More than 750 high school students from the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries gathered on March 13 and 14 at the Rose Hill campus to participate in the “New York-Dominican Republic Model United Nations Conference,” a two-day initiative of workshops designed to emulate the workings of the U.N.
The event kicked off with a message from U.N. Secretary-General H.E. Ban Ki-moon, delivered by Francis Lorenzo, ambassador and honorary vice-president of the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic (UN-ADR). On hand to welcome the students on behalf of Fordham were Michael Gillan, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College of Liberal Studies (FCLS), and Joseph Currie, S.J., director of campus ministry. FCLS co-sponsored the event.
“We at Fordham feel blessed to be in New York with all that the city has to offer, like the U.N.,” Father Currie told the students. “It puts us in touch with nations around the world.”
The conference was designed to help Latin American students understand, practice and promote the principles of the United Nations. Students attended mock sessions of the General Assembly, Security Council, International Court of Justice and the Economic and Social Council, among others. Student Maria Castillo, who hails from Santo Domingo, said the experience helped her understand international relations.
“They are presenting us with a crisis, and we have to think of ways to solve the problem,” she said. “We are interested in peacekeeping.”