More than 750 high school students from the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries gathered on the Rose Hill campus on March 13 and 14 to participate in “New York—Dominican Republic Model United Nations Conference,” a two-day initiative of workshops designed to simulate the workings of the UN.
The event kicked off with a message from UN 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 (UNA-DR). 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 UN,” Father Currie told the students. “It brings us in touch with nations around the world.”
The conference is designed to help the Latin American students understand, practice and promote the principles of the United Nations, through simulation. Students spent the days attending 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 better 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.”