Students to Represent Liberia and Philippines at Model UN


Goziem Echebiri

Students will represent Liberia and the Philippines at the 41st annual Yale Model United Nations conference, which kicks off Thursday, Jan. 22.

Later this week, students will enroll in specific committees in the General Assembly or Economic and Social Council. Model United Advisor David Cutler says he is “over the moon excited” about the country assignments.

“We are honored to have our students represent these two countries, and Liberia will pose an especially interesting challenge,” Cutler says. “With Liberia being an epicenter for the spread of Ebola, students have their work cut out for them. But I’m confident that we will be ready and excited to engage with student delegates from across the country and around the world.”

Veteran delegate Sam Girioni ’15 is equally excited about the country assignments. “Liberia is definitely going to be a lot of work, and the Philippines have quite a few domestic and transnational issues going on,” he says.

Cutler also expressed pride in two new student delegates, Elizabeth Picken ’17 and Sam Ravina ’18, who were selected to represent special committees. Both students submitted special applications in early October, beating out hundreds of other delegates to secure a position in their respective committees.

“It’s wonderful to have such fresh young talent, and I’m glad that I have Elizabeth and Sam for another three years,” Cutler says. “Both are incredibly articulate and passionate, and I know that they will do us proud.”

Ravina, who writes for The Gator and has a deep interest in politics and international affairs, will be a member of the Press Corps. “It feels very to good to represent Brimmer at Model United Nations, and I’m very eager to get to work.”

The Press Corps description reads, “As committees pass resolutions and crises unravel, you will need to quickly draft articles, as well as decide how to best disseminate the information the YMUN community at large.”

Picken, a daily reader of The New York Times with a keen interest in international issues, will sit on the United Nations Security Council—arguably the most coveted special committee. Picken says her interest peaked a few years ago, with the dawn of the Arab Spring.

“I want to use my skill set as a people person and an analytical person to help the world,” says Picken, who is ready to tackle this year’s main issues, including extremism and global security in Latin America. “Model United Nations will help with that, especially as I look toward college and pursuing diplomacy and international business.”

For Girioni, who has belonged to Model United Nations since freshman year, this time around is bittersweet. “I’m a little bit sad that it’s coming to an end, but I know this is going to be the best one yet.”