I started going to MUNs quite late, in my third year of BA, more out of obligation rather than out of passion. Now MUNs have become a passion. I prefer to go to a MUN, than to go on vacation. They have become a way of spending my free time. At my first MUN I was both an organizer and a delegate, the representative of Syria in the UN Security Council in the summer of 2013.
I’m sure that all MUNers remember quite vivid their first experience in these kinds of activities, but I can honestly say that I will never forget my first MUN. The first MUN I attended is called Rotaract Global Model United Nations and it is organized by a Rotaract Club, each year in a different country. I am very proud to say that my club, Rotaract Club T.E.A.M. Baia Mare, has started this wonderful project in a small town in Romania.
When we discussed this idea in the club, to organize an international MUN in our home town, I was thrilled. And so were my fellow club members. Now I realize that back then we didn’t fully understand how complex such a conference is. And I personally didn’t realize how hard it will be for me to be both in the organization team and on the delegates side.
I would get up very early in order to go and meet our guests at breakfast and have a morning small talk, then I would attend them to the place where we had the sessions, be very active in the debate since everyone in the Council wanted to invade Syria at that moment. In the evening I would have to be at the social event sooner than the guests and leave at the very end, towards the morning, with all my colleagues from the organization team. Since we were only around 25 members in my Rotaract Club, and the MUN hosted 130 people, some of us had to be both hosts and delegate. But it was worth it.
I remember a very intense moment in the Security Council, one day before voting our resolution. We had a big swimming pool party at a very nice resort near the town and we stayed until the sunrise. We were quite hangover and tired the next morning, and of course I had to be the one closing the party. I went home, dressed for the conference and had a quick breakfast and headed straight at conference room. I was late that morning and rushed in the Council. Everybody was smiling mysteriously at me and the Chairs approached me and asked me if I managed to do my research that morning. I lied and said yes. I didn’t want to look unprepared. The formal session began. The first speaker stood up, the delegate of the USA, and asked me to explain to the Security Council why did the Government that I represented (the Assad regime) attacked its own people with chemical weapons. Then he pulled out a report of what happened that night in Syria and several articles from prestigious news agencies that depicted the event and handed them to the other delegates. My lack of sleep and too much partying head-ache disappeared instantly, and a new type of head-ache took its place. Everybody was waiting for my answer, but I needed few seconds to process this new information. What could I answer to these accusations and still hold the advantage I build in the last days?
I got back into my role, denying the accusation, since there was no evidence of who used the chemical weapons and no report of the number of deaths and damage, and explained to the distinguished delegates that last night, in Syria, there was a national holiday and people celebrated by throwing chemicals around, it was our custom and that nobody got hurt and that everything was good. The USA delegate and the Chairs were puzzled, the Secretary- General came in to see our reaction and my fellow delegates started laughing. But the next day, the resolution passed with no amendment on sanctioning Syria.
This summer I will enrich my MUN experience at the TGIMUNC 2016 as Vice-Director of the African Union, which will take place in 25 – 28 June 2016, in New Delhi, India. I invite you to join me and perhaps we will have another funny MUN story to share this summer.