Friday, September 30
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4th UST MUN tackles peacemaking and poverty

Photo by JANINE C. PEREA
Photo by JANINE C. PEREA

OVER 180 delegates from local and international universities gathered at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for this year’s UST Model United Nations (MUN) to discuss issues on poverty and advocate ways for international peacemaking.

International Relations lecturer Jan Michael Denila urged the aspiring diplomats during the conference’s opening ceremony to become mediators who facilitate in finding resolutions to possible disputes between opposing countries.

“A lot of you (delegates) would go for a coalition. But what if we try to consider a third actor, a game changer that is the mediator? […] A good mediator would regulate the traffic of information that goes from different parties,” Denila said.

International institutions should strive to be an inclusive universal and multilateral forum for dialogue and norm-setting, Virgemarie Salazar, head of the international relations section of the Foreign Service Institute, also told the delegates.

“In a world of high economic and security independence, states—whether big or small, rich or poor—should have a voice and access to international communities’ consensus building process,” Salazar said.

The three-day conference allowed the participants to deal with international issues and come up with resolutions through a simulation of UN proceedings.

Delegates, who acted as representatives of the UN member states, voiced out their stances on certain global concerns and promoted the interest of the country they represented during the committee sessions.

They were also given the chance to represent the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, Human Rights Council, and the Economic and Social Council.

“UST MUN actually brings the best out of these delegates—they get to know how to lobby, act in accordance [with] their country’s foreign policy, debate, write resolution papers, and actually learn the value of respect and sensitivity toward other delegates and their stances,” Krishna Pineda, who acted as the undersecretary general for liaisons in the activity, told the Flame.

With the theme “Meeting the Challenges with a Sustainable Future in a Century of Conflict and Poverty,” the UST MUN 2017 was held last Feb. 28 to March 2. MARIA EDEN T. DINO

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