Ever since I joined the Northwestern Model United Nations club in 8th grade, it has been one of my favorite things to do and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And when I say it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I’m not joking. Participating in Model United Nations has helped me progress my problem solving, speaking, and most of all my interpersonal skills. The experience of representing a country, that I might start off knowing absolutely nothing about, and then becoming a player in resolving issues that affect everyone around the world is something that is unmatched to anything that I’ve done before.
But maybe I should start off with a little background on what Model UN really is. The whole basis around this activity is to create an exact simulation of the United Nations with students representing the countries involved. Like the real United Nations, Model UN conferences are split up in many different committees that discuss current topics in the real world. e.g. Security Council, General Assembly (and the different partitions of the General Assembly), Human Rights Council, etc. These committees (again like in the real UN) only work to resolve the parts of these current issues that pertain to that specific committee. So let’s take the topic of cyber security for example as that is a largely debated topic in the UN in recent years. The Human Rights Council would focus more on the humanitarian related issues about this topic, while the Security Council would focus more on international conflicts and related issues. This adds an extra layer of variety to the Model UN conferences as you can choose a committee depending on what perspective you want to debate this topic on. And last but most definitely not least, every conference, you are assigned a country to represent in committee and you must see the topic from the viewpoint of that country. And this is what I think really makes Model UN amazing. You must research the topic and learn enough to be able to discuss it effectively, but you also have to research that topic as viewed by YOUR country not just the United States or first world countries. Then you have to represent your country accurately by what they believe, not just by what your own morals are. For example, if you are representing a highly censored country on the topic of Internet censorship, you would want to try to convince others for more restricted censorship because that is what your country wants not because that is what you personally want. This allows you to view some of the topics you might feel strongly about from different perspectives. This is also helps further your speaking skills as you have to persuade other delegates to see the issue from your viewpoint.
So now that I’m done with that little rant there , what I’ve been meaning to say is that next weekend I am going to UGA for my last (and largest) conference of the year. I’ll be representing the country of Kazakhstan in the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. I’m really pumped for this conference as it is three days long and I’ll be doing something I love from sunrise to midnight almost everyday. I plan to win an award this time, so I’m coming prepared! I’ll let you know how it goes!