Volume 92, Issue 83
Wednesday, March 5, 1999
Discussing the future UN
By Nina Chiarelli
Model United Nations delegates from both Canada and the United States descended upon Huron College last night for a presentation by Ramu Damodaran, editor-in-chief of the UN Chronicle.
The presentation to Western's Model UN Society and visiting delegates inaugurated the second annual Specialized Agency on Global Events 1999.
SAGE, which runs until Sunday, features discussions on various issues affecting UN committees. The conference will simulate discussion on legal disputes affecting different model committees like the League of Arab States and the UN Security Council.
Damodaran's speech touched on the roles he expected the UN will play in the new millennium. "Peacekeeping today is seen by many as political control and for that reason it is incumbent for us to understand the role and function of the UN," Damodaran said.
He made references to several past worldwide conflicts while discussing the current state of the UN. "We must accept in the next few years that the UN is not the sole implementor of peace and security in the world," he said.
The presentation encouraged the delegates to question whether the current structure of the UN to fulfill roles such as peacekeeping is adequate. "In the new millennium we will have to come to a fairly drastic rethinking of the charter," he said.
Prabhu Hariharan, VP-finance and Charger d'Affaires for SAGE 1999, was quick to point out the significance of Damodaran's attendance at the conference. "We're very lucky to have Mr. Damodaran's presence at our conference on such short notice. His background with the UN is really great for our club and our conference."
Damodaran was a last minute replacement for Shash Thoroar, the executive assistant to Kofi Annan, secretary general of the UN.
Third-year international studies student Jacqly Marcus stressed the importance of the issues Damodaran presented. "For anyone interested in current issues, politics or culture, Mr. Damodaran's presentation was great. He touched on some really important issues."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999