Doug Hostetter

Students engage in a group activity during the 2015 MCC UN Office Student Seminar


It is with great pleasure that the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) United Nations Office welcomes you to save the date for our 23rd annual Student Seminar, to be held October 25–27, 2018 at our office in New York City. This year’s seminar is titled “North Korea: Towards Peace and a New Beginning.”


The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) is one of the most isolated and least understood nations in the world. It came into being after World War II as the United States and the Soviet Union divided newly fractured nations among themselves. After Japan’s occupation of Korea was defeated in 1945, Korea was split, with the United States claiming control over the south and the Soviet Union taking the north. Five years later, war broke out between North Korea and South Korea, leading to three years of brutal conflict, immeasurable destruction, and 1.2 million deaths. The peninsula remains divided.


MCC’s involvement in North Korea commenced in 1995, as a response to a devastating famine. We worked with Canadian Foodgrains Bank to provide food and material resources to the people of North Korea, and at the end of the famine, when most Western NGOs left, MCC stayed on to facilitate new projects - ranging in scope from supplying orphanages with food and material assistance, such as comforters, to collaborating with collective farms in sustainable agriculture, and supporting the work of other NGOs in flood relief and health care initiatives.


A year ago, it appeared as though the United States and North Korea were heading towards conflict and a possible nuclear showdown, but in the past several months the situation in the Korean Peninsula has started to change. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new era.


This year’s student seminar will delve into North Korea’s history and context, MCC’s historical and current involvement, and the roles that the United Nations, its member states, and civil society have played in the country’s current situation. The seminar will be led by MCC UN Office staff alongside Ruth Keidel Clemens, MCC US Program Director, and Dr. Johnathan Clemens, a physician who has traveled to North Korea several times to facilitate the development of MCC’s new program. We are looking forward to the valuable contributions that your participation will bring to this discussion!


Due to limited space, registration will be carried out on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to juniors and seniors and those who have not previously attended. Registration details will be sent out in mid-August, so please keep an eye on your inbox for receipt of these instructions.


Please feel free to email the MCC UN Office with any questions. We hope to see you in New York this October!


Click here for the event flyer. 

More information:


Phone: (212) 880-8970

Online registration: click here to access the online registration form

Registration cost: $105