United Nation, UN, is an intergovernmental organization that looks for international peace and develop friendly relations between countries. The member states of the UN regularly hold meetings to solve international problems. From 1st to 3rd of October of this year, I attended a Model UN conference, which was held online by United World College of South East Asia, UWCSEA, to experience the conference and participate in creating a resolution.
There are many committees in the Model UN, such as World Health Organization (WHO), Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and international court of Justice (ICJ). I chose UN Women, as I was always interested in the issues about women, and the country I was assigned to was Switzerland.
Before the conference, I researched some issues that are happening in Switzerland, and made my 3 minute opening speech based on the committee motion : 1. Addressing the rights of women and trans-women in military 2. The implementation of measures to destigmatize menstruation 3. Implementation of measures to combat the prevalence of the dowry system.
The meeting was held for three days, and on the first day, the school sends delegates a mail that contains information about the conference. In the conference, the register goes on at first. The head chair calls each delegates, and then delegates answer “present” and tell the chair whether they are going to vote or not. After that, the opening ceremony takes place. The main speeches begin with opening speeches from every delegate. Then, they are split into groups based on the topics that each delegate wants to focus on and the splitted members become team. They need to write their resolution together. Then, all the delegates come back to the main meeting room again and debate whether the resolution should be passed or not.
For the people who are attending their first conference, they will feel that process is very complicated. Firstly, after the resolution has been created, the main speaker of the group presents their ideas why this resolution should pass. Then they get point of inquiry, POI, which means questions to the speakers. During the POIs, other delegates may submit any amendments for the resolution, to the Head/Deputy Chair through the messaging site. Amendments can be suggestions to remove a clause or add a clause. Then other delegates freely raise hand and do their 1 minute for/against speech regarding the amendment and delegates vote whether the amendments should pass or not. After all amendments are organized, then other delegates again do for/against speech for the whole resolution. Then by voting, the resolution will either pass or not pass.
I chose “Addressing the rights of women and trans-women in the military”. Other topics such as “implementation of measures to combat the prevalence of the dowry system” or “The Implementation of Measures to Destigmatize Menstruation” but I wanted to focus on the military. It was because although Switzerland is known as gender equal country some society pressure on women in the military still exists. Furthermore, women had to use the exact same material as men. I wanted to focus on those extreme gender equal points, too. Our team was comprised of delegate of Japan, delegate of Iran, delegate of Afghanistan and delegate of Pakistan. We proposed to provide mental care, financial support and security forces. We also wrote a clause about recognizing the difference between women and men. However, it was strongly rejected by other nations arguing as discrimination, although our team’s purpose was to create awareness on the difference between genders and provide different items based on their physical traits, such as their battle uniform. My teammate and I guessed that our background information was not enough during the speech. While in other teams’ resolutions debate, the one common feature was that people firmly demonstrated their countries’ status during the speech. Especially when the delegates were communicating on topic "implementation of measures to combat the prevalence of the dowry system", the delegate of India argued back a lot. As the team suggested the method to remove the dowry system, delegate of India actively participated. The delegate of India came out with many POIs, against speech and amendments, which were pointing out the dowry system as a religious practice, as dowry system is still being practiced in India. Ultimately delegates each compromised their ideas and finally concluded with passing the final resolution.
|[screenshot of the conference/ photo credit : Yujin]|
At the end, before the closing ceremony, for fun, delegates were split into two groups, which are aliens and humans, and had a debate.
After the conference , I got my certificate too.
|[screenshot of my certificate of participation / photo credit : Yujin ]|
As it was my first Model UN, MUN, conference, I was very nervous at first. However, all of the delegates were extremely amiable and friendly. Although I was not familiar with everything, the chairs helped me a lot. Furthermore, everyone possessed professional language skills and debating skills. I thought that I should become more familiar with political terms and apply them on my next conference. Overall, MUN was a valuable experience for me!
Australian International School
Yujin Son email@example.com