Background of the Author in MUN:
In 2016, I discovered something called the Model United Nations, I researched upon what it is and it really appealed to my skills and interests.
MUN, is an extra-curricular activity in which students typically roleplay delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees.
Debating over political topics and coming out with solutions has been my strong point and interest for a really long time. Plus, being a delegate representing a country and bringing its views and policies into practicality over given topics? Just amazing!
I discovered that my school [Our Own High School Dubai] is going to the Winchester Model UN again in 2016, the year I discovered MUN is a thing- I approached my teachers in charge to inquire whether or not I can be taken in, unfortunately, the registrations were done and I couldn’t be taken in. 2016 was not the year for my MUN career to start. However, I found out about Gems World Academy MUN which was to be held in December 2016 as far as my memory goes, which was unfortunately postponed to February 2017, and further canceled. I was quite annoyed as that as I was really looking forward to it, I had even registered but again, research skills developed and I did make a few position papers and that counted as practice!
Then finally, in 2017, September, we had the auditions for WINMUN in my school, this time, I was aware, I went for it, spoke strongly on a given entrance topic and All Praise Be To God I was selected. I attended the conference on the 12th, 13th and 14th of October and came out as the Best Delegate of my committee- The Human Rights Council.
Given topics: (Links to download the author’s research binders are available!)
i) Blood Diamonds Download Information Binder For Blood Diamonds
ii) Minimum Wage Download Information Binder For Minimum Wage
I have learned a lot of things in the conference that will really help in mind and find it rightful in sharing it with the readers.
i) Style of Speaking:
Oratory is the power to talk people out of their sober and natural opinions.
Mentioned above is a quote I really agree with based on what I have seen in the conference.
This being my conference, admittedly, I was well prepared as I was nervous and had no idea how much preparations other delegates do, hence I delivered my opening speech very clearly stating mostly what Germany has done in the given topics.
Not just this, but even the way one has to speak in a MUN debate is different from any other debate, there has to be followed strict UN Decorum and the delegates may not ever use personal pronounces, “I” is replaced with “The delegate of ….” and so is “you” or “your”… For example, If I wanted to ask a question in front of the whole floor to the delegate of Netherlands, I’d have to say- “The delegate of Germany would like to ask the Delegate of Netherlands….” and not “I’d like to ask you…”.
For the other speakers, the chair had enlisted up to 3 points of information (questions or objections basically) whereas, on my speech, I had 5. Praise be to God, I was able to answer them all spontaneously and the opinion of the delegates towards me did seem to change positively. In the break of the first day itself, I had people come up to me requesting to form Alliance.
Another incident that is acknowledgeable is one that happened on the third day when the resolution of my bloc was one of three resolutions competing with two opposition, when my team and I had gone around trying to get signatories and sponsors, the opposition proposed a merger under the lead of my bloc and easily got our resolution passed with a beautiful majority!
All of this would not have been possible without the way facts, statistics, data, policies, and stances were portrayed in my speech with a loud, bold, confident and clear voice to the floor with an intimidating permanent end- “the delegate is open to any and all points of information”.
I extend my gratitude to my parents, teachers and every organizer and trainer that has given me the chance for public speaking and helping me develop my oratory skills. All praise be to God.
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
I can relate a lot to this quote throughout my MUN experience, even before the debating started, the first thing I did, was meet up and introduce to the delegates present there and proposed an alliance right off the bat. This really strengthened the roots for the whole MUN competition as the alliance we formed was loyal, intelligent, strong and tactical. My victory would not have been possible without teamwork, diplomacy, good character, fair discussions and including everyone’s opinions and ideas in our bloc resolution.
Moreover, I see a great example (but not the only example) in the stakeholder of the Runners-Up Best Delegate award. She was the delegate of Bolivia, Namely, Anandita. We had not formed an alliance on the first day of the conference, but by the end and in the starting of the second day, we were strong allies and put forth most of the ideas regarding the first topic and landed a strong and impressive impression on the chair together. Since the second half of the second day, everything we had done, said and stated was in accordance to each other’s speeches. Without the strong teamwork and collaboration we portrayed, I don’t think we would have been awarded the position of best delegate or her- the runners-up of the same.
