Students of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) recently got to meet their peers from Canada’s MacEwan University who participate in the Model United Nations. And the actual model sessions will be held in the next year or so. The first model with participation of Ukrainian students will be held in November in Germany (Erfurt), and the second – in March in the United States (New York, NY).

According to the press service of UCU, the participants on behalf of the UCU are: Yana Zdiorchuk, Human Rights program, Ilya Petrik, Ethics-Politics-Economy Program, and Kateryna Podgorska, Ethics-Politics-Economy Program.

Traditionally, the members of the Model UN play the role of diplomats, reproducing the work of the Organization with the observance of the effective rules of procedure. They represent different countries and participate in the discussion of issues on the UN agenda. By simulating the activities of the UN, through the work of various bodies of the organization, the participants learn about the problems in different regions of the world and ways to solve them. Every year, hundreds of UN models are held all over the world. Numerous graduates of different models are subsequently employed in international organizations.

However, in addition to the above opportunities, one of the goals of participation of the Ukrainian team in the competition is the development of student clubs of the Model UN throughout Ukraine by Canadian pattern – where the whole process of training and educating new participants is carried out by the students who have already participated in such models. Unfortunately, the UN models in Ukraine are not common, so such a project will allow for setting up a community among Ukrainian students, which will be able to actively represent Ukraine at international competitions and spread the idea within the country between universities.

“The Model UN is an excellent educational tool for political scientists, diplomats, lawyers, which can help to prepare motivated specialists to protect the interests of Ukraine in the international arena. Therefore, it is time for Ukraine to engage in these competitions and the first step has already been made,” said Dmytro Sherenhovsky, Head of the Academic Department of UCU and one of the project coordinators.

Thus, in June 2019, four students from McEwan MNUN club and Dr. Chaldeans Mensah came to Ukraine to train students and teachers of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) and the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy to participate in the Model UN. This project provides a unique opportunity to share their strategies for joint problem solving in the framework of the international model of the UN conference. It was a two-way learning experience, as MacEwan students not only shared their experiences, but also learned a lot about Ukraine and its place in the world.

The next steps of the project will be videoconferencing, further distance learning, and joint participation in the National Model UN conference in Erfurt, Germany, in November 2019.

“As an independent country that has established itself in the world community, Ukraine will need the support of diplomats to be engaged in fruitful relations with many countries of the world. The Canadian-Ukrainian project is a small contribution to developing negotiation skills, learning the rules of procedure at the UN, and ensuring that the future generation of Ukrainian diplomats benefits through the experience of pilot training. It is a modest learning space for Ukrainian students to model appropriate diplomatic behavior and to increase awareness of the complicated nature of international relations. I am glad that students of UCU and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, who have participated in the training, demonstrated a deep understanding of global affairs,” said McEwan University lecturer Chaldeans Mensah.

Sean Waddingham, former Director-General of McEwan UN Club, noted that the project “Ukraine” became a very special, and he hopes that Ukrainian students will be able to send annual delegation to the NMUN conference in New York City, and also hold the Model UN in Ukraine.

“I want students to love public speaking, learn more about international relations and diplomacy, and meet people from all over the world. I hope it will give them more opportunities and finally I know they will be proud of UCU, NaUKMA and Ukraine in Germany and USA. In just a week they have shown incredible results, and I can’t wait to see how they will work in the coming months.