Nation Model United Nations (NMUN) has a long tradition and history of students experiencing the importance of international political engagement. Us being at a university with students from more than 85 countries, we are confronted with various situations involving different cultural backgrounds and personalities on a daily basis. The ability to work together and find solutions with which everyone is content can be challenging. Transferring these problems from a student/school environment to an international political level, NMUN gives an insight as to how complex this process is.
Taking part in NMUN is the opportunity to be part of an international conference and to make your own contribution to international cooperation between young people in times of critical political situations all over the world. Our expectations regarding the conference were to use the opportunity to work on problems that concern us all. NMUN gives us the opportunity to slip into a delegate’s role and made us aware of challenges you might not even consider in your daily life. Most of us never spoke under circumstances like ones upcoming at NMUN. The challenge was to put the key messages and our position into a speech of 45 seconds without rushing through it or losing its purpose out of sight.
Right from our first meeting as a delegation and all throughout the preparation in Berlin, all of us agreed that we wanted to make a difference as a team. SRH Berlin delegations have never won an award before and to change that was our overall goal, for all of us together. Each separate committee working together took note of their partners’ strengths as weaknesses during the weekly meetings and started working together in order to even out the kinks and to perform the best way possible; not only to achieve our common goal but also to help develop ourselves further, to grow from the experience and discover hidden potential.
The weekly meetings in advance prepared us well, especially for the all-day routine and basic rules of the conference. Those meetings were extremely helpful and much needed, since the conference itself and all the impressions can be overwhelming at first and you want to participate and be as much involved as possible
Most of us arrived a few days early so they could see the city and get themselves acclimated before starting the conference. Since the schedule was really tight it was highly recommended to situate yourself before the conference and to not be fighting jetlag. New York in itself is a highlight and a city you should experience by day and by night. In order to fully enjoy the conference, it was very helpful to extend the stay either in the way of arriving before or by staying a few days longer.
Sunday afternoon, the conference started with the opening ceremony. Therein was an incredible atmosphere. Listening to some of the faculty member’s personal history and engagement and their position today gave you another insight of how important your own engagement is. After this meeting and fully motivated, we entered the first committee session and got first-hand experience of how a conference takes place. During the conference, it was impressive to see how other delegations were prepared and supported by their schools. For those who have attended for several years and therefore prepared years in advance, had constant feedback by their teachers, which seemed to help a great deal.
Each of our committees performed as best as possible given how they prepared and how they were engaged throughout the conference. Even though we were a small delegation, we tried to engage as much as possible and did so with success. All of our committees had the opportunity to be on the speaker’s list as well as the other responsibilities during the sessions. Representing our ideas and bringing them into the draft resolutions and negotiate the terms and representing our delegation’s values were an empowering experience.
To mention a few highlights during our conference, for sure is the visit of United Nation Headquarters. The atmosphere was impressive as well as the real-life and honest experience to sit where the real delegates usually are sitting. The speeches given from the other students at this location just underlined the feeling of being part of something that matters and that our engagement is not worthless.
At the end of the conference we were not only one of the most efficient conference by having passed the highest amount of resolution papers during one conference, we can proudly announce to be one of the delegations to receive an award, which is the first time in SRH Berlin’s history. This award represents the delegation’s great performance and is an honor for all of our school’s participants. This group effort is a great achievement and made this conference even more special and unforgettable on a personal level.
Being back in Berlin
Overall it was a great experience and we are thankful for the opportunity and support given by SRH Berlin, especially the financial support by PROMOS. Without the support we could not have performed as well as we did. This year’s performance is just the beginning and a motivation to work even harder and achieve even more in the following years hoping for further collaboration and support with the school. We are convinced that with this year’s experiences and highly motivated participants we can grow NMUN into an meaningful institution for SRH Berlin. NMUN is one of the best opportunities to step out of your personal comfort zone, to challenge yourself but also experience a complete new world of teamwork. As a participant I can highly recommend the participation it was a great learning process which not only let me grow from this but also made me realize how important politics and international relationships are.