ASU Model UN member delivers speech at annual conference


ASU Model United Nations club attends the Model United Nations of Far West conference

The United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Avi K. Kapur has found a community in the ASU Model United Nations, a club at Arizona State University that meets weekly.

“Everyone in there wants to have fun and learn together,” Kapur said. “It's very collaborative and provides a way for students to feel a part of something bigger than themselves, especially important during the pandemic.”

Every year, the ASU Model United Nations team attends the Model United Nations of Far West conference. During this year’s four-day event, on April 16–19, ASU students posed as delegates from seven different countries and debated with others on pressing world issues in various mock U.N. committees to find collective solutions.

“(Model United Nations) is an innovative way to learn about the United Nations as well as its internal working mechanisms,” said Mily Kao, who is the faculty adviser for the club. “The conference is also a great place for students to practice diplomacy in a professional, dynamic and competitive setting.”

For the conference, Kapur, who is a junior at ASU studying political science, was assigned the role of representing the Republic of Ireland in the Commission on the Status of Women.

 a junior at ASU studying political science

Avi K. Kapur

“Throughout the semester, my job was to research the issues facing women around the world and within Ireland, and how the Irish government has helped to solve these complex issues,” Kapur said. “It was a very enlightening, humbling experience which gave me a lot of perspective on the trials that so many women and girls endure.”

Kapur and the Irish delegation were invited to address the opening ceremony on sustainable development on behalf of the Western European group, an honor given to the delegation with the highest-scoring pre-conference materials.

“My speech laid out the issues that face the world, such as climate change, equal rights for women and the coronavirus pandemic. I also explained what Ireland had done to try and solve these issues, such as their Irish Aid international development program, whose work has focused on helping women in southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which experience 86% of the world's maternal deaths.”

Kao said that Kapur delivered an inspiring speech.

“Having the chance to present the opening plenary speech is a unique honor that is limited to just a few students, so I recited my speech about a thousand times,” Kapur said. “I wanted to make sure I represented Arizona State and Dr. Kao well.”

The ASU Model United Nations club meets weekly during both the fall and spring semesters. Kapur shared that students interested in international politics, climate change, women's rights or economics should consider joining the club or taking the course.

“This is a course that appeals to a variety of majors, not just political science,” he said. “I'm a better student and a better person because of this course.”

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