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Pace Students Showcase Diplomacy In Swiss Model U.N. Conference

Front Row (l to r): Nigina Khaitova, Jason Vargas, Julie Burke, Jennifer Diaz, Margarita Moffett, Priya Sakaria, Syuyumbika “Susha” Galimova Back Row: (l to r): Vakhtang “Vato” Gogsadze, Matthew Mainzer, Nicholas Mucerino, Matthew Bolton Photo Credit: Jessica Lavariega Monforti
The summit was held at U.N.'s Palais des Nations in Geneva. Photo Credit: Pace
Members of a committee including both Pace and non-Pace students pose in front of the Palais des Nations. Photo Credit: John Haffey

NEW YORK -- Pace University's Model U.N. received high marks at the Geneva International Model U.N. -- or GIMUN -- conference in Switzerland earlier this month. One of Pace's head delegates, Priya Sakaria, received a 'Special Mention' award for her excellence. 

Sakaria, who played the role of China in a simulation of the World Health Organization, was one of only 11 award recipients at the conference, which drew hundreds of competitors from around the world. According to many, conference staff were impressed with Pace's delegation to the meeting.

The Pace Model U.N. students and their assignments are as follows:

  • Julie Burke, France, World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Jennifer Diaz, China, Security Council
  • Susha Galimova, China, General Assembly Legal committee
  • Vato Gogsadze, Russia, Security Council
  • Nigina Khaitova, Brazil, Security Council
  • Matt Mainzer, Turkey, Legal
  • Margarita Moffett, Nigeria, Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Nicholas Mucerino, Russia, HRC
  • Priya Sakaria, China, WHO
  • Jason Vargas, Mexico, HRC

"GIMUN is an unusual conference in several ways," said Dr. Matthew Bolton Assistant Professor of Political Science at Pace. "It is selective, meaning that the quality of the simulations is very high." The conference itself is bilingual, with simultaneous translation between English and French, with students playing the role of journalists and NGOs.

The conference was held in the U.N.'s Palais des Nations, the grand former League of Nations building. The building currently houses U.N. staff and diplomats, and were able to observe the proceedings of the actual Human Rights Council that occurred right across the hallway from the GIMUN simulation. 

"This opportunity provides students with excellent preparation for careers in diplomacy, advocacy and public policy," said Dr. Bolton "Numerous alumni have informed me that they are asked about their model UN experience in job interviews and are told that it positively impacted their applications."

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