The Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) Model U.N. Team put together a solid effort during the fall 2012 semester, an effort that culminated for the squad at the Bonn International Model U.N. Conference in Germany.
Under the guidance of Political Science Professor Larry Martinez, the team flew back to the United States from a week of intense diplomatic strategizing, public speaking, debating and negotiating with a pair of trophies as CSULB students Andrew Jackman and John Oney both earned the conference’s highest honor of “Outstanding Delegrate” for their respective committees.
“The Bonn conference is one of the most prestigious international conferences and takes place in the ex-capital of West Germany,” Martinez explained. “We meet in the former chambers of the German Parliament where the walls are bedecked with such national symbols as the German eagle and next door is the German Parliament’s office building housing around 20 U.N. organizations.
“It was a marvelous opportunity for our four participating students because they are able to directly interact with people working for the United Nations,” he added. “For students in the Model U.N., they are being trained for careers in international public service. Here is an opportunity for these students to see where their careers could lead, either to internships today or jobs tomorrow.”
Also attending the conference were CSULB’s Model U.N. Team Secretary General Joe Sklar and Jennifer D’Amato, both political science majors. The two qualified to serve on the Bonn conference’s International Court of Justice.
“They had the chance to interact with law students from around the world. We are very happy we are training people who can cut the mustard,” Martinez pointed out. “This level of participation shows our students compete on a global level.”
Martinez said he hopes the Model U.N. Team takes from its busy conference schedule the chance to interact with a truly global group. The Bonn conference included students from 40 nations, and the CSULB students were selected to attend the conference on the basis of their individual qualifications.
Sklar was thankful for the experience. “This is important to us because it is an internationally recognized conference,” he explained. “It works hand-in-hand with the real United Nations. It is a prestigious conference that involves plenty of research on international law and where we can compete with top students from all around the world. That level of competition shows just how hard we work. This program is worth all the time and effort we put into it.”
Earlier in the fall, CSULB’s Model U.N. team competed at the Santa Barbara Intercollegiate Model UN Conference, where Jackman and teammate Nathan Ho earned an outstanding delegate award and an honorable mention, respectively, for their accurate and effective participation.
“This recognition is special because it was earned in a competitive environment where students are assessed on the accuracy and portrayal of their assigned countries,” Martinez explained. “This reflects on the research they’ve done on their countries and the issues that they represent at the conference. The effectiveness of their participation is a reflection of their public speaking skills as well as their debate negotiating skills. A good debater is not always a good public speaker.”
Martinez also noted that earning their awards against other students from universities such as UC Berkeley, Stanford and Claremont McKenna is impressive and reflects well on the CSULB Model U.N. program.