Blog Archives

Japan: A major player in global affairs

japan 2Japan is an island nation with a peaceful nature and large economy. As such, it plays an important role in international affairs.

Japan first joined the United Nations in 1956, and up until the present, it continues to support the UN in bringing about peace and stability throughout the world.  Its commitment to the UN shows through its participation in peacekeeping operations. For example, in 1999, Japan contributed refugee relief materials to displaced Kosavar and Timorese people, and it has done the same for Iraqi and Sudanese refugees in more recent years. It is also involved with the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. Nonetheless, Japan’s involvement with the UN is extensive.

JapanFurthermore, Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world and thus plays an important role in the world economy. Its major exports include technology-related products ranging from cars to cameras to video games. Popular Japanese brands include Toyota, Honda, Canon, Nikon, Nintendo, to name a few.  Japan is also an exporter of pop culture. Anime and manga comics are among those pop culture exports.
japan flag

Nevertheless, Japan is a country with a grand presence in the world stage. There is no
doubt that it will continue to play out this role in the years to come.

Want to continue learning more about Japan while enjoying exquisite food and good company? Then, join us in our first “Taste of” event of the year!

Taste of Japan will be held at Itadaki Boston on Wednesday, January 23 at 7pm. Come join us and don’t miss out on the fun! We hope to see many of you there!

Tickets are available here: http://yptoj.eventbrite.com

Welcome to Our Spring ’12 Interns!

The start of each semester is always an exciting time for us here at UNA-GB, as we welcome a batch of new interns.  Every few months, we have the pleasure of bringing on new, bright, energetic and talented college students and recent graduates to substantively grow our work and expand our influence.  This spring we have a robust and knowledgeable group (and the largest in number to date too!)  Learn a little bit more about our interns below.

Natalie Prolman

Intern Focus: Student Ambassadors- Education

I am a Senior at Northeastern University studying a dual major in International Affairs & Human Services, with a minor in Sociology. Last year I served as a Campus Ambassador for the UNA-GB, and I am now the Coordinator for the Student Ambassador Program. During my time at Northeastern I have participated in two Dialogue of Civilization study abroad programs, including  a Global Corps Practicum to Thailand and a Service Learning and Transnational Activism program in India. I have previously interned for the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya an Capitol d on Hill for Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I am interested in community development and international social work as well as traveling and photography. I hope to one day work for the United Nations or start an NGO of my own.

Deanna McLaughlin

Intern Focus: Programs- Development

I am currently finishing my senior year at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. I am a double major in political science and international studies with a minor in Spanish. I grew up in Gorham, Maine. I spent last semester in La Paz, Bolivia studying Latin American revolution movements and conflict resolution and also a semester prior in Washington DC interning at the National Governors Association. I am working with the UNA-GB team in development. After graduation I plan to spend at least one year engaging in post-graduate service.


Chelsea Contre

Intern Focus: Programs- Events/Website

I am a junior at Lesley University majoring in Communications and minoring in Design and Business Management. I have played soccer and basketball while growing up in Connecticut and currently play both sports at Lesley. Last spring I had the opportunity to study abroad in Australia, where I spent four months traveling and studying. I have a passion for understanding and learning other cultures other than my own. I am interested in designing and event planning, as well as the communications department of UNA-GB where I’m excited to learn more in the field.

Elizabeth Ross

Intern Focus: Programs- Consuls Ball/Silent Auction

I am a senior at Tufts University, majoring in
International Relations with a concentration in “Ideologies.” I am
originally from Billings, Montana. Over the past four years I have
studied abroad in Talloires, France; Lima, Peru; and most recently for
the 2010-2011 academic year at Pembroke College at Oxford University,
England. Other internship experiences include working at KULR-8, a
local TV news stations in Billings, MT; Fred Friendly Seminars in New
York City; and US Senator Max Baucus’ office. Upon graduation I
hope to work in Washington DC or London. In my spare time she enjoys
outdoor activities, sports, shopping, and cooking.

Nathalie Van der Elst

Intern Focus: Education

I am currently a senior at Boston University studying International Relations. I come from Belgium, from my father’s side, and my mother is South Korean. However, I have never lived in both countries before. Instead my father’s work took me to places such as Turkey, where I lived for 14 years, and China. My parents have very different backgrounds but it is their international mindset that freed them of their national boundaries and gave them the courage to pursue life across the world, an attitude that has inspired me. I believe the UNAGB has the same mindset. One that teaches us to understand, learn and experience different cultures, and become immersed in a giving global community. I hope to further my studies through International Law to continue promoting internationalism; and perhaps someday I can inspire others too.

