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MIT-MUNC: A Stage for Stars
2017-08-31

[SCIE website Aug 31st, 2017] August 25, 2017 was the first year that the MIT Model United Nations Conference was held in China, and it was the also the very first time that I really got to know about the traditional rules of an academic MUN.   



My interest in MUN wasn't developed in a single night. In the junior high school, I had never thought about that I would have such deep feelings towards the Model United Nation. Not until the end of the first semester of G1 did I start to participate in Shenzhen Model United Nations English contest. With full of the enthusiasm, excellent partners and my oral English, I luckily achieved ‘Top Six’ among one hundred people who were involved in the meeting, and eventually won the “Honorable Delegate” prize with a cup.
  

So far, I still remember the delegates of the United States’s abnormally friendly attitudes towards us, our secret deal with delegates of the Soviet Union and the joy derived from hatching a conspiracy; I still remember the feeling of admiration coming out of the eyes of delegates from other committees when they heard that we were delegates of Cuba; I still remember the incredibly excitement when I raised up my first cup high above my head. That Christmas, we reached an unprecedented agreement. That was to "Make, Cuba, Great, Again."

Thus, in anticipation of a wider stage, I embarked on the flight to Shanghai this summer. In my old memory, the neon lights of the Bund, a number of well-known schools in the Yangtze River Delta, the MIT which was my dream school, they overlapped each other, creating an overwhelming picture that attracted me so much like a magnet. Just one day plus a morning and an evening, that was all the time we have for meetings. I was the delegate of Germany in the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) and the agenda was the Syrian Conflict.


 

When I got off the plane, I went to meet Tina, who was the delegate of Russia. At first I was in the mood to play and chat with her, but I was shocked when I saw the students from the International Department of several Shanghai high schools. As international students in a public high school, each of them spoke English in a quite enjoyable tone. Not only were their English amazingly fluent, but also the accents were clearly easy on the ears. Any of the students was not inferior to the students in SCIE. Besides, their daily communication (e.g. phone call) was also in English, and they even asked, "Which committee are you in" directly! I was surprised and even somewhat admired them. I really regretted having not met them earlier. It was my pleasure to compete with those excellent students, and this was the reason why I came to Shanghai to seek for challenge! Shanghai high school, Nanjing foreign language School, the top students of the Yangtze River Delta, after the opening ceremony in the evening, I would see all of you in the DISEC committee!

On the Friday night, after the opening ceremony, was the first 2-hour discussion agenda. As soon as I quickly motioned to set the Syria crisis as the agenda, the opening speech and formal debate officially began. The delegates were stating their position, posing questions and weighing up each other's ability. The air was at swords' points. The most intense debate among us was between delegate of Germany, which was me, and delegate of Russia. The solution she came up on refugee issues, chemical weapons, and the idea of international counterterrorism alliance I proposed, were rebutted by each other.

 

While listening to the speeches of other delegates and writing down notes at the same time, I tried to figure out which delegate was a potential ally and which one was the opponents. I also passed pages to others frequently in order to find out whether other delegates were willing to join my coalition. If there was anyone sitting at the conference room, he or she might find that the pages were distributed very quickly by Germany and Russia. 2 hours was supposed to be very short, but for us, it seemed endless. No time to rest, no time to drink. Always remember: If you are not participating in the debate, not disputing with each other, not passing pages to express your opinions and inclination or trying to find your allies, you are very likely to lost in the fast pace of the progress of committee and fail to be noticed by chair and those outstanding delegates once and for all. 

The schedule of next day was even more compact. The discussion started at 9 in the morning, followed by a 10-hour agenda. With the purpose of leading the discussion, I motioned for the first moderated caucus this day, which was on the topic of establishing an international coalition against terrorism (ISIS). That was what I had been always proposing for the whole conference. However, as for many details of this coalition: eg. the method of selecting the leaders, the extent of intervention, the concern of the Middle East countries and the contradiction from the American Block, we had to make use of our persuasive speaking skills and logical speeches to reach a compromise.

 

In an English MUN conference, you need to extract important information quickly and organize your speech with the most persuasive language and accurate phrases in order to get the maximum support. You should always be able to fight for your country’s interest and seek to become the final winner. This is how MUNC works. In the evening, after having repeatedly discussed with all the delegates, the draft resolution sponsored by Germany, United States, Russia, South Korea, and North Korea, was finally finished.  


 

Under no circumstances was I able to forget the logical and fluent speech of the delegate of Russia; the sharp statement of the delegate of North Korea which resonated with many small countries; the very annoying, troublesome, but reasonable questions that delegate of Israel threw out consistently; and delegate of U.S.A who was unable to present in the conference but continued to use his iPad to communicate with us and had influenced the conference greatly; as well as my own speech and effort of course. It was my honor that I had come to Shanghai to meet those excellent students, learning from each other and making progress together.   

During the last agenda, we could finally motion to close the debate and passed the only draft resolution. Then it came the closing ceremony. Although we already had some idea of our own performance, we were still waiting for the awards given by the chair. This was the best praise for these days’ hard work as well as the best prize for the sprit that we showed in modifying every piece of our working paper and checking each punctuation. 

  

“Outstanding delegate of DISEC….”

“Germany…. Russia…. Israel…. USA"


 

 

 Final DR in Disec

Wearing my black suit and high heels that were not so comfortable, I went up the stage proudly. Together with the delegates that I spent one and a half day “fighting” with and the most responsible ads, I drew a satisfied ending for my second MUN experience. Although I didn't get the "Small Hammer" which others were looking forward, I still would like to believe in myself-- that I am always improving myself. And there is no doubt that I will continue my unfinished MUN career in this sparkling stage next summer. I am looking forward to seeing you again.

(ReportElizabeth; photosElizabeth Asdan; filesMITMUNC DISEC)

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