In March 2014, unmarked Russian troops entered Crimea – sparking an international diplomatic crisis. The same weekend, Alberta Intercollegiate Model United Nations was being hosted at Mount Royal University. I was representing the Russian Federation and quickly needed to research Crimea and the crisis to defend my position at this conference. After several days of vigorous debate, my co-delegate and I went went on to win best delegation at the award ceremony. This topic continued to be widely discussed worldwide for the next few years as more conflicts arose in Ukraine and the fate of Crimea and its people remained uncertain.
During this time, I continued as a member of the University of Calgary Model United Nations Team (UCMUNT). Model UN has helped me improve my professionalism, oral communication, and diplomacy skills. I have been involved with UCMUNT for nearly five years and have previously served as the Vice President of Communications for the 2014-2015 academic year. Currently, I am serving as the Director of Special Projects and working to foster a stronger collaboration between the University of Calgary Model United Nations Team and the United Nations Association in Canada Calgary Chapter.
In February, UNAC and UCMUNT collaborated on a roundtable discussion between University of Calgary students and Kathryn White, President of UNAC. After a successful event,the Board of Directors and I began brainstorming the potential benefits of an official partnership on which we have officially reached an agreement.
Before the UNAC Calgary Annual General meeting, I was asked to write an article for the first volume of International Blue, UNAC Calgary’s first academic journal. When contemplating my topic, I was also curious to learn more about how Crimea was faring three years after the annexation. More current issues have overshadowed what has taken place in Crimea and I wanted to raise awareness of the status of the peninsula. Seeing as the keynote speakers at the UNAC Annual General Meeting were discussing missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada, I thought it would be helpful to continue that discussion by shedding light on international indigenous issues, such as the treatment of the Crimean Tartars in the annexed territory.
To learn more about the economic and indigenous situation in Crimea, view my video Examining the Development and Issues Facing Crimea Post-Annexation.