On the 20
of March, Friday, I participated in
(Saigon Model United Nations) hosted by
. It was my 4
MUN conference ever since I initiated my wondrous and marvellous journey into the world of international relations and transnational issues. Model United Nations, is truly a one of a kind experience: it allows the exploration of a wide range of issues ranging from the Ukrainian conflict in Europe, to the issue of Genetically Modified Foods to Women’s Rights all across the globe. It challenges your sentiments and beliefs of conflicts, urging you to be balanced in every aspect: consider every country, and its issues: “What are your ideas to change the world?
Every conference you attend to is different to the last. Don’t be fooled though: if anyone asked me “What was the best conference you attended?” I would be left unable to respond: each conference is memorable and striking in its own right: enlightening you with different perceptions of the world, new and wonderful experiences, and life-long friends. Which path would SAIMUN lead me towards? I was looking forward to answering that question with great gusto.
The conference began with speeches from all across the administrative team: all of them were encouraging and inspirational, urging us to seize the day and make the most out of this conference. As I looked around the auditorium, I saw all the enthusiastic delegates from over 7 different schools, some from Cambodia and Laos: these were my fellow delegates, MUNers, comrades for the next three days. We would overcome tribulations, laugh and cry together. Each of us joined MUN with similar purposes but MUN would each lead us on different paths. My heart was pounding and pulsating: we were about to take the first step towards our three day venture.
I soon delved into Security Council as the delegation of Nigeria: where we debated on three perilous and critical issues: “Extremist groups in Syria and Iraq”, “The Ukrainian conflict” and “Issues of DR Congo”. These three issues would be my life for the next three days: I would breath, sleep, eat, bleed and sweat these disputes and try to resolve them. The first day was always reserved for lobbying, where we would forge our operative clauses and resolutions. These operative clauses were our solutions to these issues: most were intricately crafted with specific jargon and carefully crafted phrasing. Like a brush to an artist, these were our tools in which we would conduct ourselves to the discussion. As Nigeria, I was deeply vested into the matters of extremist group, but conciliation meant that I focused on the issue of Ukraine, where I wrote clauses regarding de-escalation of conflict and humanitarian compromise.
The second day of the conference is where the real work would begin: we would instigate the ferocious debate on our resolutions and our clauses. We had to adopt the stance and view of our countries, defend our interests but also try to be tactful and productive. The goal of the United Nations is not
country will triumph over one another, but to work together in a united setting to bring about peace and cooperation between all member states. I was captivated by the level of debate: some delegates were on the verge of World War 3 attacking and defending wildly, while some countries directed themselves diplomatically, carefully negotiating through the thick forest of jargon and speeches. Truly, it was a sight to behold. Our president maintained the high standards and level of debate, ruling with an iron fist across our entire committee, forcing us to check and double check our speeches for errors.
The final day is always exciting yet bittersweet: I would savor every moment of debate time, saying goodbye to all my friends I had made. I would always remember the witty banter and notes I exchanged with all the delegations of the house, as well as the speeches and POIs. I felt like I had improved myself, passing two operative clauses and making a multitude of amendments across the board in Security Council. Three days had passed in an blink of an eye. The conference was soon to be over.
My heart was tinged with an after-taste of melancholy: truly, SAIMUN 2015 had been a memorable experience like every other conference I had been too, and it was about to end. So, where had SAIMUN lead me?. Jean Anouilh, a French playwright once said “Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed.
” MUN has allowed me to seize, engage and grow as a person. This conference has done the same : I engaged in thoughtful and mind-numbing challenges and debates, all the while making new friends and forming new memories. Like the changing of seasons, I look forward to attending my next conference, so I can once again take up the mantle of a country and fight on the podium with zest, passion and zeal.
Hok Yin KONG, Y12