United Nations club promotes awareness

Minnesota State University’s  Model United Nations/International Relations Club focuses on global events and issues as well as international policy. 

Faculty advisor Abdalla Battah said he created the club during the 1993-94 academic year to broaden Mankato’s perception of worldwide circumstances. 

“It reflected my interest and enthusiasm to promote global awareness on campus and in the larger community,” Battah said.

He also said the club is for the students to develop and expand their awareness of events that occur outside of Mankato and the United States. 

“The purpose is to get students proactively engaged in activities on and off campus in the realm of global awareness,” he said. “Another goal of the club is to promote internationalization of the curriculum.”

Battah said the organization has hosted prestigious activities in past years. 

“We have hosted panels, lectures, video showing and discussion, educational trips, panels of study abroad and experiential learning, workshops on the Middle East and workshops on preparing for the Foreign Service Exam,” Battah said. “We have also co-sponsored relevant events with the Kessel Institute and other campus organizations and all of our events were open to the public.”

He also said historical crises have hindered the organization’s ability to host such events and function as efficiently as it once did. 

“The Club assisted me in hosting three major Arrowhead Model United Nations Conferences that brought students from over a dozen Midwest colleges/universities prior to 9/11,” said Battah.   “AMUNC was run by the Arrowhead Model United Nations Association, or AMUNA, and I happened to be the organization’s president since its inception till last year. Covid-19 killed in-person attendance at the last conferences and I resigned as president of the organization.”

Battah said the events served as a way to promote students’ skills. 

“At this conference, students learned valuable information and skills such as organizing, negotiation, key global issues, debate strategies, parliamentary procedures, how the UN works and in-depth information about a country they represented as Ambassadors,” he said. “Conference participants particularly enjoyed opportunities for dialogue with dignitaries who were invited to keynote speakers.”

He also said the organization has had various speakers over the years who have held high-ranking positions of office inside and outside of the United States. 

“Some of the speakers that we have had included Lech Walesa, the former President of Poland, Senator and Presidential Nominee George McGovern, Ambassador Robert Fowler, H.E. Ambassador Datuk Hamidon Ali, the UN Permanent Representative of Malaysia, Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and the former MN Secretary of State and President of Global Minnesota, Mark Ritchie.

For more information about the UNIR, contact Dr. Abdalla Battah or contact the club’s president, Abhishu Karki.

Write to Grace Anderson at grace.anderson.3@mnsu.edu

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.