Diary of My MUN Conference

1 February 2017 – Day 1

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Today, I attended what is widely considered to be the World Cup of “MUNning” with the other fellow CityU students. The World Federation of the United Nations Association (WFUNA) International Model United Nations Conference, dubbed “the most accurate simulation of the United Nations in the world”. Over six hundred delegates participating from all over the world at the university and high school level. Needless to say, I was quite nervous. The conference features 12 enthralling committees this year with a special regard for the actual rules of procedure used at the United Nations. In the evening, I attended an illustrious opening ceremony at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, the temple of every MUNner in the world! There were speeches made by ambassadors who had actually spoken at the United Nations! That's when it struck me, soon, we too would have spoken at the United Nations! Of course, you could argue that since the listeners would be mock-delegates and not the actual representatives of their countries, but you can’t deny the significance of the location. Our head delegate, Nirav Jethani, got the opportunity to address every attendee at this gathering and spoke on behalf of the delegation on building just and inclusive societies. The Secretary General declared the conference open after a few speeches and we broke for dinner. Our roles as delegates really only begin tomorrow. We’ve gotten the motivation and knowledge we require from today’s session, now we must simply hope for the best.
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In front of the UN Headquarters

Nirav speaking at the UN General Assembly

2 February 2017 – Day 2

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Day 2, the team had to split up to take part in the proceedings of their respective committees. Each committee featured its own unique agenda, ranging from the Rule of Law and Disarmament of Landmines to Human Trafficking and the Peacebuilding in Conflict Zones, but centered around the same theme – building just and inclusive societies. CityU was represented by an eight member team with Nirav Jethani and Liam Collins in the first General Assembly; Rishab Tandon, Daniel Arnot and Reshma Punjabi in the second General Assembly; Rohan Sabharwal and Florence Chan in the third General Assembly; and myself in the United Nations Security Council. We were allotted the nations of France, Lebanon and Burundi to represent. Each of our committees had training programmes, and as a member of the most powerful organ of the United Nations, the Security Council, I had to go through the most vigorous brushing up on the new rules and procedures the conference followed and the standard of points they expected from all delegates. A speaker delivered a detailed talk on how war is different from what it used to be with the rise of radical terrorism and groups like the Islamic State. I thought through the implications and volunteered to speak first in the committee. The session increased exponentially in terms of intensity with every passing minute as we were asked to draft documents that would be considered by the actual United Nations Security Council. I couldn’t say I didn't feel a sense of relief as the session broke for dinner, so I could return to the hotel room to further research what we discussed today.
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Florence speaking at the mic

3 February 2017 – Day 3

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Since this morning the tense aura around us seems to be fading away as we met new people and began forming our blocks. The first session of committee brought with it a renewed desire to perform to the best of our abilities, constantly speaking out against what we thought was wrong through the lens of our respective countries. We toiled through the day, going to the extent of skipping lunch and tea to ensure we put forward the best possible resolution in each of our committees. We worked to impress our chairpersons and peers, fueled by the desire to be the best, all while having the time of our lives. The highlight for me personally was when I was able to spin around a question from the International Press officials on terrorist attacks in France. All our committees seemed to be arriving at a final consensus and it seems like tomorrow will go off without a hitch. Nirav has asked us to keep our morale high as we go in for the final day which will feature the closing plenary session of the General Assembly, and we intended to do just that.
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Liam and Reshma in the UN Headquarters

4 February 2017 – Day 4

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We walked down to the United Nations Headquarters one last time for the final session and closing ceremony of the conference. Not much was said as we were tensed. The award distribution began shortly after a few speeches of appreciation from the organisers. From our team, Liam, Nirav and Rohan received individual honours for their outstanding performances in their respective committees, but the cherry on the cake was being adjudged as the Outstanding Delegation from the Asia-Pacific Region after the four most exhilarating days of our lives. Truly a magnificent experience in the best city in the world filled with memories I will cherish forever.
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The winning team