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NMSU team wins diplomacy award

Students from New Mexico State University won third place for their political acumen and diplomacy at a conference in New York City modeled after the United Nations.


an 3,000 students from 226 universities attended the March gathering called the National Model United Nations meant to simulate the work of the world body and teach students the intricacies of diplomacy, issue research, effective communication and cooperation.

NMSU student Leili Davari said the national model mimics the actual United Nations, and students involved are required to research the positions of their assigned countries on a number of issues and deliver those positions as the real country would. This year, NMSU represented the position of the Philippines in the General Assembly, the Security Council and on other committees that looked at world health and gender equity.

Davari, the group's former president, said the NMSU team listed the Philippines as one of its preferred choices because this year it is one of the rotating members of the Security Council and the team wanted to be on that council.

Teams are judged on how well they represent their selected country's position throughout the meeting, said Jason Ackleson, an assistant government professor and the group's adviser. That means they must stay in character and be consistent. The topics they were given to discuss included Iraq and the Sudan.

The team also experienced crisis simulations in the Security Council ? a firefight on the Afghanistan-Iran border and terrorist bombings. Their task was to fully represent their country's views and reactions on those events.

The NMSU team was among 47 teams winning one of the top awards: Outstanding delegation, distinguished delegation and honorable mention (third place). This is the first win for the NMSU United Nations model team, which has funded its attendance largely with help from the Associated Students of NMSU, fund raising and donations.