The British section of lycée Évariste Galois invited the students of the LIEP American section to participate to a Model United Nations (MUN), which gathered more than 200 students in total: the ISYMUN 2017 was held on November 24th 2017. Based on volunteering, 25 Secondes students from the American section of the LIEP participated.
What is a MUN?
A MUN is a meeting where students represent delegates of different United Nations’ countries, and debate with other countries’ delegates in order to try to pass resolutions or clauses. Each delegate works in a specific committee to find issues to problems the world deals with. The objective of every delegate is to produce, lobby support for, debate and ultimately have passed a clause or a resolution on one of the topics they argue about in their committee.
A delegate has to represent his/her country, even if it has nothing to do with his/her opinion, and to make it as acceptable as possible to as many member states as possible. As a consequence, a MUN requires many competences: there is the research and preparation beforehand, the debating exercise, the strategy in order to find allies during the lobbying sessions, and of course the social aspect – there are “gossip boxes” in each session where everyone can write his/her comments on other people in the room, and also elections for “best dress”, “best hair”, etc.
This year, the representation of topics and countries was various and the students could discover different geopolitical issues. They represented Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan and Turkey.
In the morning, students were gathered in committees, where a wide range of subjects was debated, sometimes with much heat. Each and every LIEP student spoke at least once during the debates and two students in the Turkey delegation were even awarded with “best delegate”!
In the afternoon, two general assemblies were held about crisis situations, to which the delegates were supposed to find a solution: a humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic, and a Chinese attack on a Filipino fishing boat near the Spratly Islands.
What have the students learned during the MUN?
“I’ve learned that I don’t have to be afraid to speak up for my country’s point of view, and that it could be really difficult to represent your country, and you have to know a lot about your country to succeed.”
“I’ve learned that you have to really become the country that you’re representing to be convincing. I’ve also learned that you really have to prepare your arguments beforehand and to also research the other countries’ stand in your committee so that you can prepare your response when that argument comes up.”
“The MUN was interesting. I learned a lot about debating.”
“I have learned a lot about politics and environments problems that are going on nowadays.”
“It was eye opening. Also, I learned some specific new vocabulary, which is pretty cool.”
“I have learned about the opinion of each countries and that was really interesting.”
The perks of democracy…
“This year was the first time I participated in a MUN so it was definitely nerve-wracking. But I really found it fun; I’d participate next year.”
“I really liked participating to the MUN. The atmosphere was cool and I had fun.”
“I liked how the people were really good at representing their country because they looked really passionate.”
“I enjoyed the performance of the delegate of Russia in my committee. She was really into it to the point that she was screaming to the microphone but I loved it! That just shows how really devoted she is.”
“I liked everything, but I mostly loved to participate and try to take part in the debates.”
“I really liked the General Assembly. I preferred when we were together because that was less stressful.”
… and its drawbacks.
“I was representing a neutral country, so I didn’t really know what to say.”
“For the most part I enjoyed everything except the part where you have to listen to everyone. It gets kind of boring after a while.”
“I got a little bored in the end during the afternoon because I didn’t really know how to get my country involved in the general debate.”
We hope to participate to another MUN in the future!
The use of weapons against civilians
|Economic and social
|Managing the role of NGOs in humanitarian crisis
|Human Rights||LGBTQ’s Rights
Indigenous populations’ rights
|Political||National secession and separatist movements
The question of national sovereignty against international terrorism and crimes
Natural disasters: solutions