahil Khan.”

York students develop and practice their skills in research, organization, writing, debating, lobbying, negotiation, cooperation and compromise at World United Nations events. Each of these conferences, said Hussain, offers delegates a formative education experience that can be life changing with respect to career choices.

For more information about the club, visit the York University Model United Nations Web site or contact the club by e-mail at ymun@yorku.ca.