Pomona College President David Oxtoby, accompanied by Pomona Senior Adviser for International Initiatives Bertil Lindblad, visited the United Nations headquarters in New York City Sept. 19 in order to create a stronger relationship between the U.N. and Pomona.
To begin developing connections with the organization, Lindblad, who previously worked at the United Nations, introduced Oxtoby to a number of people, including Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division of the U.N. Department of Public Information.
Oxtoby said that a main goal of the trip was to set up internship opportunities for Pomona students.
“There’s a lot of U.N-sponsored aid organizations and international organizations that we’d like to connect with and have students have opportunities there,” Oxtoby said.
He also discussed educational programs run or sponsored by the United Nations, such as online forum discussions that allow students from different universities to discuss international issues. Oxtoby indicated that Pomona could be ready to host a series of these “conversations” early next year.
The second program Oxtoby discussed was Model United Nations (MUN), which is currently being revived at Pomona.
“One thing that was quite interesting was to hear the people at the U.N. say that some of the MUN rules are not really the way the U.N. works,” Oxtoby said. “So they’re trying to encourage MUN chapters to actually model the real U.N. as opposed to someone’s hypothetical U.N.”
Oxtoby also mentioned a plan for a possible high-profile speaker in the spring semester.
“The last thing which we’re trying to do, and this is really a long shot, is to see if we can get the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, out to speak at Pomona College, so we’re trying to think about possible dates, maybe next semester,” Oxtoby said.
“He comes to California typically maybe once a year, and they felt that timetable might be possible,” he added.