Access and action at the Model UN

In February, La Trobe played host to the second Victorian Model United Nations Conference. This year’s theme was ‘access and action.’

Realistic, high-pressure scenarios

The Model UN brings students from across Australia together to simulate the UN’s debates and procedures. It's a chance for students to apply the skills they’ve learned throughout their university courses, and to start to understand how a large-scale international organisation really operates.

This year, delegates tackled issues including global access to human rights, the promise of equality – and failure to deliver it – and the actions people must take in order to be granted these rights.

‘I felt I was on the cusp of something amazing.’

During her time at La Trobe, Bec Gaskin worked as Model United Nations Officer for the La Trobe International Relations Association (LIRA). ‘Model United Nations is LIRA’s main way of practicing international relations,’ Bec explains. ‘You need to be able to work with a group of strangers with different backgrounds and stances to debate current global issues and develop UN standard policies (resolutions) with ideas and solutions.’

‘The biggest single event that stands out is the Opening Ceremony of World MUN,’ Bec continues. ‘There were 2000 people from all over the world, dressed in formal office wear, sitting in the Plenary of the Melbourne Convention Centre, when then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard appeared on a screen, greeted participants and talked about the importance of MUN, diplomacy and debate. In that moment all I could do was take in the enormity and prestige of it all. I just felt like I was on the cusp of something truly amazing.’

Find out more about the 2014 Victorian Model UN.

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