New Mexico State University's Model United Nations organization will continue its tradition of gala fundraising events this year with the fifth annual Night at the U.N. banquet. The event begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at the NMSU Golf Course banquet facility, 3000 Herb Wimberly Dr. in Las Cruces.
The event, which includes a silent auction, raises money for the team's upcoming participation in the National Model United Nations Conference March 17-21 in New York.
The keynote speaker at this year's banquet is Lino Gutierrez, who served as U.S. ambassador to Argentina (2003-2006) and Nicaragua (1996-1999), in addition to holding numerous other high-level State Department postings. Now retired from government service, Gutierrez is on the faculty of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Gutierrez will discuss his experience as Argentinean ambassador in the context of U.S. foreign policy at the time and then give his perspective on the future of U.S.-Latin American relations.
Lydia Hammond, the organization's president, said the banquet is timed to coincide with the weeklong visit of their Japanese partner team.
"We are very excited to be partnering up with the Japan Model United Nations Team, as this is something our team has never done before," she said. "Our team has been researching, preparing, writing and collaborating with our Japanese partners for our New York conference all year long and we are really looking forward to their visit in March."
This year's NMSU team, along with their Japanese partners, will represent Argentina in the Model U.N. General Assembly at the New York conference. The participants are organized into nine two-person teams, each of which has an NMSU student and a Japanese student.
The Japanese students are participating under the auspices of Tokyo University.
Hammond said that, in addition to the nine NMSU students in the Argentina delegation, two others will represent China in the Security Council competition.
At last year's New York conference, NMSU won top honors with an outstanding delegation award, along with two outstanding position papers. In addition, three members won outstanding delegate awards.
This year's NMSU team participated in a competition in Montreal in late January. Hammond said it is Canada's largest Model U.N. conference and part of the Harvard Circuit. Collin King, the NMSU organization's vice president, garnered an outstanding delegate award at that conference.
Tickets for Night at the U.N. are $50 for general admission and $30 for students; corporate tables can be purchased for $500. Tickets are available at https://shopcart.nmsu.edu/shop/govt, where a choice of meal options is offered.
To learn more about NMSU's Model U.N. team, visit the website at http://www.nmsu.edu/~govdept/modelun/ or contact Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.