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The Delegates Say …

April, 2008
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LittleStar: Is this your first time at BEIMUN?

This is my third time at BEIMUN. I have attended BEIMUN XIII, XIV, and XV.

LittleStar: What is your role at BEIMUN XV? What topics are you most interested in?

I was the delegate of Panama on the Security Council this year. Of four topics of debate, I was most interested in the situation in Sri Lanka and the question of peace in Lebanon. The situation in Sri Lanka is a dire and grave one that has been largely neglected by the international community, or at least by the international news media. Discussing the situation in Sri Lanka opened my eyes to not only the severity of the crisis there but also the pressing need to find an immediate solution to the conflict. I also was greatly interested in the situation in Lebanon because of its complexity and profound global implications. The issue is a controversial and polarizing one, so it tested the Council’s ability to come to consensus.

Security_Amin

Amin Ghadimi,16,Canadian Academy (Kobe, Japan)

 

LittleStar: What other MUN Conferences have you ever attended?

I have also attended two MUN conferences at Marist Brothers International School in Kobe, Japan in 2005 and 2006. Marist MUN is the largest MUN conference in Japan and includes participants from international schools throughout Japan. Marist MUN, with only about 150 people, is much smaller than BEIMUN. There is only one conference, the General Assembly, and almost all delegates come from similar educational backgrounds. That means there is an opportunity to get to know other delegates better than we do in BEIMUN. However, BEIMUN exposes a delegate to so much more and gives MUNers an opportunity to learn both inside and outside the actual conference meetings themselves.

LittleStar: What have you learnt from your MUN experiences?

I joined MUN in our school four years ago in my freshman year of High School, and I have learned so much from MUN since then. As a Bahá’í, I personally refrain from involvement in political controversy and do not hold political views, so MUN has been almost a form of theater for me where I have learned to put myself in someone else’s shoes and defend their point of view. By advocating an opinion that is not necessarily my own, I have learned how difficult it is to come to consensus when individuals are “in it for themselves” and not willing to look towards the common good. I have learned a great deal about compromise and negotiation, and expanded my understanding of contemporary global affairs. I have also learned about rhetorical strategies for good persuasion and perhaps even deception. But most importantly, by often being the most bellicose and uncooperative delegate at MUN conferences, I have learned how important it is not to be that way in real life.

LittleStar: Will you continue doing MUN conference in future?

This is my last year of High School, so obviously I will not be continuing BEIMUN or MUN in a High School setting any more. However, I hope that I can be involved in MUN next year at Columbia University in some way. I especially hope that I can help organize High School conferences and possibly visit the real United Nations and does some internship work there.

LittleStar: Any other comments on MUN?

I feel that MUN is the most valuable and worthwhile High School extracurricular activity. I have been involved in a variety of after school clubs and programs but none has been as meaningful as MUN. The skills MUN teaches its delegates are more important than anything we learn in school, because MUN is all-encompassing: we learn to write resolutions, make speeches, conduct research, formulate opinions, defend ideas, synthesize concepts, and cooperate with others. If students have a chance to participate in MUN, they should definitely try it out!

Fox Buchele,16,Lincoln Community School at Accra, GhanaHuman Rights_Fox

At BEIMUN, what did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed sending irrelevant and sometimes inappropriate notes to the chairs and to the Delegate of Iceland. I also enjoyed giving speeches peppered with McDonald’s hamburger-related wisdom, and promoting the Flying Spaghetti Monster to my committee. I relished (no pun intended) getting to go and live in China for a week. It was really fun seeing the most populated country in the world up close, instead of through a TV. But most of all, I enjoyed the challenge of the conference, and adding another country and MUN to my future memoir.

 

What have you learnt from your MUN experiences?

I joined last year when I moved to Ghana. I had never heard of MUN before (my last school in the States didn’t offer it) and I wandered into a meeting one day. My director gave me a country, a committee and before I knew what was happening, I was in!

I think the most important thing that I learned, I learned at my first conference. MUN is not a debate club. You can bash the other person, prove them wrong, show that they didn’t do research, make them look like an idiot, and still they will pass their resolution. I think that sometimes people forget that the point is not to prove the other delegates wrong, but to win friends and compromise to pass a bill that can benefit the majority of the countries without harming the remaining.

I learned most, if not all, of my speaking skills and debating tactics from either MUN or arguing with my two sisters. I think that MUN gives people a chance to learn many life skills like how to compromise, but still get what you want; how to make others look silly, but still make them like you; how to argue with someone in authority, without repercussions; and how to talk with authority about something you know nothing about. These are all things that I’m sure will come in handy in my adult life, and I highly suggest MUN to people of all ages.

Do you have some words for your fellow students?

Don’t make the chairs angry until the last day…

Make as many friends as possible during lobbying and merging; they will help support resolutions you support.

Speak up! Let people know what you think!

Laura Benzie, 14, ACS Egham InternationalECOSOC_Laura

Is this your first time at BEIMUN?

Yes, it is actually my first ever conference, as it is the only one my school currently attends annually. I’ve loved the experience, I found our first day in conference the best, merging our resolutions in our group was really fun and we had a great time working together while throwing in the occasional joke or two.

 

What have you learnt from your MUN experience?

I joined MUN at the beginning of this school year in August. As it was the start of my freshman year at high school I thought it would be fun to do something I have never done before. It has been a lot of work from the first class at school, through writing policy statements about the various topics, editing others, going back to your own and re-writing and finally writing the best resolution you can. I have learnt preparation is everything. Once you get to a conference a whirlwind of everything going on leaves you barely enough time to finish anything last minute. I have also learnt the respect you give other people will be returned. Though the debating process is long and can get boring, you have to give people the respect of listening to their points as they can be important and may make a difference to your country’s opinion as to whether the resolution will pass or not.

 

Kristiina Pahkala, 15, Seisen International School, Tokyo

Is this your first time at BEIMUN? Specialcon_Kristiina

This is my first time in BEIMUN and I liked it very much. We had many spectacular students from around the world which made the conference very fascinating for the fact that they were all interested in MUN and looked forward to debating resolutions.

 

What is your role in BEIMUN XV? What is the topic you are most interested in?

I represent Cape Verde in this year’s conference. I am interested in all kinds of topics. However, the best I liked topics on climate change and the economic development of nations.

Climate change is a long-term issue that can’t be solved by small research. I want to help the earth and its people to make better choices that wouldn’t damage the environment. Also, I grew up in a country with population density 15 people/SQ km, and probably created my love towards the environment

The economic development of countries is also fascinating for hundreds of thousands of people around the world who suffer from bad economy of their countries. I personally want to help them and that makes me interested in the debate on the issue of economies.

What have you learnt from your MUN experience?

I joined MUN at the beginning of 9th grade in autumn, 2007. I’ve learned numerous things from MUN but to make this short I’m going to state a few of them. MUN teaches every participant to be aware of the world around us and that is the first thing I learned. I begun to check BBC news often for news that I hadn’t read before and to acknowledge all the turns in such as technology or a nation’s economy.

Also, I have learned to support my own opinions in speeches, to stand out for something that I consider as the right thing to do and be aware that one person can make a difference.

 

Will you continue doing MUN conference in future?

I’ve promised myself to continue participating in MUN conferences because I enjoy attending them and I know that it is possible that I can be the one of those who will create a resolution that can solve one of the present problems. I’m already looking forward to the next conference (Kanto Plain MUN) which will be held in April.

MUN is a great way to learn a lot in a short amount of time. I encourage everyone to give it a try; if you don’t like it, you don’t have to continue.

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