Lawrentians honored at national Model UN conference

Carolyn Tomecek

Angela Ting and Eduard Romanenko were honored as “Outstanding Delegates” at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City, which took place April 5-12.
The National Model United Nations Conference is a prestigious conference that takes place annually at the United Nations headquarters. Drawing 2,500 participants from colleges all over the world, the conference replicates real-life United Nations activities, including proposals, caucuses and crisis simulations.
Each team represents a country and is responsible for arguing that country’s views on all the issues discussed in committees. Romanenko and Ting represented the Republic of Costa Rica.
Participants are expected to investigate international issues through research and debate, with the end goal of reaching consensus among the countries.
The conference itself was intense and demanding. “We debated for five days in total, and [during] the longest day, we debated for nine hours straight,” said Ting.
Despite all of the effort she put forth, she still had a good time and learned a lot. Ting said, “I really get to learn practical skills in diplomacy, public speaking and persuasion.”
The “Outstanding Delegate” award is reserved for only one or two delegations with exceptional diplomatic skills who contribute the most to the overall goals of the committee.
Both Romanenko and Ting worked very hard at navigating negotiations in their committee, the U.N. Security Council. They went beyond delegation expectations by having “behind-closed-doors talks” with other delegates to help push the committee forward to reach an agreement.
“We mediated. We brought [the delegations] together and helped merge two resolutions to appease both sides,” said Ting, a sophomore from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who is studying government at Lawrence.
Romanenko and Ting, who were only able to participate in the conference due to two chance openings, felt especially grateful to be named “Outstanding Delegates.”
“It was a great honor that both of us received this award,” said Romanenko, a foreign exchange student from Vladivostok, Russia who is studying economics. However, Romanenko, as a true Model U.N. delegate said, “There are no winners and there are no losers, because otherwise the solution achieved would not be sustainable.”
Ting joined Model U.N. because of her interest in international politics. She said, “I would really like to work with the U.N. someday.”
Romanenko, who participated in Model U.N. in his hometown in Russia, wanted to continue going to conferences as a student at Lawrence. His future plans also involve the U.N. “I would love to work with the World Bank, which is part of the United Nations system,” said Romanenko.
Both Romanenko and Ting are members of Lawrence University Model United Nations, which is overseen by Associate Professor of Government and Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science Claudena Skran. The group is dedicated to promoting awareness of international affairs and of the procedures of the United Nations to Lawrence students.