The National Model United Nations are experiences that change lives. For who is not familiar with them, I want to tell you more about these projects that involve people from all over the world, in particular, university students. The aim of the NMUNs is to fostering the background of future diplomacy leaders about the United Nations.
Each year between March and April, in New York City, over two thousand students meet to discuss ideas, proposals, and solutions for issues that characterized the UN agenda. A structured, skilled, and well-prepared Staff work through the year to research, propose topics for the discussion, and provide students with a proper documentation to start the long preparation for the conference.
The students, the so-called Delegates, are assigned to a committee and to a country (different than one they come from) and, thanks to the Background Guides provided by the Staff, they are able to prepare their Position Papers in which they stress the position of the country they represent about a specific topic under the discussion in the committee in which they will be working during the conference.
The core of the 5-days conference in New York is to allow Delegates to meet each other and discuss solutions to the current issues under the UN agenda. By following precise rules of procedures, Delegates negotiate proposals that will result in Resolutions/Reports. At the end of the conference, Staff members assigned to each committee, specifically a Director and an Assistant Director, will present their summaries under the General Assembly Plenary or the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations Headquarter.
Having said that, let me assure you that NMUNs are able to leverage professional skills, as well as to increase the personal network. When I was a Delegate, I had the chance to meet people coming from all over the world and today, these same people are my “homes” here in the United States, as well as in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
I am still trying to figure out how to carefully describe the value of this experience. I am pretty sure that words can’t do that, but I can tell you that the professional and personal recognition I received is one in a million. Of course, your mind and body require a proper preparation in order to face with sleepless, tight deadlines, and an important charge of responsibilities – but what really pays you is the commitment of Delegates, their smiles and tears when thanking you for your hard work.
NMUNs owns an educational mission: each Staff member is called to provide Delegates with an outstanding occasion to get involved in the United Nations world – a mission that I have decided to spouse and that has given me more than how I could never expect.
Therefore, I want to conclude this post with some acknowledgments. I want to thank you all members of the National Collegiate Conference Association‘s Leadership Team for their work through the years. A special thank you goes to the Senior Staff that trained me and the rest of the Staff – you have been our point of reference while working hard to create what has been a success. Thanks to my Dais partners for their distinguished work before and during the conference – you made this experience unforgettable as much as you make me a better human being.
Thank You NMUN|NY for having changed my life and for having been the reason why, years ago, I realized that my future would be in New York City.
Amina J. Mohammed | Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations while addressing the General Assembly Plenary during the Closing Ceremony of the NMUN|NY 2017
Delegation and Staff members during the Closing Ceremony of the NMUN|NY 2017
Pictures from the National Model United Nations|Facebook Page