UWI on show at Harvard forum

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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THE University of the West Indies' Department of Government, Mona is expecting major returns on its investment in 10 students and a lecturer who represented the institution at this year's Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) in Boston, Massachusetts.

The students and UWI lecturer in the Department of Government Dr Omar Hawthorne left the island last week for the United States to participate in the 2014 Model United Nations forum which ended on Sunday.

"I am very confident that they will not just represent the UWI, Mona, but Jamaica on a whole very well," said Head of the Department of Government Dr Lloyd Waller.

"The department is seriously focused on broadening the scope of our students' engagements, locally and internationally. The more practical exposure, the better. This is absolutely critical to ensuring that our students are well rounded and ready for the world, no matter where they go," Dr Waller added.

HNMUN serves as a forum in which students from colleges and universities around the globe meet, in a United Nations format, to discuss the most pressing challenges facing the world today. Top performers are awarded at the end for their efforts. This year participants will address a number of issues, including drug decriminalisation and Latin American-European Union trade relations.

The UWI students say their objective is to help the institution reclaim the accolade of "best university in the region".

Dr Hawthorne pointed out that the delegation of students is drawn from the faculties of Social Sciences, Medical Sciences, Law, Science and Technology and Humanities and Education.

"This not only embodies the diversity of the University of the West Indies Model United Nations Club (UWIMUN), but is also reflective of the plethora of areas within the United Nations," Hawthorne said.

The delegation of UWI students will be led by Donavan Johnson, President of UWIMUN, who says that, in addition to portraying the very best that UWI, Mona has to offer, it is hoped the delegates will come to appreciate the complexities of international co-operation and diplomacy.

"The practical experience that the conference offers will better enable the delegates to 'think globally while acting locally', which sums up the motto of UWIMUN. Collectively, the delegation will do its endeavour best to reclaim its previous accolade of 'Best University in Latin America and the Caribbean'," he commented.

Dr Waller said that the activity will also complement the department's international relations programme which will, over time, go through changes that will further enhance its offerings.

"We have been systematically reviewing our programmes in the department as part of our modernisation process, and these initiatives are in line with the university's 2012 to 2017 strategic plan," he said.

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