Left to right bottom row: Ian Fernandes ’22, Jerry Liu ’22, Sydney Thomas ’22, Dr. Sergei Kambalov, Sabrina Capodicci ’20, Will Ondrey ’19. Top Row: Mr Johnson, Brigida Caruso ’20, Maddie Sweeney ’22, Katelynn Pizzano ’22, Steven Luo ’19, JiWon Lee ’20, Katherine Delamere ’21.
On the evening of October 10th, after a hard day of PSAT testing, students were treated to a presentation by an auspicious visitor to the hilltop.
Before his retirement in 2010, Dr. Sergei Kambalov served in the United Nations for two decades, most notably as as Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development. Before joining the United Nations as an author of the World Economic and Social Survey in 1989, he was a First Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
Aside from his public roles, he has worked in academia doing research on international economic relations. He is both a published author and patented inventor.
Dr. Kambalov first had dinner with several members of the Canterbury Model U.N., where students had a chance to inquire one-on-one about his prolific experiences and the inner workings of the UN.
At 7 o’clock, students and faculty poured into the Steele Lecture Hall to hear his presentation.
Balancing factual analysis with a sense of humor, Dr. Kambalov highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses of the United Nations, ranging from its convening power to the “geological pace” at which decisions are put into effect.
“There is no limit to what you can do when you are willing to let someone else take the credit,” he commented, raising a laugh from the crowd. Like many of the nuggets of wisdom he shared during his talk, entertaining humor masked a deeper truth applicable not only to a Model UN but also to life as a whole.
He concluded with the important takeaways of the necessity of moral leadership and remembering the humanity—and human error—inherent in society.
In the words of Mr. Johnson, Canterbury’s Model UN advisor, “These are real and very relevant to our students who may from time to time wonder why write, why study history and why a values based education. This was a member of the United Nations from a country held in contempt or at least competition—speaking the same things students hear regularly in their student life.”