Live Blog Part 1: Cornell Model United Nations Conference (CMUNC)

by Conna Walsh on April 22, 2017

This live blog was provided by Mitchell Plesser, a Conference Assistant Director for CMUNC. It covers conference happenings from Thursday, April 20th to Friday, April 21st.

On a rainy day, far above Cayuga’s waters, hundreds of delegates assembled in Bailey Hall for the Cornell Model United Nations Conference (CMUNC) opening ceremonies.

This year, the Secretariat was lucky enough to invite keynote speaker Chris Burnham, Former Undersecretary of State for Management of the U.S., Under Secretary General of the United Nations for Management, and current Chairman and CEO of Cambridge Global Capital.

Keynote Speaker Chris Burnham addresses CMUNC delegates at opening ceremonies.

Mr. Burnham provided a speech that truly forced student delegates to ponder, and reflect. He spoke about how tabloid media portrays the UN, and spoke about its critics. He described its antiquated systems and ethics guidelines, as well as projects that he personally worked on.

But he also shed light on what the UN actually accomplishes, such as the millions it feeds under the World Food Program, or vaccinates under the World Health Organization, or relocates under the UNHCR.

He implored delegates to develop new systems, new approaches, and creative solutions to world issues. He encouraged them to embrace the new developing technologies of the world in their favor, in order to pioneer their world forwards. Whether it be genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and so on, he encouraged the delegates to lead by example, and utilize their intellects to fight for good.

He spoke about his mentors such as retired United States General Colin Powell, in addition to the importance of mentorship, and his desire for education to gear itself towards engineering and data management in order to address the growing technological needs of our modern world.

“Don’t ever stop learning, and don’t ever stop leading.” – Chris Burnham

GA committees such as DISEC have been tackling cybersecurity and technological reform, while Specialized committees such as La Via Campesina have just finished drafting papers to address the growing disparity and inequality that peasant and low class farmers face in the wake of large multinational corporations. Crisis delegates in Russia are dueling and about to begin World War I, and the stage has been adequately set for a spectacular finale to committee.

Overall, the conference has been amazing so far, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the weekend! Read on to see more photos from CMUNC.

Delegates participating in committee.

Delegates participating in committee.

Crisis Staff & Dais members pose for a team photo

Crisis Staff & Dais members pose for a team photo

Delegates of the NGO Forum committee hard at work on negotiations.

Delegates of the NGO Forum committee hard at work on negotiations.

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