The purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security ever since World War II, when the world was faced with millions of civilians in need of humanitarian aid. Today we are faced with a similar crisis; 59.5 million Syrian refugees fleeing their homes in search of asylum. In order to practice our reading, public speaking, collaboration, and "defending an opinion that is not our own" skills, the class of 2019 took on analyzing the Syrian refugee crisis.
Every student was assigned a country that is a member of the United Nations and is in some way involved with this topic. I was assigned to Italy, a country located in Europe. Conducted by a constitutional republic, Italy has taken in 171,000 refugees as of 2016. Faced with an influx of people seeking refuge the country focused it's efforts in finding a way to diminish the amount refugees fleeing their country instead of seeking aid in the outskirts of Syria.
In a group of 22 other students (committee #2) representing their own countries we shared a classroom for two days in efforts to make allies, deals, engage in debates, and come up with solutions to the crisis.
During MUN I was able to propose Italy's ideas through negotiations, speeches, and collaborating with other countries. Personally I am most proud of being able to compose two speeches within ten minutes that embodied Italy's approach toward immigration and people seeking asylum. I initially thought that doing so would be difficult for me to do when in reality I thought of it as a fun challenge. Within my committee we spent the majority of the time in a unmoderated caucus, meaning we could talk among ourselves to share or develop ideas. I am most proud of my committee's form of communication which was to use the white board to write down big ideas and discuss them in groups. This conversation would continue non-stop for fifteen minutes and it is what seemed most effective when coming up with solutions.
If I were to do anything differently within my committee I would have proposed for more circumstances in which everyone was required to voice their countries opinion. In some cases it felt as though the major powers such as Russia, United States, and Syria would have the final word or highest ranking option. If countries, such as Italy, had been asked to speak up more often then we would have had a more inclusive solution.
One piece of advice I'd give to incoming Sophomores that will have to do this project is to get your facts straight. If you go into the conference knowing what you're talking about and know what you're representing; MUN won't seem as much as a challenge and ends up being fun.
To see more work that I did during MUN follow these links...