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“Honestly, I feel like we are approaching the golden age of MUN.”
MUNPlanet: Wilf, you are English, and spent 11 years living in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Turkey and Thailand to name a few. Tell us something about your life path, and how you dived into the world of MUNs.
Wilf: I spent most of my childhood growing up all over the world. Safe to say, given the places I was living in, and the times I was living there, I have experienced some of the worst things that a country can have inflicted upon it: civil war, tsunami, famine, political catastrophe, earthquakes, it really opens your eyes. Rather than sitting in a westernised classroom being taught about this form of abject poverty, living standards and access to food, education, water, I could see it for myself. My father has worked for various aid agencies, often working with various UN bodies to coordinate operations or manage relief and recovery programmes. So I saw, from a very young age, the practical implications of the work that the UN does, and the aid world does. So, at the first available opportunity, I got involved with MUN. In school, all I wanted to do was run recovery operations across the world, that much hasn’t changed, but joining MUN, replicating the decisions and operation of the largest collective body in the world that performs these sorts of tasks was the closest I could get to that. So, when I was 13, I just dived in.
“I spent most of my childhood growing up all over the world. Safe to say, given the places I was living in, and the times I was living there, I have experienced some of the worst things that a country can have inflicted upon it..."
“I think this sort of community [MUNPlanet] can enact change, all over the world, in all sorts of communities.”
Wilf: What comes after? I do wonder that, every day. With all the skills I now have, negotiating, debating, writing, critical thinking, management experience, logistical planning, coordination, etc. I could do a lot of things. Running recovery operations, helping to right the plethora of disasters, natural and otherwise, that plague this earth still presents itself as the most attractive option. Having said that, I will be applying for the Fast Stream civil service in the UK to head towards the Diplomatic core, but I have many options. All the experience pays off, in so many ways.
MUNPlanet: Any final thoughts?
Wilf: I really wish everyone could have the chance to experience MUN for themselves. To that end, I would love everyone to get as many people involved in it as possible. If they don’t like it, it’s not for them, that’s fine. But there are so many people out there who could use this form of widening experience and eye-opening debate to their advantage. I feel like MUN has more to offer than the cliché international perspective. It’s ultimately about skills. Set on a backdrop as interesting as international relations and the global community, I can’t see what wouldn’t be attractive about it. I should know, I haven’t planned on stopping quite yet.
MUNPlanet: Wilf, thank you for being the guest of Fridays with MUNPlanet, and sharing your experiences and views on the state of MUN affairs in the world with the community. We wish you all the best in preparing LIMUN 2015. Let us know how the things go.