4 years ago
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Experiencing Model United Nations
MUN (Model United Nations) was always on my to-do list and yet remained unchecked for the longest time. I always wanted to learn and broaden my horizons on how diplomatic negotiations take place in the United Nations and what would be a better way to do that. I wanted to learn what it meant to put on the shoes of real-life diplomats and debate to find a lasting solution for global issues? MUN is just the right platform for that. In the era of globalization, I try to keep track of international issues and international relations in my everyday life as a concerned global citizen. With the utmost excitement, amid the national strike and carpooling via ambulance, I reached the capital Kathmandu from Lamjung, using multiple vehicles, for MUN.
Before participation, I had to submit a position paper mentioning the stand of my assigned country on the issue we were to be debating on. I was designated the role of an Isreali diplomat in the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) committee. To make my country proud, I was to do a whole lot of research about different crooks and folds of the country from her history, policy, geopolitics, governance, foreign relations and almost about everything. The next task was to familiarize myself with ROPs (rules of procedure) that I was to follow during the committee proceedings, depending on their nature that could be either formal or informal debate.
On the first day, all the faces were new. All participating delegates shared the curiosity and animation for creating bonds. In the opening ceremony, co-founder Chewan Rai shared how his MUN experience gave him countless personal and professional opportunities and pushed him to be a better person. In the next speech, US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B. Teplitz shared that she was a MUNer during her school days, adding that the experience helped accelerate her journey as a diplomat.
The reception party was fun with a recreational ambience, good food and new faces to meet and bond with. It was attended by the representatives of the US embassy and UN agencies, and fellow delegates from 16 south and central Asian countries.
From the second day, an official debate began. Everything was a new learning opportunity for me, as a diplomat and a negotiator testifying my leadership ability, persuasive skills, team-building quality, writing and oratory skills. Just like it is in the UN, we too had a chair, co-chair, director and representative delegate from 16 different nations. With the guidance of supportive dais members and participation of keen fellow delegates, we drafted a resolution after three days of debate and multiple hour-long amendments. I learned how no country is small and the voice of every nation counts in the UN irrespective of its identity.
The daytime used to be fueled by debate while the night was meant for discussion. In Global Village and Cultural Exchange Program that had the halls re-done by foreign participants with stalls displaying clothing, flags, food, ornaments, and other characteristics of their countries, I got to know a lot about different nations. During that time, I met a lot of new friends and exchanged rich information about each other’s country. A friend from Uzbekistan told me it was a part of Soviet Union before and a Bhutanese friend promised to show me Tiger’s nest and a friend from Turkmenistan invited me to her country. Seeing a Bangladeshi girl dancing in “Lahanale jurayoki” (Nepali song) and Bhutanese friend singing “Ma ta Nepal lai maya garne chori” exemplified how we, the younger generation, have accepted ourselves as global citizens. I am optimistic seeing the future of our world and am thankful for Youth Thinker’s Society, US Embassy Kathmandu, and other partners for their investment in uniting future leaders who growing to be new diplomats.
In the end, every face I saw was expressing a sense of amazement and gratitude. MUN has offered such a great mark in my life turning strangers into lifelong friends and creating everlasting bonds. Four days of intense learning spent in a blink, with laughter, hugs, joy, tears and goodbye. A top-notch program came to an end. What could I expect more than to be befriended with so many new people, enriching myself with skills, and at the end being awarded as the best delegate from my UNDP committee?
Kafle is an undergraduate student at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, IAAS, Lamjung.