First stop, Melbourne for the World Model United Nations Conference.
By Rhiannon Kemp
Artwork by Helen Sherriff
When we become the new generation of world leaders, we will reminisce back on the first time we ran the world. We were young, fresh faced and eager to leave our names in the markings of history. Our minds were full of purpose and our hearts were determined to make a difference, there would be no returning to our lives of normality after what we were set to encounter. This is how we will remember attending The World Model United Nations Conference.
WorldMUN, as the conference is also known, is held every year by varying Universities around the globe and offers potential diplomats, world leaders, and change-makers an opportunity to get a first taste at running the world. And we at the UniSA United Nations Society are jumping at that opportunity once again in March, when it comes to Melbourne.
The popular Model UN was founded, and is co-hosted every year, by the famous and prestigious Harvard University in the USA. This year, La Trobe University students fought fiercely to gain international recognition and the chance to co-host WorldMUN 2013, slimly beating a popular university in Madrid, Spain. It will be the first time the event is to be hosted on Australian soil.
In 2012, the UniSA United Nations Society took a small delegation of four to Vancouver, Canada to participate in the week-long event. This time around, the UniSA United Nations Society delegation includes 12 students studying in the fields of journalism, law, international relations and communications. These delegates, some first timers, others veterans in the fast paced world of MUN, will be spread out over seven committees representing the two African nations of Ghana and Somalia. Committees range from political disarmament to protection of cultures in second world nations, to a historical general assembly looking at Lebanon in the 1950s.
From public speaking, to debating, to writing a UN style resolution and then voting down every other resolution your nation doesn’t agree with, the skills our delegates gain at WorldMUN conferences will undeniably assist them in their quest to become the next Barack Obama or even the next Ban Ki-moon. This is where we will have begun our lives as those who run the world.
In the words George Orwell, author of one of my most precious childhood books and godfather of political paranoia, “By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything and what they swallowed did them no harm because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.”
Along with writing a rhythm to the words ‘four legs good, two legs bad’, Orwell made undeniable insights into the political world far beyond his time. If we do not ask questions about what is happening in our country and others surrounding us, then how do we expect to make this a better world for our children?
When questioning the agendas and systems of governmental mistreatment, even if it were just about three ironically named power-hungry pigs ruling Manor Farm, Orwell opens up your mind to what happens in the real life of international politics. Personally, I do not want to remain sane and take in everything I am given. I choose instead, like so many of my colleagues and peers at University, to question, understand and refuse to stand for something that I don’t believe will help save the world.
The UniSA United Nations Society is now in its seventh year and has worked to bring students many events and opportunities in this time, including the South Australian Model United Nations Conference, or ‘SAMUNC’, every September with our co-hosts at the University of Adelaide. Envisioning the ideals of MUN and knowing the benefits they bring to any student or graduate, especially in the field of International Relations, the UniSA UN Society aims to help tomorrow’s leaders begin running the world.
Some people were built to be construction workers, others were bound for the sea, some have the knowledge to be historians, others have the stomach for the medical world and some, a select few, were destined to change the world. But their journeys had to begin somewhere; and for many, WorldMUN was, or will be, their first time trying to take the lead.