On Friday, January 7, MTA’s Model UN team met with Ms. Sneha Dubey, First Secretary to the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, for a virtual session. This is part of the team’s preparation to represent India at the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN), to be held later this year. Ms. Dubey briefed the team on India’s proud history as one of the founding countries of the UN and on its continued leadership in much of the UN’s important work.

She then took questions from the team concerning the topics they are preparing for individual UN committees, and suggested how India’s various roles and advocacies could empower them to be effective delegates. From global warming to peacekeeping to women’s issues, she offered substantive suggestions that should be of great use both at YUNMUN and in general.

Her most powerful lesson, however, was diplomacy. In both word and attitude, she demonstrated how it is possible for nations to work together on issues of mutual concern despite differences of opinion, even strong ones, on other issues.

She also encouraged everyone to follow India’s example and accept the rule of international law, even when it does not come out to a country’s advantage. She pointed to a border dispute with Bangladesh that India had submitted to UN arbitration, and whose decision it had accepted even though India lost. Ms. Dubey also invited the team to visit the Indian Mission when health considerations permit, which they very much look forward to.