Fiona Alexander article
Fiona Alexander spoke to the opening ceremony of the 2024 Model UN. Involved in ODUMUN in high school and college, she served as Secretary-General of the ODUMUN College Conference in 1995. Today, she is a former government executive with global experience in international Internet, telecommunications and emerging technology policy. Fiona served for close to 20 years at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce where she was Associate Administrator for International Affairs.
DEVELOPMENT: The international community must gear up for a new era of “hydro-diplomacy” as the threat of water scarcity risks plunging the world into a period of geopolitical tension and stunted development, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told delegates gathered at the General Assembly today. ‘Deputy UN chief calls for ‘hydro-diplomacy’ as world faces crippling water shortages’, UN News Centre, 30 March 2015.
HUMAN & WOMEN’S RIGHTS: About 35 percent of women worldwide — more than one in three — said they had experienced physical violence in their lifetime, the report finds. The subject is under sharp focus as delegates from around the world gather here starting on Monday to assess how well governments have done since they promised to ensure women’s equality at a landmark conference in Beijing 20 years ago — and what to do next. ‘U.N. reveals ‘alarmingly high’ levels of violence against women’, New York Times, 9 March 2015
SYRIA: the United Nations as a whole has been unable to offer a path out of a war that has dragged on for four years, left an estimated 220,000 dead, given rise to vicious jihadists and spread havoc across the region. Criticism of the Security Council piled on this week as its members Russia and the United States continued to support opposing sides in the war. ‘United Nations’ reputation slips as four-year war in Syria drags on’, New York Times, 12 March 2015.
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE: Forty years after equating Zionism with racism, the UN General Assembly agreed to a bid by Israel to host a first-ever meeting on the rise of anti-Semitism worldwide. ‘Modest victory for Israel in quest for international meeting on anti-Semitism’, New York Times, 22 January 2015; and ‘UN holds first-ever meeting on anti-Semitism', Indian Express, 22 January 2015
CHINA: WHO director Dr. Margaret Chan of China has been too willing to accommodate wishes of governments, reluctant to call them to task and at other times too ready to bow to their demands, even when it puts the world’s health at risk. ‘Effort on Ebola Hurt W.H.O. Chief’, New York Times, 6 January 2015, p. A1.
CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT: UN members have reached an agreement on how countries should tackle climate change. The talks proved difficult because of divisions between rich and poor countries over how to spread the burden of pledges to cut carbon emissions. None of the 194 countries attending got everything they wanted, but everybody got something. Environmental groups were scathing in their response. ‘UN members agree deal at Lima climate talks’, BBC News, 14 December 2014
CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT: Citing “clear and growing” human influence on the climate system, a United Nations report issued today has warned that if left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. ‘'Leaders must act', urges Ban, as new UN report warns man's impact on climate may soon be 'irreversible', UN News Centre, 2 November 2014; and ‘Climate panel: Some effects ‘irreversible’, Washington Post, 2 November 2014
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Unrealistic calls for disarmament distract from more achievable efforts, a speaker told the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) today, urging members to acknowledge the ‘hard truth’ that the final goal will not be realized overnight or in a single negotiation. ‘Rejecting calls for wholesale approaches to disarmament, US speaker tells First Committee results will not be realized overnight ‘, UN News Centre, 21 October 2014

After a year of work, the ODU Model UN Society is pleased to announce the publication of their Delegate Guide "Winning UN Simulations: Everything you need to know about Model UN".The Delegate Guide...

SECURITY COUNCIL: Ten years ago on 28 April 2004, the UNSC adopted resolution 1540 requiring Governments to prevent non-state actors from acquiring WMD. Here SG Ban Ki-moon underlines the importance of SC 1540, a key component of global security. [best viewed using Chrome].
SECURITY COUNCIL: Condemnations and accusations were traded Sunday night as the UNSC held an urgent meeting to discuss the worsening crisis in Ukraine. "U.N. Security Council meets as Ukraine 'teeters on the brink'", CNN, 14 April 2014.
HUMAN RIGHTS: The HRC, voting 30 to 6 with 11 abstentions, called on the UNSC to try North Korea "in order that those responsible for crimes against humanity, are held to account." "Rights panel seeks inquiry of North Korea", New York Times, 17 March 2014. Also see "UN should act on atrocities report", Human Rights Watch, 17 February 2014