• Ryan Prieto
  • Story Title: Assistant Director for CSW at NYC National Model United Nations
  • Student Profile: Prieto, Ryan
  • Ryan Prieto and others participate in a National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference

During my time as an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to attend numerous National Model United Nations (NMUN) conferences in New York City. I had a wonderful experience playing the role of a diplomat representing various member states, observer states, and non-governmental organizations. Nevertheless, I always coveted the possibility of staffing at the conference since I had admired those staffers that had guided myself and countless others through the writing and passage of several lengthy resolutions. So, as anyone in my position would do, I applied for staff only to rejected twice over a three-year period. Quite frankly, I was on the verge of giving up because of the competitive nature of the conference’s application process. However, as fate would have it, I actually got an email from the conference’s Under Secretary-General for the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) just a month before the conference inquiring about my availability. Moments later, after an exchange of emails and a quick phone call, I was offered the position of Assistant Director for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). I was ready to undertake the experience of a lifetime and make a new family along the way.

I began by connecting with my Director for the CSW. It only took a few conversations to realize we would form an effective team, which was underscored by the work we accomplished in the following weeks. We began by reviewing and scoring position papers, two-page documents outlining each delegation’s position regarding the three topics on our CSW agenda. We then participated in a couple trainings and simulations, which provided me the chance to introduce myself before the rest of the ECOSOC department and collect feedback on my chairing style. Before I knew it the conference date had arrived, but no amount of preparation could quell my nerves. In hindsight, I was right to be nervous but more than prepared to face the challenge alongside my partner. The days at the NMUN were demanding, especially when I was bombarded with working papers to edit. Honestly though, once I gained experience everything fell into place. The CSW ultimately succeeded in passing multiple resolutions (concluded agreements) under the careful watch of my Director and myself. It was a rewarding experience, just as I anticipated, so I look forward to serving again next year with the staffers that made this NMUN a success, particularly as we transition back from a virtual to an in-person conference.