ROCK HILL, S.C. - High school students will debate United Nations reform during the 30th anniversary of the Model United Nations at Winthrop on March 22-24.
One of the conference highlights is a 7 p.m. debate March 22 in Tillman Auditorium between Mike Mannina of the Heritage Foundation and Swadesh M. Rana of Columbia University. They will help students understand the conference's theme, "Debating the Past, Present and Future."
Mannina currently serves as the research assistant to Ed Feulner, the president of The Heritage Foundation, the preeminent conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. In February 2005 Mannina was appointed as Feulner’s special advisor while serving on the Gingrich-Mitchell Task Force on United Nations Reform.
The bipartisan group was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to assess the performance of the United Nations and make specific recommendations to help organization meet the goals of its charter. During five months of study, Mannina met with senior officials of the UN Secretariat and General Assembly and helped draft the final Gingrich-Mitchell Report.
A native of Roswell, Ga., Mannina has worked for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and has volunteered in a Peruvian orphanage and school. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration degree in finance and a bachelor of arts in journalism.
Rana formerly worked as chief of the Conventional Arms Branch at the United Nations, the first woman to hold that position. She was a senior political analyst in the executive office of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, was chosen as the senior political aide to the chief of civil administration for UNPROFOR in Yugoslavia and directed the first United Nations project on small arms and intrastate conflicts.
She is currently a professor of Hindi at the Southern Asian Institute at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University if New York. Her current interests are strategic stability and nuclear deterrence in South Asia.
A frequent commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, Rana's debut novel, "Kotheywali," is being serialized on Abhivyakti, a prestigious Web magazine for classics in Hindi literature. Rana was a gold medalist in earning her master's degree in political science from the University of Punjab in Chandigarh and her Ph.D. in international affairs from Jawaharlal University in New Delhi. She has received more than 50 national and international awards for academic excellence and professional distinction.
International diplomats attend Winthrop’s Model U.N. each year, speaking on important international issues.
Formed in the 1970s, Winthrop hosted its first Model U.N. conference in 1977. The program combines participation of high school students and Winthrop students who act as delegate chairs and enroll in PLSC 260, Winthrop’s course on the United Nations. The high schools are assigned a country and come to the conference ready to represent one of more than 60 nations.