News Releases

UWI students excel again in highly competitive Harvard National Model UN

For Release Upon Receipt - March 5, 2020

St. Augustine

It’s two for two for students from The UWI St Augustine. Delegates from the campus’ Institute of International Relations (IIR) have once again won commendations in the extremely competitive and highly regarded 2020 Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN). Delegates from IIR also won commendations in the 2019 HNMUN, standing out among delegates from some 60 countries, among them the highest ranked universities in the world.

“It is staggering,” said Ms Joneille Johnson, an IIR graduate student, and one of the three delegates to receive commendation. Joneille said the experience at the HNMUN, held from February 13 to 16 at the historic Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, made her “incredibly proud.”

She received Diplomatic Commendation for representing the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in the African Union. Her fellow delegates, Dr Ryan Abraham and Ms Terriann Baker, received Diplomatic Commendation for representing India in the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a double delegate.

“I feel so many emotions even now as I reflect,” says Terriann. “This is my second time winning an award in a co-delegation and the first ever two-time awardee. I am over the moon. I hope that I can transfer my knowledge and hopefully become one of the trainers in the future.”

Terriann was one of four IIR students who took part in the 2019 HNMUN, and with her partner at that time, Tonicia Williams, won “Outstanding Delegates”. Competing against students from Harvard, Yale, Oxford and winning even once would be an amazing accomplishment. Terriann specifically and UWI St Augustine’s IIR have now done so twice. 

A model UN gives students the opportunity to “roleplay” the life of a diplomat engaged in arguing for a resolution at the world’s highest international body. The goal is to be part of the crafting of the winning resolution, which requires great research, public speaking and the ability to form alliances with other delegates. HNMUN, which just completed its 66th session in 2020, is recognised as the longest running and one of the largest college-level model UNs in the world.

When asked why the IIR team has performed so well, Faculty Advisor Dr Georgina Chami points to training and experience. “First, the intense training and preparations organised and executed for delegates. Second, the training team involved in the preparations all of whom are former delegates: Mr Brandon Rampersad (former head delegate, Mona Campus), Mr Nestor Garcia [who won Diplomatic Commendation in 2019], Ms Usha Lakhan and Mr Andel Andrew (St Augustine). This has allowed the team to gain first-hand insights and knowledge of the competition.”

Dr Chami also pointed to the three delegates themselves, “the students must be commended for their determination, dedication and drive to succeed and excel at HNMUN.”

Notes to Editor

From L-R: Ms Joneille Johnson, Dr Ryan Abraham and Ms Terriann Baker, delegates from The UWI St. Augustine Campus Institute of International Relations celebrate after winning commendations in the 2020 Harvard National Model United Nations 


About The UWI

For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students across five campuses: Cave Hill in Barbados; Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda; Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of “The”)