The first conference to test what we have learned so far about Rules of Procedure and preparation on specific topics and countries had arrived: The MiniMUN. A conference held at the facilities of the FAU with the additional participation of LAUMUN students from the Laurentius Gymnasium Neuendettelsau. Our first lesson was: Decorum. The importance of being seated on time, having a tidy desk and stopping all conversations became obvious within the first minutes of our first formal session. The Dais, friendly but determined, reminded us how to behave adequately and what things are to be avoided.
We rapidly learned our second lesson: the Speakers List. Of course everyone wanted to be on it and was prepared to hold speeches, but it was also our first conference where we had to overcome the obstacle of nervousness and experienced the need of improvisation. This was also required for our third lesson: Rules of Procedure. Although we had already learned about this during one of our preparation lectures prior to MiniMUN, it was still completely different to realistically apply these rules in a conference. Luckily, it was not the first conference for all delegates and those who already had some experience led as a good example so that during the day everyone could get comfortable with the Rules of Procedure. The fourth lesson was more difficult than it sounds: Raising a Placard. Every voting procedure was a new challenge to be exactly on time raising one’s placard to vote for or against the discussed subject. And many votes had to be retaken until everyone was on point. On the one hand repetitive and annoying, this process made us aware of the importance to stay focused and be attentive to the Dais’ announcements. After this day, we could definitely claim that we are the best prepared delegation, at least for raising placards.
After 8 hours of debating on the topic “The situation in Myanmar”, negotiating while trying to stay in character and working paper writing, where even one small word could change the whole meaning of a paragraph and your country’s position on the issue, we were exhausted but also proud of our results. Although not all draft resolutions made it successfully through voting procedure, everyone could be satisfied with what we managed to achieve. It definitely was a great first impression of what a Model UN conference would look like on our way to New York.
by Katharina Krammer