Loftis Speaks at Model UN Leadership Conference


Robert Loftis, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, spoke on June 26 at the United Nations Association of Greater Boston’s summer Model UN Institute on Human Rights.

“The audience was about 40 students, aged 12-17, engaged in a week-long exercise studying the rights of the child and focusing on children in conflict. The culmination was a mock session of the Human Rights Council,” Loftis said. “I spoke on how to approach multilateral negotiations, using my time at the Human Rights Commission to illustrate.”

The Institute was comprised of a 5-day intensive Model UN experience  tying into the United Nations’ yearlong initiative to re-write the Millennium Development goals. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about world issue through mini-simulations, lectures, discussion, and public speaking and negotiation games. The conference ended with a full day Model UN simulation, with students playing the part of UN delegates.  

“The culmination of the student’s experience was Friday’s mock session of the Human Rights Council. I answered questions for almost an hour,” Loftis said. “Maybe we’ll see some of these students at the Pardee School in a few years.”

Founded over sixty years ago, the United Nations Association of Greater Boston is dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the UN among the Greater Boston community. As a chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), it offers educational and public programs that emphasize and promote the work done to relating to the goals and programs of the United Nations. 

Loftis served in the State Department and Foreign Service from 1980 to 2012, where he held a wide variety of assignments, including Acting Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (2010-2012), Special Representative for Avian and Pandemic Influenza (2009), Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations and Agreements (2004-2007), Ambassador to Lesotho (2001-2004) and Deputy Chief of Mission in Mozambique (1999-2001).   He was most recently an Inter-agency Professional in Residence at the United States Institute of Peace (2012). Learn more about him here.