Students representing Brigham Young University recently received the top award at the National Model United Nations conference in New York City.
More than 3,000 students from 300 universities in the United States and abroad compete at the annual event each spring.
This is the best showing from the program, sponsored by the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, since 1999.
This year, BYU chose to represent Canada and a lesser-known nongovernmental organization, Socialist International. BYU's two teams ranked among the top 3 percent and 1 percent of delegations respectively, receiving the coveted Distinguished and Outstanding awards by the National Collegiate Academic Association.
BYU's Canadian delegation was able to meet with senior diplomats at the Permanent Mission to the UN from Canada, which gave students immediate access to the experts and official representatives of Canada.
The second BYU delegation met with the Economic and Social Council Plenary committee and united European and African delegates on the issue of women refugees by forging consensus for an "established a policy standard across existing international agencies," something they recognized does not yet exist in the realm of international policy and humanitarian law.
Since 1991, BYU has ranked among the top 20 programs at the conference.
In preparation for the conference, BYU students spent two semesters learning about the issues, countries and organizations necessary in order to become effective diplomats.
For more information, call BYU Model United Nations at (801) 422-3548, or visit the Web at http://mun.byu.edu.
Writer: Lee Simons