The Workings of Model United Nations – A Wider Worldview

As youth, we often find ourselves engaging in discussions about topics that impact us both personally and as members of a community. Nevertheless, many forget that beyond our borders there are millions of issues that the media does not regularly address.

Whilst it may be easier to remain enclosed within our own environment and stick to an all-familiar viewpoint, it is certainly not the way for our society to learn and grow. Hence, despite our initial discomfort, it is our duty to break down the walls we built and expand our worldview.

 

And in today’s day and age, we are lucky enough to have the opportunities to do so.

What is Model United Nations (MUN)?

MUN is a simulation that mimics the workings of the United Nations, giving youth an opportunity to formulate resolutions on topics that diplomats and politicians discuss within their own circles, later passing them on to the respective authorities for consideration.

Delegates represent member countries of the UN and debate on the issues from the country’s point of view. No delegate ever represents their own country.

It is an experience that is organised and managed by previous participants. It consists of a training day, a number of committee sessions, the opening and closing ceremony, as well as informal gatherings.

Apart from conferences organised by the executive team of MUN, schools and universities can choose to organise a simulation within their own institution, hence teaching students about the democratic process and the responsibilities that come with decision-making. Some of the most famous participating institutions include Harvard University, Oxford University, and Cambridge University.

Introducing Nicole 

Nicole Spiteri is a 19-year-old International Relations student at the University of Malta who joined the Malta Model United Nations (MaltMUN) Society in September 2018 as a delegate and who held the position of IT and PR officer in the executive team for the 2018/2019 term.

After having found out about it while participating in another initiative, Nicole applied and got selected to participate in the national session, later also travelling for international sessions held in Rome and Munich.

The Impact of MUN

During our interview, Nicole recalled a moment from the preparatory meeting for the conference in which the President of Malta, Dr George Vella, and the organizing committee engaged in a discussion about the future of the United Nations.

It was in that particular instance that Nicole recognized just how much of an impact initiatives such as MUN can have and how important it is to communicate with authorities and make such conversations happen.

MUN is not a simulation designed merely to reproduce the work of an intergovernmental organisation, it is a learning opportunity that teaches young people to communicate their points properly while engaging in fruitful discussions. It is a humbling experience that makes one set aside their own views whilst trying to comprehend the policies of other nations, no matter how much they might differ from their own.

Committee sessions are a platform where, after having researched and compiled information about the country they were assigned, delegates get to debate and defend their stance in a diplomatic manner. MUN is an initiative that reinforces one’s passion for politics and helps youth gain the courage to speak up.

Nicole’s experience in MUN helped her develop her public speaking and debating skills, boosting her self-confidence enough to join an initiative with a prominent European politician.

Her message towards young people who might find a simulation such as this daunting is that MUN is an environment designed to help people grow. Whether by the end one earns an award and gets chosen to travel abroad or simply learns a few facts about a country they might have not even known existed, it is an unforgettable and versatile experience that one gets to share with dedicated and hardworking people who strive to prove that youth can handle a challenge.

By Veronika Sytnyk interviewing Nicole Spiteri (Former Executive Member of the MaltMUN Society) 
Young Reporter Eurodesk MT

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