Oustanding Delegation Award…
Last October, during the first meeting of the FAUMUN Delegation 2018 at Villa St. Paul every delegate wrote down his or her personal goals and objectives for the United Nations simulation program and stored it safely in an envelope. Now, after an intense time we have finally arrived at a great hall, located in the centre of the Sheraton in Midtown Manhattan New York City, where we and all our fellow delegates gathered to attend the magnificent closing ceremony of the National Model United Nations 2018. Right before the start of the ceremony everyone of us opened the returned envelope, curious to see if the set goals have been reached during the past few months. We could witness the impressive progress of every single delegate and the development as a whole delegation during the intense program. In the end, the hard work and dedication was rewarded at NMUN with several Position Paper Awards and other awards voted on by peers for outstanding performance in committee. Additionally, we passed the simulation with distinction as outstanding delegation, which means that we are among the 25 best universities that attended NMUN.
But let us go back to when it all started. On the 17th of March we all arrived at the Hilton Midtown in NYC where we were supposed to stay the coming days. Some of us already had the chance to spend a few days in the city and to make ourselves familiar with the new surroundings. Nevertheless, impressed by the extraordinary atmosphere of the bustling life between the looming skyscrapers, we gathered in the lobby, ready to start the conference. In the evening we had our first official delegation meeting for the final conference preparation. To get in the mood for the conference and to refresh our speaking skills, we all delivered five-minute speeches with a topic of our choice. To become one of the outstanding delegations of NMUN, team work is indispensable. Therefore, on the second day we had brunch together as a delegation in order to align ourselves for the upcoming conference. Afterwards, our head delegates showed us some spots nearby the conference locations where we could get the two most important necessities for the challenge NMUN: Coffee as well as affordable food. Although we already discovered some of these options, spotting the 99cts pizza created a thrill of excitement within the delegation, as everybody had already realized that New York is very expensive.
Then, we had some hours to prepare ourselves for the first sessions of the conference. Last minute policy discussions, speech preparations, and ironing, as we wanted to present the Kingdom of Thailand as professionally as possible and make a good impression within our committees. Finally, the time had come. The official start of NMUN 2018. We, 20 students with different backgrounds from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität started to represent the Kingdom of Thailand in 10 different committees – the moment we had been preparing ourselves for since October.
First goal: Get a good spot to sit, where it is more likely that the chair chooses you when you raise your placard to bring up a motion. Mission accomplished. Luckily, many of us were already chosen to speak in front of the committee within that first session. Furthermore, the agenda was set, working groups were founded, business cards were exchanged – the foundation for the upcoming conference days was layed.
Eventually, to make the most of this experience, we met as a delegation every evening after the conference had ended, where we discussed our experiences during NMUN and suggested policies for the next day to each other.
One of the most interesting experiences during NMUN has been visiting the Permanent Mission to the United Nations of the Kingdom of Thailand on our third day as a delegation in New York. This made it possible for us to ask questions regarding the topics discussed in the committees and gave insights into Thai foreign policy. By that, our representation of the position of Thailand was further improved, as we could check if the action plans we have elaborated during our research actually correspond with its position.
Next highlight after that: The opening ceremony of NMUN 2018, which was held in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. One thing is to study the UN and prepare yourself for a Model United Nations conference – the other thing is to actually be where UN discussions as well as voting procedures take place. The perfect location to feel the UN vibe and get motivated to be successful at NMUN! This motivation helped us to face the rest of the day, where we had MUN sessions until late in the evening: we continued founding working groups, built coalitions and started elaborating solutions on the topics chosen during the previous agenda setting.
Terrible Tuesday as called by participants of past NMUN conferences was not as hard as we thought it would be. Although we had sessions for many hours, we were very productive, merging working groups, submitting draft resolutions and voting for these drafts. Unfortunately, due to a snowstorm we were not able to visit the Permanent Mission of Germany as originally planned.
After these exhausting and interesting days, we finally reached the end of the conference and attended the closing ceremony at the Sheraton. To celebrate our success and to share the final hours of the program with the people we got to know so well during the last months, we went to Brooklyn for sightseeing and an excellent Thai dinner. During our way back to the delegates dance, the program officially ended in the amazing ambience of the Brooklyn Bridge.
by Raffael Barth and Nick Dühr