This week, in an article published as part of MUNPlanet Spotlight, a special series dedicated to Model UNs from around the globe, we are taking you to Madrid, the city of great monuments and beautiful warm climate. The aim of this series is to introduce MUNs and their organizers to our MUNPlanet audience and beyond. Our hosts today are Héctor Guarro Marzoa and Javier Alberite Carreño.
MUNPlanet: Can you tell us more about
Héctor: My name is Héctor Guarro Marzoa; I am a 5th year Bachelor Degree student of Spanish law and Political Sciences in “Potificia de Comillas University” in Madrid, although I originally come from Barcelona and I’ve been a Munner since 2008.
Javier: My name is Javier Alberite Carreño; I am a 4th year Bachelor Degree student of Spanish law and Political Sciences, in “Potificia de Comillas University” in Madrid, I was born in Málaga and I’ve been a Munner since 2010.
MUNPlanet: Before we start, in one sentence, tell us why MUNPlanet-ers should not miss MiMUN-UCJC?
J: We think it’s a great opportunity to visit Spain and its capital city, Madrid, and also to participate in the inaugural edition of the first International Model of United Nations of the city.
MUNPlanet: Organizing the conference for the first time is always a challenge. Which targets will MiMUN-UCJC be trying to reach this first time in terms of number of participants, number of committees, the social program, etc.
We have set ourselves some ambitious goals for this first edition: we have 5 committees of 30 delegates each (15 double delegations) and we expect to approximately have some 200 people involved in the good march of the Conference.
MUNPlanet: If you could define your goal
in one sentence, how would it sound?
H&J: Dialogue as a means of resolution.
MUNPlanet: An organizing team is what makes a great MUN conference in the end. Can you tell us how the team got together and when did the first talks about MiMUN-UCJC start?
J: We all know each other from participating in our school’s MUN SEKMUN, and luckily enough we kept our friendship and passion for MUNs going. Two years, the opportunity of organizing this Conference was given to us and, without a second thought, we jumped right into it, and here we are now.
MUNPlanet: Being the first international Model United Nations in Madrid ever, there are probably a lot of expectations from MiMUN-UCJC 2015. Do you feel the pressure and was it hard to overcome all the obstacles?
H: It looks as if we will never stop organizing this event (laughs). We have been preparing it for one year and nine months already and there always seems to be new problems to solve. It is a permanent challenge, but one that we gladly take and enjoy.
MUNPlanet: How strong is MUN scene in
Madrid? How popular are MUNs among students in Spain in general?
J: There are a few MUN conferences here and there (OVIMUN, MUNUSAL, etc.) and Madrid has quite a few of them actually (URJCMUN and UC3MUN), but all of them tend to be aimed at Spanish students and the international participation is not as high as we’d like. Nevertheless, we are a young MUN community and we see that, as years go by, these events get more popular, which makes us very happy.
MUNPlanet: In your opinion, why is MUN significant in professional development of students? What are the main advantages in attending such conferences?
H: Not only do you get to know lots of marvelous people that otherwise you wouldn’t meet, but you also improve your speaking and negotiation skills. These type of skills (negotiation, oratory, contact making) are very appreciated and demanded in many professional activities ranging from engineering to lawyering, not restricted to a specific professional destination. Participating in an MUN conference is a great and fun opportunity to hone those skills.
MUNPlanet: Tell us more about committees and topics that you are going to discuss. Did you play it safe and go with regular committees and topics for the first conference, or there will be surprises?
H: We will be simulating the 2nd and 3rd Committees of the UN General Assembly (Economic and Financial Affairs and Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs respectively), the UN Security Council (Spanish speaking committees), the Human Rights Council and the Economic and Social Council (English speaking committees). All our topics are taken directly from the official agenda of the UN, but we try also to pick events of international interest to spice things up.
MUNPlanet: One of the best aspects of MUN, among gaining new knowledge and skills through fun, is meeting new cultures. And Madrid, for sure, has so much to offer! What we should not miss during our stay?
J: Lots of things to see and visit but if I had to choose one, it would be the MiMUN social events (laughs). Regarding the city itself, a walk around the Temple of Debod or the Sabatini Gardens is very recommended: great food, great scenery and near the conference facilities.
MUNPlanet: When talking about the future of MUNs, how do you see MUNPlanet, as the biggest global MUN community, shaping the future Model United Nations landscape?
J: I think that MUN:Planet plays a very important role of nexus between the participants and the organizers of MUN conferences, joining together people committed and interested in International Affairs and the International Community.
MUNPlanet: Thank you for devoting your time for an interview with MUNPlanet. Wishing you a lot of success in preparations for MIMUN 2016.
Images 2 and 3: Courtesy of MiMUN