The conference began very early Saturday morning, so of course I stumbled into the auditorium, sleepy, with my contraband coffee in hand. We went pretty quickly into speeches, so I was happy when, as Kenya, we were not called to do ours until after I had finished my coffee and woken up a bit. The opening speeches in an AIMUN conference give delegates a two minute opportunity to speak (as their country) on the issue at hand and give their position on it, therefore expediting the debate process to accommodate the condensed timeline that such a conference has to work with. To clarify, an international Model U.N. conference goes from Wednesday to Saturday, with Thursday and Friday being full fourteen-hour days spent in committee; so only spending an eight hour Saturday and a four hour Sunday in committee at an AIMUN conference means a lot needs to get done in a short amount of time! This resulted in us entering straight into debate and paper writing after speeches were concluded, with first-round paper edits due by 4:30pm.
I was happy to be apart of three different working groups, which included one paper I began hastily writing twenty minutes before the first deadline. We had a total of twelve papers from different groups submitted to our chairs before voting began on Sunday morning, and eleven of them were accepted by the committee through majority vote. The innovative solutions proposed in the papers for sustainable cities ranged from addressing healthcare and technology needs, to building cities in a more compact way and supporting environmentally friendly modes of transportation; the only paper to get voted down was from the Russian Federation and the USA (among others), which proposed “defunding climate change action”. All around, this speaks to a highly successful conference with a great deal of teamwork and diplomacy from everyone who attended.
Now, this is the part where I tell you why you should join Concordia’s Model U.N. club, as I am an obsessed club member and next year’s President of the club! Model U.N. is such a great opportunity to develop or build upon all of the skills you will ever need for landing that perfect job when you graduate from university. This includes public speaking, negotiating/networking, writing and research skills, which can be applied to any job you may be seeking. You also get to meet such great people and have unbelievable experiences. For example, at our banquet for this most recent conference, Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt gave a speech and opened the floor for students to ask him about all of their pressing issues regarding their university education- from tuition freezes to mental health initiatives. Furthermore, our senior club members attended the international Model U.N. conference in Kobe, Japan in November of last year, which is surely the highlight of many of our university careers.
Whatever your reason is for being interested, I look forward to seeing you at our meetings on Mondays at noon in HA 019!
by Whitney Thomson