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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU’s Model United Nations Makes Annual Trip to New York

By Joe Garvey

Old Dominion University's Model United Nations annual officers trip to New York made quite an impression on the participants.

"It was truly inspiring to see the U.N. chambers in person," said Michael Neczyporuk, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and ODU's 2019-20 under-secretary general for crises. "No matter how much you read about a topic like the U.N., it's hard to give that knowledge a meaning in your head until you see some of how it works in person."

"The trip showed me the difference between politics and diplomacy," added Nathan Hayward, Model U.N.'s 2019-20 director general and a senior majoring in political science. "As the Russian first deputy ambassador said, 'We all understand that in the media we need to be against each other. But, behind closed doors, we all actually get along pretty well and understand that we are just here to do a job.' The politics may be messy between the U.S and Russia, but when it comes to diplomatic work, we actually get along pretty well."

The three-day trip in May included a tour of the United Nations and visits to the Permanent Missions of Lesotho, Russia and Spain. Students gained fresh insights into countries' perspectives on peace, security, climate change and other issues impacting the global community.

Intimate knowledge of U.N. policy and procedures is a key to the organization's continued success.

"Those visits helped me to better put myself into the mindsets of diplomats from not just those states, but other states in their situations as well," Neczyporuk said.

This was the second New York visit of the year for three participants, who were part of ODU's delegation to the National Model United Nations Conference (NMUN), which met at the General Assembly in April. ODU's delegation came in third place at NMUN for the second time in a row.

Every year ODU's Model U.N. competes in six collegiate conferences and hosts a high school conference for more than 50 regional schools. On Oct. 22-24, the ODU Model U.N, it will host the first intercollegiate simulation conference at the University in over 25 years.

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