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.
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.
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.
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.
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.