February 16 to19 students from NOVA competed at the 63rd Annual Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) Competition. Together with students from over 100 nations, NOVA students worked to offer viable solutions for the most pressing problems facing the international community. Representing Myanmar, seven NOVA students worked on the social, humanitarian and cultural; disarmament and international security; special summit on sustainable development; special summit on terrorism; and special political and decolonization committees.
The NOVA students, many of whom are members of the Honors Program, were accompanied by their faculty advisors, Professors Melissa Beaudoin (Manassas) and Linda Campos (Alexandria).
Beginning at the start of the fall 2016 semester, the NOVA MUN team met every week, (including winter break) to prepare for the HNMUN Competition. Delegates became familiar with the policies of the Myanmarese government, wrote papers detailing the positions of Myanmar on committee topics, received debate training and learned critical public speaking skills. Also as part of their preparation, the delegation attended events hosted by the U.S. Department of State, visited the United States Institute of Peace and visited the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in Washington, D.C. While at the Myanmar Embassy, students met with Ambassador Kyaw Myo Htut. The ambassador shared the positions of the Myanmarese government in great detail with the NOVA delegation. This provided valuable insight into the positions that the delegates would be arguing at HNMUN.
After attending the HNMUN Conference, delegate Tiffany Fabian noted that she found the ambassador’s real-life example of how to address contentious topics diplomatically, without avoiding the substance of the problem, to be particularly helpful in preparing her for the conference.
NOVA’s Student Life Office and the Honors Program assisted in funding the students and faculty members, all of whom are grateful for NOVA’s support.