Recap and Photos Provided by Director of Communications Eleni Konidaris and Director General Aishani Bansal.
The third session of the Cornell International Affairs Conference (CIAC) was held from October 11-14 in Ithaca, NY. From battle simulations to keep King Geoffrey in control of the Seven Kingdoms in our Game of Thrones committee to a CASE competition to decide the future of the Amgen biotech company to uncovering the identity of the supreme Epsilon, delegates were able to challenge themselves through emerging in a variety of crises and debate situations. Further, delegations were encouraged to don their finest western, eastern (or Westerosi) business attire, in a first for Model UN conferences on the circuit.
Outside of committee sessions, CIAC continued to strengthen its philanthropy arm with the positive energy of its participating teams at CIAC’s International Philanthropy Gala this year. CIAC’s official philanthropy this year was Voices of African Mothers (VAM), which aims to better the lives of women and children in Africa through educational and vocational methods. Their visionary founder and former CFO of the UN Peacekeeping Forces, Nana Fosu-Randall was able to join delegations on campus to speak about youth empowerment and her experiences working for the United Nations in preserving international peace and security as well as in the arena of women’s rights. Thanks to the generosity and support of CIAC delegates while enjoying an evening of music, international food and dancing, VAM is going to continue its advocacy work and be able to continue its infrastructure projects in Ghana.
Head Delegates also enjoyed a moderated discussion over brunch on issues Model UN leaders face at their respective organizations, swapping recruitment and motivation strategies in the spirit of collaboration that Model UN inspires. There was also the opportunity to interact personally with Nana and her colleague at VAM over a coffee chat to gain more insight into their experiences with non-profit and international developmental work and to engage in Ithacan attractions like the Cornell Plantations tour.
The level of debate and competitive spirit that CIAC saw this year was unprecedented and led to some difficult decisions for the dais and staff who were kept on their toes by our delegates, as crafty as they were capable. It was a matter of pride to welcome and host delegations from Utah to Pennsylvania, Virginia to Maine. Setting themselves apart in committee, McGill University of Montreal, Quebec took home the Best Small Delegation Award and Queen’s University of Kingston, Ontario took home the Best Large Delegation Award. CIAC is also proud to say that in honour of those winning Best Delegate awards in their committees, it will be donating a portion of the philanthropy proceeds in their names to VAM.
The CIAC Secretariat is immensely grateful to all delegates, dais members and staff who helped make its third session such a fabulous success! We look forward to welcoming you in Ithaca next year.
Best Large Delegation: Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
Best Small Delegation: McGill University, Montréal, Quebec