La Trobe University takes a place at the Model UN Conference

Raphael Haycraft

Greg HealyTwo students from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law have been awarded a place in the Australian Delegation to the 2010 World Model United Nations (World-MUN) Conference. After attending the Asia Pacific MUN (AMUNC) in 2009, Raphael Haycraft and Greg Healy were keen to broaden their experience and take up the challenge of World-MUN. Developed on The Harvard Model, the annual World-MUN is one of the largest Model United Nations Conference’s in the world, with a different city hosting the conference each year.

Held in Taipei in March 2010, the conference will host approximately 2000 delegates of which 60 will come from Australian Universities. Greg and Raphael are looking forward to testing their knowledge of a wide variety of topics, enhancing their diplomacy skills and developing their international professional networks.

Greg Healy (pictured above), a third year student studying a concurrent degree of International Relations and Economics, and a Diploma of Spanish Language, discovered what it was to ‘MUN’ during a study abroad semester at Utrecht University. Greg took part in the 2009 Amsterdam Model UN (UNISCA) which he recalls was an amazing experience and whet his appetite for further opportunities of a similar kind. Applying for a specialist position in the United Nations senior management group, Greg will play the role of Deputy Secretary General and hopes to be able to use the lessons in the classroom at the debate table.

“I am very interested in the use of economics as a force within international change as I believe that it underpins the majority of policymaking. I have found that my knowledge of economics gives me an advantage during the process of negotiations and resolution but believe that only once you are in that real world situation do you discover where your strengths are, how they can be applied and where you can make improvements.”

Raphael HaycraftRaphael Haycraft (pictured left), recently completing his third year of a Law and International Relations double degree and a Diploma of Languages in Spanish, has a strong interest in refugee issues and understanding the complex structure of the UN. Representing Korea in the UNHCR committee, he believes the role playing involved in MUNing has primed him for tackling issues from a range of angles that endows him with a deeper understanding of the topic.

“I am excited for the practical application of knowledge learnt in the classroom. I look forward to getting an intimate understanding of the processes behind negotiation and really understanding the depth to which these issues can be explored and debated in real life simulations.”

Raphael sees the conference as an opportunity to expand his professional network and provide a jumping off point for a long and industrious career in international relations.

“I think the conference will reinforce my desire to be involved in these issues. La Trobe, once they were introduced to the concept, were very supportive of our participation and I think that’s important for your learning institution to understand the myriad of ways you can solidify the knowledge gained in study. “

The World Model UN Conference is an invaluable and exceptional experience for La Trobe students and serves also to create and strengthen the University’s ties with the global university community through active engagement with critical issues.

We wish Greg and Rapahel the best of luck and look forward to catching up with them on their return.

[See: La Trobe students return from World MUN, awards in hand]

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