An Invaluable Learning Experience

Every year, more than three thousand students from all over the world gather in New York City to discuss international priorities and issues. All this takes the name of National Model United Nations (NMUN) – the world’s largest and oldest conference in the world simulating the work of the United Nations (UN). A team of over fifty volunteers – students and young professionals from all the latitudes – are selected every year to give life to a unique experience for the students that take part. Working on the logistics and writing of research sources, the volunteers contribute to the preparation of students in terms of UN system functioning and current topics under the UN agenda.

Sara Belligoni, a Ph.D. student in Security Studies, was part of the NMUN volunteer staff. Belligoni has served the NMUN-NY as a volunteer in the last three years and served the NMUN-Europe in 2014 and participated as a student at NMUN-NY and NMUN-Korea in 2013. At the most recent NMUN-NY which took place last month, Belligoni led the work of the World Food Programme (WFP) committee, discussing the topic “Improving Emergency Response Capacities to Safeguard Food Security”. Belligoni and her students reached the important achievement of drafting a unique resolution as a result of the negotiations that aimed the committee during the week of the conference. By focusing on the implementation of forefront technologies, support of women’s securitization, and promotion of public-private partnerships, the WFP adopted the final resolution with the consensus of the entire committee.

“If a committee of young leaders coming from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America has been able to get together and reach such a successful goal, we are all responsible to make everyone in the world in the condition of expressing such potentiality and leaving no one behind because of the country they are from, the religion they believe in, or the language they speak,” said Belligoni. Additionally, Belligoni views her participation in NMUN as a positive, transformative experience, stating, “NMUN has changed my life in three ways: it gave me confidence in myself as a person and as a professional, it led me to embraced mine and others’ diversity, and the experience as a student attending NMUN-NY 2013 gave me the strength to move to New York City.”

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