Alyson Reitano

Intern Focus: Programs- Communications

I am a Global Business and Marketing major finishing up my senior year at Suffolk University. I am from Merrimac, Massachusetts and from Italian and Irish decent. I have been blessed with the opportunity to have studied abroad in three different locations and my majors have provided me with the flexibility to have been able to study in Spain, Australia and Italy. I have been immersed in many cultures and have practiced each country’s unique method of doing business. I am currently taking 5 classes as well as being the Vice President of Suffolk University’s International Business Club and am a Lead Caller Student Ambassador for the Suffolk University Annual Fund. In the future, I hope to continue travelling and to someday work for the U.S. government.

Stephen Armstrong

Intern Focus: Education

I am a senior at Emmanuel College, studying international affairs. I hope to pursue a doctorate degree in International Affairs, after my military service is completed. I was born in Tottenham England, a blue collar borough of London, eventually settling in Bedale Yorshire. I lived there for seven years, before moving to Revere, Massachusetts. I am an aspiring athlete for the Greater Boston Track Club, where I compete for the club in different competitive events. I am profoundly excited about the prospects of interning in the educational department of UNA-GB.

Braeden Lord

Intern Focus: Education 

I am a freshman at Boston College studying Islamic Civilization and Society as well as Political Science. After spending a very moving summer in one of the most torn post-Troubles neighborhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I understood that my career calling was mitigating international crises. The past five years I have intensively participated in Model United Nations Conferences as far as St. Petersburg, Russia, and I hope that my international experience will serve me well as I study Arabic and aim my career at promoting peaceful solutions in the Middle East. I am very excited to be working with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.

Peter Hung

Intern Focus: Education

I am a junior studying International Relations at Boston University. Although I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, my enrollment into the International School of Beijing in 2004 introduced me to a community of diplomats who reside in China, and consequently, the importance and beauty of diplomacy and international cooperation’s. In high school I was an avid participant and organizer of Asian regional Model United Nations Conferences such as THIMUN-Singapore. I speak fluent Mandarin, English and now am honing my proficiency in Swahili and Spanish.

Lian Lian Ma

Intern Focus: Education

I am a senior from Boston University studying International Relations and International Management. Having grown up in Shanghai, China and moved to Vancouver, Canada during high school, I was always passionate about international events and global politics. While my first two years involved IR research on topics like Chinese diplomacy and conflict resolution, I transitioned to international management in junior year, hoping to understand the world from a business perspective. I was actively involved in Model UN conferences for the past year, during which I gained much knowledge on the impact of international organizations and businesses. I’m currently considering pursuing my Masters after graduation, and I hope to work for the World Bank in the future.

Jun Il Hwang

Intern Focus: Education 

I grew up in the Republic of Korea until I was fourteen years old and began to study in the United States of America as an international student ever since. Now I am about to graduate from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a minor degree in Spanish. I have taken some summer courses in Spain and Peru to learn Spanish and also their political/social issues and dilemmas today. Also in Madrid, I was an intern at an NGO called COSOP, which helps immigrants in need. I have worked at UNAGB for about 6 months now and have had a great experience so far. I look forward to continue my internship here and learn even more about global citizenships, education, and intriguing international affairs.

Alyssa Brodie

Intern Focus: Programs- Consuls Ball

Growing up in Miami, Florida, I was exposed to a diverse upbringing; with my high school being 40% white (non-hispanic) and 60% a mix of Hispanic, African-American, and Asian… and I loved it! Since, I have craved the need for new people in my life who bring a different background and perspective. This, in itself, is what drove me to intern at the UNA-GB. Majoring in Advertising with a minor in International Relations at Boston University, I have been able to mesh my passion for everything the UNA-GB stands for and my passion for planning events/promotions. Being able to bring people together at the Consuls Ball from different nationalities for causes we each care about is what is so incredible about America and the UNA-GB.  On a side note, I also enjoy painting, concerts, karaoke, practicing speaking Hebrew, and the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy.

Olivia DiNucci

Intern Focus: Programs- Young Professionals 

I am a junior at Emerson College where I study Political Communications and also play for the women’s basketball team.  Pittsburgh, PA is my home and where I acquired an interest for social justice. My current goals are broad and open to possibilities. I want to be a citizen of the world who is constantly learning and discovering what life has to offer.  I want to be more then just life’s tourist, I want to live and immerse myself within new, different, and stimulating environments.  I want to explore the many cultures of this earth through the people and minds that created them. I am interning with the Young Professionals department at UNA-GB where I can connect with others over international issues and culture.

