Extremely sorry for being inactive for some time. This month too, I was almost on the edge of not posting but I decided to start writing this almost towards the end of the month and post it by the end of the month. This post will be a personal one and will include information regarding the experience of my life. So, if you don’t want to read it, then you can skip it. However, I think you will be enjoying the read as it will be related to science.
What is a MUN and why attend it?
First let me be clear about something… Normally I surf a lot of content on the internet so that I can provide you with accurate information but this is a personal post and I am just sitting in one corner of my room and writing this down. So, don’t expect this to be technical. This is going to be more informal than my science posts.
Model United Nations, commonly referred to as MUN is like a test run of the real United Nations. You have a committee(the committee in which you participate, i.e. you choose this committee), you get an agenda which is a topic to be discussed in the Model United Nations and you get a country(you get it randomly and I got Kenya on my first MUN). Now, you have to be thorough about the topic, know about your country, discuss possible solutions, debate in the committee and the final objective of the whole committee is to pass a resolution which is made by an individual or a number of nations. The resolution is like a bill passed in the parliament and all of this is a parliamentary process.
This is the first time I am speaking heart to heart with you during the pandemic and I’ll tell you that I was bored as hell. Nothing seemed to work, I lost all motivation but when I saw the poster about Covihelp MUN, I thought I should participate. This was like a new opportunity in my life. And I got all the more motivated as I was participating in the UNOOSA(United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs) committee and the agenda was ‘Potential risks to human survival due to Near Earth Objects with special emphasis on satellite collisions’. I love science, I really love it very very much so I had to do it despite my ‘problems’. Now, coming to my so called ‘problems’,
1) I was new to this whole business of MUN
2) I didn’t know anything about the agenda
3) I got Kenya Space Agency (KENSA) which was one of the weaker options
4) And lastly, the most important and the real problem… I can somewhat write a decent blog article but I am very very bad at public speaking due to my introverted personality.
Despite these struggles, few of my emotions worked for me. First of all, this is a competition and there is a Best Delegate, High Commendation and Special Mention award given to the top 3 delegates, so I wanted to win. Secondly, this is a scientific committee and I really wanted to contribute to solving the problems.
My Experiments with MUN
I am not going to waste anyone’s time by explaining the rules of MUN. They are all available on the internet and I only attended MUN for the first time which makes me somewhat inexperienced as well. The first thing I did was greeting the delegates. I did not know who they were and which country they were representing, so I greeted everyone individually and as per my country’s policy and my own instincts, I created an alliance so that we can work together.
In the MUN, it helped a lot. Although, I checked out the rules before… you cannot do it properly until you have first hand experience. As a result, I made some mistakes which is quite expected if you’re a first timer. But I was never shy to participate in any debate. This MUN helped me to face my fears. In the end, I was also a sponsor to a draft resolution which was passed due to majority votes(my allied forces had the majority before the draft resolution was written).
In the end, China got the best delegate, Russia got the High Commendation and Kenya(Me) got the Special Mention. So I guess I didn’t do that bad. It’s not always your technical knowledge that matters. Experience can be grown, but what truly matters is the effort you put in. Your will to win.
I advise all of you, especially if you are afraid of speaking in front of the public, to participate in a MUN. You will learn to face your fear, contribute to a healthy discussion of a real life issue and participate in real collaborative work where you write solutions to real life problems. The process is more or less like science. You take a problem, research it, have a healthy discussion, collaborate with others and propose solutions. In the end, I hope you will enjoy it very much and it can change your life for the better.