The University of Hawaii at Hilo Model United Nations Team, Hui Na Lahui Huipu (Club United Nations), reinforced its reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage by turning in another strong performance at this year’s Model United Nations Competition, which recently took place in New York. UH-Hilo, which last year captured the highest honor of Outstanding Delegation, earned honorable mention, which is essentially a third-place award presented to teams who place in the top 15 percent of the competition.
“Twelve of our 15 members were competing at Model United Nations for the first time, so they did extremely well,” said political science Professor Phillip A. Taylor, who served as the team’s coach and faculty advisor. “Instead of re-building, we re-loaded.”
This year’s team was led by head delegate Krista Aoki. Other members included business manager Mindy Alles, Ashley Branch, Taylor Coons, Euclitos Da Costa, Hannah Furumo, Soyoung Han, Marcus Hoeflinger, Aimehio Iyeke, Saerom Lee, Kirstie Naone, Michael Nurnberger, Corey Patton, Priya Rashid and Ardena Saarinen.
UH-Hilo’s delegation represented Hungary during the five intense days of simulated UN deliberations, which saw them present their country’s foreign policy positions on 24 different issues before eight committees.
Top-tier finishes have become a habit for the UH-Hilo team dating back to 2006. This is the second time the delegation has earned an honorable mention. The team has also captured the second-place award, Distinguished Delegation, awarded to teams in the top 10 percent, four times during that period.
The competition annually attracts teams from 300 universities and colleges from around the world. Student and faculty participants work in the conference setting to propose resolutions on a wide range of issues such as regional conflicts, human rights, economic and social development, women and children and the environment.