I further extend my gratitude to everyone who supported and allied in my bloc and everyone in the opposition who raised POIs against my resolution and speeches giving me a chance to portray my skills of response and factual knowledge regarding the subjects to the floor.
iii) Listening skills:
In a MUN, one of the most important factors is the listening skill of a delegate, one of the key methods in winning a MUN, is by proving other delegates wrong by pulling out contradictions from their speech, mentioning if they have gone against their country’s topics and raising intelligent and slamming POIs.
However, to raise such POIs and pull out contradictions from the other delegates speeches, one has to be really attentive and vigilant throughout the entire conference.
I’ll pull out two examples of this from the objections I had raised.
1. When the delegate of China spoke against my resolution as a whole, I immediately realized that China has had human rights violations recently and in a MUN, one has to adhere to their country’s actions and policies. Seeing the delegate of China oppose the highly humanitarian and precise resolution of my bloc, I had to object saying-
China has had human rights violations recently, On what background should the speech of delegate of China be taken seriously?
Interestingly, the delegate of China refused to answer the objection and this was pointed exceptionally by the chair as well! 🙂
2. When the delegate of Qatar was explaining the resolution of their bloc (my opposition bloc), I noticed the Qatar and UAE are allied in their bloc, I pointed that out and said is that not a clear violation of the foreign policies of the respective countries. The delegates did not have a proper answer and were left stunned, the point was reiterated many times again by the opposition themselves as well!
iv) Clear thinking and quick conclusions:
Another very important part of a MUN, considering we only get up to 20-30 minutes for making a whole resolution that has to follow a set format, grammar, many clauses and solutions and incorporate all ideas of the bloc and have to have been signed by sponsors and signatories (not literally signed but consented to), One needs to be quick in typing down ideas and clauses in the set format and incorporating the vast variety of ideas in accordance with each other in order to finalize a final resolution that will satisfy all the countries.
If one were to think too much about others ideas and not portray proper collaboration and team work, the bloc would surely split up and we would have lost many supporters and failed to get our resolutions passed.
A great example of this being one of the major key tactics in my winning of best delegate is the fact that I was one of the four main submitters (out of a committee of 25-35 delegates) for all three resolutions that were to be proposed.
v) General Knowledge and Research Skills:
To win a MUN, one must show the floor how well the delegates country’s stance is on given topics and debate in favor of its country, but for this to happen, he/she needs to be aware of its policies and the policies of other country’s on the given topics in order to slam the opponents if they violate it.
A lot of knowledge and research skills come into play as these are very minute details and have to be related to the topic and require references and data as one of three judges is the fact-checker, who spontaneously checks with facts when delegates speak- if anything is found untrue, marks are greatly deducted.
Even though I have my half yearly exams coming up, I chose to cut down my study hours and replace them with MUN research in a week before the MUN conferences in order to be well prepared in the topics, my country (Germany) stance and the stance of a few other countries.
Marks aren’t everything, what use are marks for when there is no volatile achievement portfolio and no personal developement?
vi) Social and communication skills:
As mentioned many times earlier, collaboration and alliances have been key in the winning of Best Delegate. This requires the skills to socialize and communicate in a friendly and appealing manner. By the will of God, I had been able to appeal to most of the floor on why the resolution proposed by my bloc is correct and secure a loyal alliance. Not just did we have a strong pact in the conferences, but all of us are maintaining contact even after the MUN is over!
If one was to be egoistic, rude, and negatively dominant over the other delegates, there is no chance of him securing a loyal and strong alliance and definitely no chance of winning an award.
I extend gratitude to my parents for the way they’ve raised me to be able to socialize in a favorable and attractive manner and All Praise Be To God for releasing my inner potential, for not making me nervous, for providing me the confidence and will to speak to large audiences without fear.
In conclusion, this has been one of the best experiences of my life in public speaking, debating and socializing as a whole, in a single event!
I am very grateful for my school in recognizing the WINMUN as a competition we will participate in, my teachers who trained me, helped in research and accompanied the team to Winchester, my parents for allowing and paying the entrance in the competition, my friends and teachers who supported me and had faith in me and much more that the heart can not state in mere words!
I recommend and urge all of you to participate in MUN conferences as well and have a wonderful time! Victory is not everything, the happiness seen on the faces of delegates who did not win an award was too high as well, and personally if I hadn’t won the award, this article would have still gone up with positives and statements of joy as it was surely a wonderful experience for all!