Model United Nations is an extra-curricular activity which requires students to represent various countries as their delegates to one of the committees of the UN, like General Assembly, Security Council, UNHRC, etc. While MUN is something that most students attend for the social events, it’s a really good learning opportunity for those who wish to improve their interpersonal skills in the shortest time. So here are some things you can learn while attending a MUN:
- Overcoming your Fear of public Speaking
Public speaking can be daunting for a lot of us, in fact, a study showed that up to 75% people experience nervousness when they’re about to speak in front of a crowd. However, in a committee you’ll be recognized at least once per session, unless you’re hiding from the committee chair. That allows you to jump over that hurdle over and over again and eventually your fear will reduce.
If you’re a first-time debater, especially if you’re a first time MUNer, you’ll be shocked to see how cunning and shrewd people are when it comes to protecting their stance and leading their blocs. The reason some people love Model UN more than Parliamentary Debates is because of the un-moderated caucuses, where the rules of the committee are suspended and you’re free to roam around and talk to other delegates.
Many people say that is where the magic happens, because the Chairs often don’t leave the room during an un-moderated caucus and they observe the delegates who’re the most diplomatic and are trying to influence the other delegates to vote for their resolution or join their bloc.
- Negotiation Skills
One thing that every MUNer goes through is negotiating with their fellow delegates. Seems simple right? Wrong! A Model UN Committee is like a minefield, you have to be extra careful in every step you take. Sometimes negotiations take a wild turn and the whole committee erupts into a fight, and the blame goes to that one person who screwed it all up. So, you have to keep calm, stay focused, and look for moments when you know the other delegate might listen to what you have to say and compromise on their stance.
- Formal Documentation
There are a couple of documents that you’ll create while in your committee.
- Position Paper: Most people simply copy the entire thing from Wikipedia and submit a 10-page position paper, which is of no use. You have to carefully create a one to two-page document which clearly states your country’s stance on both the topics.
- Working Paper: A working paper is a document that sums up the discussion of the entire day and suggests plan of action for the next session. Usually, one block submits one working paper, however it’s not odd to see an individual delegate or a handful of them submitting their own.
- Draft Resolution: A draft resolution is usually tabled by the end of the second last or last committee session and its purpose is to propose legislation to the General Assembly or the Security Council.
If you get to be an author of the working paper or the draft resolution, consider yourself in one of the top performers of the committee, besides you’ll get to learn a lot of things like speed typing, listening to 10 people talk at the same time and creating a document that has so many
- Listening Skills
One that that good debaters always practice is listening. If you don’t truly understand what the other person has said, how can you give them a befitting and knowledgeable response? Adults spend an average of 70% of their time engaged in some sort of communication. Of this, research shows that an average of 45% is spent listening compared to 30% speaking, 16% reading and 9% writing.
Socializing has never been this fun and easy, every time there is a MUN, a concert is to follow. We’ve had the likes of Atif Aslam, Ali Noor, Ali Zafar, Ali Azmat, Call, and many other famous bands perform at various MUNs around Pakistan. There are a bunch of social events that happen every night after the committee sessions end, some conferences even have two concerts along with a Global Village and a Formal Dinner.
If you liked the sound of a MUN conference and want to attend the best one in the country, register today to WORLD MUN PAKISTAN, in Lahore on 9th – 12th August 2018.