Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)


Yvonne Cotterell
English | VP of Undergraduate Student Government (USG)

Nicholas Macaluso
International Studes | Macaulay Honors Student

Participating in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. NMUN has given me the chance to live at the Marriot Hotel in Times Square for a week, make incredible friends both on the domestic and international level, reevaluate my leadership abilities and myself, and work on a professional level for a short yet extremely intensive period of time with students from all over the world. The reality of what I was about to experience did not settle in until walking into the hotel to find hundreds of foreign students scattered around the Marriot hotel lobby like lost sheep, all with the same objective as myself, to play this game called, “MUN”.

Over the course of the week, I had the pleasure of working with my fellow classmate Yvonne Cotterell in the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. This committee was particularly different from the normal NMUN committee because we were attempting to write a treaty rather than a resolution. The key difference between the two is when a team is writing a resolution, that team must gather everyone who agrees with their resolution and write the resolution, brushing off or convincing others who disagree to work with them. When writing a treaty, the objective is consensus, forcing all parties to cooperate and agree with each other on all matters. Working under this kind of environment proved to be extremely beneficial for my professional and personal development because it gave me the chance to apply the kind of leader I thought I was into action. At the week’s end, my partner and I spearheaded several sections of the treaty as its main contributors, and were seen as one of the most diplomatic and friendly delegates of the committee.

In retrospect, when signing up for the Model United Nations class, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Now coming out of the national conference, I cannot wait to sign up for the class next year as an independent studies student to do it all over again. I cannot imagine any other experience a college student can have that contributes as much to his/her personal and professional development as the Model United Nations class and conference has done for me.


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