Engineering Management Major was very proud to send our beloved student, Marselo Sitorus, to the Asia World Model United Nations (AWMUN) II. Marselo sitorus is a senior-year student from the 15th batch who was currently taking an exchange program to the United States (January 2nd – May 5th 2018). This recent annual event was held on January 30th 2019 – February 2nd 2019 at Bangkok, Thailand. This prestigious event gathered more than 1300 delegates from 72 countries around the world working together upon the common resolution making regardless of their cultural background, races, religions, genders, and perspectives. All combined for one common goal and shared purpose.
Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic simulation for students to understand about diplomacy, international relations, and United Nations. MUN involves a lot of activities to hone students’ ability on conducting research, public speaking, debating, writing skills, leadership skills, teamwork, and critical thinking. MUN encourages students to meet with other people who are the delegates representing the assigned countries which stimulate collaboration amongst students. This collaboration incubates students to share stories and cultures and sometimes leads to lifetime friendship. This event is a perfect and must-try competition for all students regardless of their majors. The aforementioned skills have to be provisioned by scholars to be then applied in their field area of work.
All thousand delegates were assigned to seven different councils: World Health Organization (WHO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural (UNESCO), World Trade Organization (WTO), International Labor Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Most countries were represented by one delegate yet some were represented by two delegates (double delegation). The main topic of this MUN is “The World’s Dilemma: Enhancing World Action on Climate Change”. Marselo Sitorus was positioned by the discretion of the committee to represent The Gambia on UNESCO. Each council is elaborated into sub-topic with each area of focuses. The topic discussed on UNESCO is “Improving Strategy to Protect World Heritage Caused by Climate Change”
This conference contains Rules of Procedures for every delegate to abide. The code of conduct was stipulated to direct the debate and discussion to hatch or revise resolution that satisfy all countries’ demands. Those general ROPs are mentioned as follow: Motions, Moderated Caucus, Unmoderated Caucus, Working Paper, Draft Resolution, Points, Roll Call, etc.
Having to speak in front of hundreds of delegates in a formal debate was both thrilling and scaring. Unlike initiating a start conversation to strangers, speaking formally where the audience would ask and question our stance and justification on certain issues was not easy. Things were getting worst because the delegates were obliged to obey the time given by the Chair. It was not that easy to complete a point in two minutes when it comes to country’s importance and sovereignty. The speech had to be brief, succinct, clear, and on point with perfect pace and intonation otherwise other delegates would not pay close attention to the content. This was a two-minute speech that determines the country’s esteem for the whole conference. This is where the public speaking skill was forged.
Speaking and listening are both equally important in this conference. Some countries might state something that harm the country’s sovereignty. In case, which is most of the time, the delegate has to speak up to defend it with cold-headed emotion and proper manners.
Each night on this three-days event, the delegates were invited to attend the fancy diplomatic dinners. This is a perfect opportunity for delegates to mingle with other delegates of other countries while enjoying a fancy dinner. The delegates usually share stories and cultures and then become friends afterwards. Not limited to those, the delegates may also share their political stance, knowledge, and field of work to be then further discussed. Exchanging numbers and social media contacts are very common to do. In the middle of the session, the delegates were delighted by the local performance. There were also pre and post dinner speech from experts and those relevant to the field discussed.
After the main event, the next day, the delegates were all invited to go for a Bangkok City Tour. Some of the renowned sites in the heart of Thailand were visited such as The Temple of Golden Mountain, The MOCA Museum, and The Marble Temple. All the tension from the previous day conference melted and flew away to the air as these sites were circulated. Even, Bangkok is known for being hot and polluted, the stories the delegates shared on the way of the tour and a charming tour guide cooled it off.
At the end of the event, all delegates were required to wear their traditional outfits/costumes. In this session, the delegates could demonstrate their country cultural richness by performing traditional dances, song, or other attraction on the main stage. Marselo Sitorus did not perform anything on the stage because it had already been represented by other Indonesian delegates. Even so, his zeal of nationality forced him to go in front along with other Indonesian delegates to enliven the performance. Indonesian delegates performed some traditional dances from different regions such as Sumatera, Java, Papua, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan perfected by the Indonesian traditional songs echoing in the ballroom. It was a blast!
The intangible aspects and the most important aspect of MUN is about making friends. He has now friends from 72 different countries in the world. Understanding how different people communicate and how to react to them are extremely important. Furthermore, to learn their value of life and belief is necessary to ripe his way of thinking. He was so grateful to ever participate on this event and planning to attend more MUNs. He also strongly encouraged all students to take part on MUN, even for once, especially Del’s students. Two words, Extremely Remarkable!