Katie Lansing

Intern Focus: Education

I am a senior year major in International Relations at Lesley University. Born in Boston, I moved to France when I was four years old. At the age of eight, my family moved the Democratic Republic of the Congo where we lived for a year before moving back to France. I attended and graduated from a French high school, after which I moved back to Boston to start college. I love travel, I love the game of International Relations, but most of all I love people. After I graduate I hope to get a Masters in conflict resolution and one day
work in conflict mediation.

Bianca Diaz

Intern Focus: Office Assistance/Education

Hi, my name is Bianca, I am 16 years old (almost 17!) and currently a junior at Boston Latin Academy. I have been doing Model UN for 4 years and absolutely love it.  I’ve also been the longest-standing intern – working at UNA-GB since 7th grade!! I want to move to Washington D.C and become an immigration lawyer.  I like listening to other people’s problems and helping them.  Overall I am an outgoing person to be around and I look forward to working with everyone because I like making new friends.

We anticipate great things will come out of this semester with this unique and accomplished group of young people! A WARM welcome from the UNA-GB staff!

-UNA-GB staff: Lena, Kaitlin, Jennifer, Rebecca and Ann

“What I Did On My Summer Vacation”: Reflections from MUN Summer Campers

One of the inevitable rituals that comes with going back to school is sharing what you did on your summer vacation with your fellow classmates.   Is working towards solving the world’s most pressing global challenges, such as child marriage, immigration, and human rights a common story?

For the 39 rising 8th-12th graders who attended our first ever Model UN Summer Camp, held at Harvard Business School in July, the answer is yes.  We asked a handful of our summer campers to share about their camp experience and how it feels to be working towards becoming the next generation of global advocates.  Learn more about the week here and consider sharing information about next year’s camp with a young person in your life!

*A special thank you goes to our corporate sponsor, National Grid, whose generous support provided 10 scholarships for students to attend the Summer Camp, including some featured below!

Raheem, 11th grade
I am from:
I live in Rosendale, MA; that’s where I was born, but my mom is actually from Singapore. She is from an Arab background, and she grew up there in Singapore.

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I have always been interested in international relations, so this is a great way to learn about some of the current issues today.

What I have learned from this program: I have learned about current issues in different countries such as child marriage, and also the role of peacekeepers in the UN, so doing those simulations really helped me to learn more about those different aspects.

What I liked the most about this program: It is so much more engaging type of learning than just hearing about things on the news, so I really enjoyed it.  I think the public speaking aspect that we focus on a lot really helps a lot.

This program will help me with my future goals: Before this I didn’t think international relations was really up there, but now I may be considering it in the future.  I have not done much public speaking before, so wasn’t really used to it, but such a big part of it was based on public speaking that I think I have gotten much better in it.

I would suggest this program to other students: I think that all sort of kids would like it whether they like to speak out or not, they learn a lot would really broadened their horizons based on politics.

Christina, 11th grade
I am from:
Malden, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I came to Model UN Camp to be better at public speaking and further my education in international relations.

What I have learned from this program: I have learned a lot of things I have not known before that I would need to take to the future with me.

I liked the most about this program: How we came from all over the world to the debate and the caucuses, and the different roles there are.

This program will help me with my future goals: In the future I hope to go into maybe something in law, maybe history, so either way Model UN will help me.

 I would suggest this program to other students: Advice that I give is to come prepared and be open. Don’t be shy about it because everyone is at the same position – come and learn and just be ready to do it.

Emily, 8th grade
I am from:
Barcelona, Spain

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I have always been interested in international relations.  My school is an international school, so there are lots of kids from all over.  I have always been completely fascinated by the different cultural backgrounds and the way countries interact and politics that unite them.

What I have learned from this program: I will learn more about how to express myself and how to debate…How to argue convincingly from point when I don’t completely agree with that point. The thing about being diplomat is you represent a country and a body of people and that’s very important because not everyone’s voice can be heard at any global situation. I want to learn about different countries and different policies.

What I liked the most about this program: Learning from and hearing about what other people have to say, along with meeting new people.

This program will help me with my future goals: When I am older I would love to be a diplomat. Interactions between people and countries in the world are fascinating, and someday I want to make a positive difference in it.

