Women’s rights, terrorism and failed states discussed at first UTSA model UN


Fourteen Roadrunners sat at a conference table for eleven hours and thirty minutes, discussing – and proposing solutions to – global issues. The Alamo Model United Nations hosted its first event, the U.N. Security Council, on Nov. 13 and 14.

A diverse group of student delegates, who represented Argentina, Chad, Chile, China, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, the Republic of South Korea, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, the U.K. and the U.S., debated controversial topics such as the understanding of the violence against women as a human rights infringement, Middle Eastern terrorism and failed Islamic states and humanitarian crises of immigration and international security.

Yet, consistent with the complexities of these pressing issues, the Model UN delegates felt the challenges implicit to developing international policy. And despite the conference’s lengthy discussion, the delegates did not reach a consensus, or pass a resolution, on all of the topics.

“In the future, I would like to see a longer conference – a day and a half really isn’t enough time,” said the organization’s co-founder, Sarah Allred. “However, that’s one of the challenges in being on a committee, you have to debate amongst yourselves on what (issue) takes precedence.”

The student-delegates determined, by vote, that the council would discuss issue of terrorism first. After thorough debate, the council drafted a resolution for the secretary general’s approval.

And the decision was unanimous – the Model UN council’s resolution to appease terroristic and extremist threats in the Middle East through emphasis on education and economic stability passed as a plausible solution to the international concern. “With global cooperation, the pandemic of terrorism will be eradicated,” the resolution stated.

At the conclusion of the conference, students-delegates remarked that the experience in the mock session exercised their conflict resolution, public speaking, and the importance of diplomatic skills.

UTSA professor Matthias Hofferberth serves as the faculty adviser for the Model United Nations. “it’s important to have…a society that discusses the United Nations and educates our students to make them aware of the importance of this institution,” said Hofferberth about the new campus organization.

The young organization intends to continue the year debating complex world-issues and plans to attend conferences at other schools, and perhaps even hold in-house sessions within the society.