Vancouver students honored as Outstanding Delegates at National Model United Nations

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Above: Viet Truong (left) and Peter Mate (right), voted as Outstanding Delegates for the Habitat III Committee at the National Model United Nations 2016 competition in New York City, N.Y. (Photos by Jobin Mojtabavi)

By Kaidi Ilves

Students from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Vancouver Campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, recently participated in National Model United Nations (NMUN) 2016 in New York City, N.Y. In this year’s competition, two FDU students were named as Outstanding Delegates. This is the second time in three years that a delegation from FDU's Vancouver Campus has won a prestigious award.

NMUN, a competition held annually in NYC, hosts more than 5,000 college/university students acting as delegates in simulated United Nations committees. “The committees imitate real committees within the UN, and delegates debate topics pertinent to the current global situation,” says sophomore Peter Mate, president and head delegate of the Vancouver Campus’ Model UN team, studying communications and international relations.

The team, comprised of four students — Mate, freshman Viet Truong, and sophomores Van Truong and Ana Flores, the latter three all majoring in business administration with a concentration in international business — was assigned to represent the Republic of Bulgaria. “Our understanding of the country was deeply strengthened by having an opportunity to talk to Bulgarian Permanent Missions to the UN — the diplomats who actually represent the country in the organization,” says Van Truong.

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FDU's Model United Nations team (from left): Viet Truong, Peter Mate, Ana Flores, and Van Truong.

Mate and Viet Truong were appointed to the “Habitat III” committee, focusing on topics of sustainable urban development and disaster migration. The delegates in their committee selected them as recipients of the Outstanding Delegation Award for demonstrating multilateral diplomacy, collaboration and cooperation, arbitration skills and overall excellent performance. This award was presented to only three universities out of all the 150 participating in the committee.

“I am proud of what our University has achieved,” says Viet Truong. “It was a great learning experience to meet peers around the world who share the same passion for changing the world through diplomacy, and it took a great deal of preparation to get there.”

Mate adds, “Our team’s success truly was the culmination of months of preparation. We met weekly to research, practice and prepare, and we competed in local and regional MUN competitions to hone our skills. The other teams’ appreciation of us was a humbling experience.”

The team was assisted by Cecil Abrahams, Vancouver Campus provost, Jobin Mojtabavi, MAS’13, director of student services at the Vancouver Campus, and Rumbidzai Kabatebate, BS’14, Vancouver Campus admissions assistant.