I would suggest this program to other students: It is important for someone to represent because otherwise those people’s voices won’t be heard.

Eric, 11th grade
I am from:
Westford, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: This year I am a class president of my club at my high school and I really want to further my knowledge of the UN and learn about its operations and policies as well as that I hope for a career in the UN someday.

What I have learned from this program: My experience at the Model UN UNA-GB Summer Camp was extraordinary.   It [provided] me with experience to become a better public speaker and debater. Some of the nature of the issues, which I would want to deal with, would be the global economy crisis…as well as human rights.

I liked the most about this program: I made a lot of new friends.  I learned how to become a much more effective and efficient delegate in future Model UN Competitions.

This program will help me with my future goals: I want to represent people who typically, normally speak up for themselves and to defend them.  My dream job would be to become a politician either for the United States or to represent the United States in the UN because I care a lot about people.  It has made me want to become even more involved in international politics; I believe it will help me when applying to some colleges.

I would suggest this program to other students: I think it is important for teenagers my age to join this program, so that way they will realize that they are going to be affected by human rights or some other law or other aspect which the UN discusses.

Mikaeal, 8th grade
I am from:
Newton, MA

I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: Because I really did not know about the UN. I thought that I could actually learn how the UN works, what the UN really is, what they really do.  I want to learn more about modern day issues and human rights.

What I have learned from this program: Paying attention is definitely a key part of this camp. It really helps with public speaking.  I learned how to debate. I actually was not really that good in it and I have improved a lot.

What I liked the most about this program: Parliamentary procedures… It was actually my favorite part in the whole class. I had almost no idea when I came here, but now I really understand it.

This program will help me with my future goals: When I joined the camp I thought it will be an interesting thing to know about…I actually don’t know exactly what my career would be, but I think it definitely will help me. It is a very important thing nowadays because all these issues and human rights are a big thing today.

I would suggest this program to other students: It was very accelerating, hard at some points, but I thought it was fun and very educational overall.

Rebecca, 12th grade
I am from:
Malden, MA

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp to: Improve my speaking skills and actually learn to give out my opinions, my suggestions more because before I had a hard time putting out my personal views on certain topics.

 What I have learned from this program: It has been a great experience understanding and learning more and getting to touch up on everything I have learned before.  The Summer Camp has just expanded my level of understanding of how to give out more information about the certain topics that I understand and how to speak to other people sharing my views with others. I learned everything from child marriage to migrant workers and their struggles to basics of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 What I liked the most about this program: [It is] giving me the chance to actually meet with other students from other schools and other countries and cities, which gives me a broader understanding of their different views on different topics being discussed.

This program will help me with my future goals: It changed my life because growing up I always knew I wanted to do something that was bigger than me – something that did not just have to do with me helping myself, but helping others. And the Model UN simulation just gives you the feeling that it is okay to want to get out of the comfort zone, to say I want to go beyond myself, and I want to help others in the process.

I have always wanted to be a pediatrician.  That’s always been in my plan book, but I want to intertwine that with traveling – I want to travel to help those in need, maybe kids in the other parts of the world that cannot get the aid that they need for those specialized areas.

I would suggest this program to other students: This program is amazing because it is actually improving your social capability and your ability to learn and share with others what you learned.  It is a great experience to come to the summer camp because it sharpens your learning abilities and what you know about American history and about the issues in general. It is the beginning, opening the door to helping others, and understanding what the world is made out of.

Daniel, 9th grade
I am from:
Tampa, FL

 I decided to join the Model UN Summer Camp because: I thought it was a great opportunity to come to a beautiful city like Boston and practice and learn some things about Model United Nations that I did not know before.

What I have learned from this program:  I have learned a lot of things about international relations and child rights and human rights that I would have never known if I would have never came to this program.  Mediating with other countries is always the best way to fix things.

What I liked the most about this program: It sets a great platform for your future aspirations to go farther than Model United Nations, and I would suggest it to any Model UN students.

This program will help me with my future goals:  Overall I would like to make the world a better place. There is a lot of turmoil in the world. And it is only one person, but if one person affects three, two people, that is already life well spent.  I am aspiring to go to college at Boston University and go to the international relations school and maybe become an ambassador to another country from the United States. And the prior information that I have learned from this program will surely help to reach that goal.

I would suggest this program to other students: Whether you are experienced or not in the Model United Nations field, you can learn some things that you did not know or if you just completely new to the Model UN, you can learn everything you really need to know.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming camp opportunities!