Belmont University students Richard Swor, Jamie Brown, Alexandra Haass and Catherine Hill, accompanied by Dr. Susan Jellissen (Political Science), received high praise at the American Model United Nations conference held in Chicago recently. This conference—which involved 1,500 student-delegates from more than 150 schools—was Belmont’s first foray into the world of Model UN. Belmont’s Model UN organization was founded in September 2009 by Jellissen and 15enthusiastic students from an array of disciplines. Because the purpose of Model UN is to simulate the real United Nations, each school that attends the conference represents a particular country, and students thus act as delegates, or representatives, for their assigned country. Belmont students were very excited to be representing the small Christian country of Armenia at this year’s Chicago conference. The four students that represented Armenia served on committees that replicated, in form and substance, real UN General Assembly (GA) Committees.
Each General Assembly Committee focuses on two issues of international concern. Jamie Brown (junior, international politics) served on the GA First Committee, which deliberated over “The Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons” as well as the seemingly daunting problem of “Preventing the Acquisition by Terrorists of Radioactive Materials and Sources.” Richard Swor (freshman, audio engineering technology, and president of Belmont’s Model UN) served on the GA Second Committee, which discussed the issue of “Preventing and Combating Corrupt Practices and Transfer of Assets of Illicit Origin,” as well as the “Convention on Biological Diversity.” Catherine Hill (senior, political science) served on the GA Third Committee and debated the “Rights of People to Self-Determination” and “The Improvement of the Situation of Women in Rural Areas.” Finally, Alexandra Haas (sophomore, political science) represented Armenia on the GA Sixth Committee, which focused on the “Criminal Accountability of United Nations Officials and Experts on Mission” and the “Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Convention of 1949.”