La Trobe University student awarded ‘Most Outstanding Delegate’

Leigh Howard

Leigh HowardLa Trobe student Leigh Howard has been recognised as the ‘Most Outstanding Delegate’ at the 2009 Harvard University National Model United Nations. Leigh, representing Malaysia in the 2008 World Summit for Sustainable Development, received this award for the solutions he presented, his negotiation skills and his debating abilities he displayed during the 4 day conference.

Receiving the ‘Most Outstanding Delegate’ award ranked him 2nd among almost 400 students, who represented the 192 countries that make up UN membership. Victory was made sweeter by the fact that Leigh was the sole delegate for Malaysia, while each other country was represented with 2 delegates. Despite these adverse circumstances Leigh defeated students hailing from all over the world, including students from Ivy League schools such as Yale, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago.

Leigh joined 15 other Australians that made up the very first contingent ever sent to HUMUN. The international conference, which each year draws over 2,600 students and faculty members from universities in 50 different countries, is an opportunity for students to get together and debate today’s global issues in a mock United Nations setting. It is the most prestigious conference of its kind, one of the most significant gatherings of young people globally and one of the largest International Youth Conference’s held anywhere in the world.

During his time in the United States, Leigh, alongside the rest of the Australian delegation, had the opportunity to meet with the Australian mission to the United Nations, the Australian embassy in Washington, US Senator Sam Brownback, many NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, and universities such as Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania. Similar arrangements are being made to send another delegation to Harvard in 2010.