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Remarks by CDA Hunter at the Global Action Italy – Model UN Opening Ceremony

Rome, 26 April 2023


Good morning everybody!  It’s my honor to be here to kick off this year’s Global Action Model UN conference.  Before I begin my brief remarks, I’d like to thank Pierfrancesco Torrisi and his Global Action team for their hard work and dedication to bring the Diplomacy Education program to life each year.  The U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome is proud of our partnership with Global Action, which is now in its fifth (5th) year!

I extend a special welcome to the international students who have traveled from around the world to take part. USUN Rome is especially proud to sponsor students from the Philippines, Kosovo and Slovakia, who I had the pleasure to meet earlier this morning.  I also see some of the Milan Alexis Carrel High School students we hosted a couple of weeks ago, who will be playing the role of the United States. Not to play favorites but as we discussed, go USA!

This week, all of you will step out of your class to represent different countries as they gather at the UN to negotiate a way forward to keep our world safe, our planet healthy, and our people fed.

Over the past year you have learned about one of our most important global institutions – the United Nations. I represent the United States Mission to the UN agencies based in Rome: the WFP (where we are today), the Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO – and IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, responsible for tackling hunger around the world.

Along with my colleagues from other nations here today, we are focused on trying to solve hunger around the world – but the challenge is huge and growing.

Climate change and tragic conflicts: Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Ukraine and now Sudan make it clear – the multilateral system has never been more important. These are global challenges that demand a global, united response.  The next few days are your chance to contribute to that response.

As you will see, as nations we don’t always agree, but we work hard to find common ground to make the world a better place.

I grew up in a very small farming town in the heartland of United States, Indiana. As a boy I joined an organization called the 4-H – an organization devoted to developing young people.  It changed me: broadened my perspectives, taught me that there is a big world out there that is full of opportunities to make change and help others. I believe this experience with Model UN will do the same for you.

After university I joined another organization: the U.S. Peace Corps – where you volunteer for two years to provide development assistance in a foreign country.  Another transformative experience that led me to my career in diplomacy.

So, I am hopeful that someday we will pass the baton to you – our future diplomats!

Once again, thank you Global Action for all you do to promote international diplomacy and cooperation. Thanks to your work, and to the dedicated students here, the future of diplomacy is bright!