CSULB’s Model United Nations wins awards at conference abroad

This is the first time the CSULB delegates competed in Dubai.

Courtesy of Jorge Soriano

From left: Delegates Matt Stein, Sarah Malik and Jorge Soriano pose with their awards at the Emirates International Model UN conference in Dubai this January.

Priscella Vega, Assistant News Editor

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Just four weeks into the semester, Cal State Long Beach’s Model United Nations visited Dubai and returned with three awards.

CSULB MUN participated in the Emirates International Model UN conference in Dubai this January. The MUN conference allowed students to participate as delegates to various UN Committees, according to the National Model United Nations website.

At the four-day-long conference, senior Chinese studies major Jorge Soriano and junior political science major Matt Stein won Best Delegate awards, and senior political science major Sarah Malik earned an honorable mention. Senior political science major Kyle Cameron and junior political science major Deshe Gully also attended the conference.

Soriano represented Chile, while Malik represented Sweden in the Disarmament and International Security Committee. At the conference, they debated whether the Arctic should be militarized.

Stein represented China in the Security Council, which focused on the crisis in South Sudan.

Soriano said that in any MUN conference, delegates are expected to become experts on the topic at hand and the country they represent.

“Often we choose to watch speeches and interviews done by diplomats of our country, read treaties and domestic laws regarding the issue, [and] track the voting record of that country in the UN,” Soriano said via email. “Sometimes [we] make inferences based on that country’s allegiances and sentiments toward similar issues.”

MUN Faculty Adviser Larry Martinez said the intense preparation for the conference paid off.

“We have a world-class team that ‘brings home the gold,’” Martinez said. “We also received an award at the Bonn International Model UN both last year and this year. We hold our delegates to the highest standards of academic rigor and parliamentary procedure training.”

While most MUN conferences are held in English, Soriano said conferences abroad require delegates to be mindful of the pace of their speech and avoid using American colloquialisms.

Soriano also said the difference between conferences abroad and conferences in California is the time allotted for committee sessions and socializing.

“I’ve been to conferences with 14-hour committee sessions and little time for socializing,” Soriano said. “At the international conferences, there is more of a focus on networking and building friendships, so they leave a little bit more time for socializing.”

CSULB MUN competes in Bonn, Germany every fall, but this marks the first time the team has competed in the Emirates International MUN.

“All the delegates did an excellent job,” Martinez said. “Part of the reason for going was to help nascent Model UN programs benefit from their collaborations with our MUN teams. This conference is no exception, and there are now students from over 40 countries who are aware of what is possible.”

CSULB MUN’s next conference, the annual Long Beach Intercollegiate MUN Conference, will be held on campus in March.

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