My name is Allan Mukuki and I am the Participants Coordinator Non-Western in the Board of Directors of TEIMUN, 2015-2016. I am informed that I also happen to be the 1st African to ever serve in the Board of Directors of TEIMUN, which makes it even special.
For the last 29 years, The Hague has been the stage of The European International Model United Nations. The history of TEIMUN started in 1987, when a group of American students who were on an exchange program in The Netherlands organized the first TEIMUN conference. These founders of TEIMUN were members of the United Nations Association in the USA (UNA-USA). UNA-USA’s main objective is to teach people about the United Nations. The Association tried to accomplish this goal through a number of educational efforts like conferences and workshops. The most famous of these was and still is the Model United Nations conference.
Hence in following the long established tradition, TEIMUN is a conference that will held from the 11th until the 17th of July, 2016 for students from all over the globe. TEIMUN is one of the oldest MUN’s in Europe for university students. TEIMUN strikes a good balance between a professional atmosphere and social interaction between the delegates. As a consequence, TEIMUN is a very good starting point for first time MUN’ers, as well as being a very challenging conference for MUN veterans. Furthermore, the TEIMUN parties and social events are a renowned aspect of the conference and are just as important as the daily sessions in the different councils.
Over the years, TEIMUN has grown steadily. The TEIMUN conference became one of the biggest and most important MUNs on the European mainland, with participants registering for the conference from over 65 different countries. The program was extended with a simulation of the International Court of Justice. In the last few years the conference has been enlarged by adding the North Atlantic Council in 2004, the Economic and Social Council in 2006 and the Food and Agricultural Organization in 2007. In 2008, the FAO was replaced by the Human Rights Council. In 2010 the Historical Council has been added to the conference and in 2016 the European Council has been added so as to encompass the EU perspective as well, making a total of 7 committees in which students can take place.
MUNPlanet: What sentence would you use to convince the indecisive students to apply?
“Become a diplomat for a week”
MUNPlanet: TEIMUN 2016 has an impressive number of 7 councils. Which one was the most challenging to organize, and which do you think will be the most fun?
Well, the European Council was a nut cracker. We envisaged a situation where the EU is becoming a formidable bloc in the international arena and as such we decided to add it as a Council in the conference and entice the taste for diplomacy at the European level.
As for which will be the most fun Council, well, I am a biased moot enthusiast and the ICJ definitely gives one the feeling of an adrenaline rush knowing that you have to defend the position of a country in a hypothetical case. But the General Assembly and Security Council also have a magical touch for any MUN enthusiast and even for the beginner as well.
Indeed. We must note that in this new age, the Millennials, better known as Generation Y, have been highly criticized for their approach towards life. But, on the contrary, life is no longer the way it used to be in the 1960’s and 70’s, technological advancement has taken centre stage, international politics has greatly changed from what it used to be and life has become more competitive today than it was two decades ago.
In this regard, the millennials are tasked with charting a new path towards the future. I am reminded of a saying that ‘the youth should wait for their tomorrow’. Well, our tomorrow is here and it is time for the new generation to change the national centric approach of the last generations. Today is the tomorrow that we were promised but we will not go into the future with the skills of the last generations. We have to adapt and that is why forums like TEIMUN will provide the millennials an opportunity to share ideas from their different regions and help us all pursue a new state of mind and push the boundaries that were set in the last generations.
MUNPlanet: Globalization is one of the most discussed topics in recent years. How vital would you say it is for the future of global society?
The world is now a global village. States can no longer segregate themselves from each other. International trade, infrastructure, politics, have all made us see that if we want to go fast we go alone, but if we want to go further, we have to go together as an international community. As such, globalization is the first step towards the future of the global society and what a better way for the youth to take part in this process than through an MUN and in particular, TEIMUN.
MUNs have greatly changed from what they used to be for instance in 1987 when TEIMUN began. New communities and technology will play a huge role in making MUNs even more prestigious. The ability to connect anyone in the world to an MUN or inform them of which MUN’s that they can attend, gives a wide variety of opportunities for one to glob-trot in the name of diplomacy. It is from these MUNs that diplomats are born and bred and thereafter make a mark in the world of international diplomacy.
MUNPlanet: Student delegates always remember the social events. What do you have prepared in this department?
They say that if there are people who know how to do socials, it is the Dutch. We have a council dinner, network drinks, an orange party, a global village party, a gala, a football tournament and even a beach bbq. This is just but a tip of the ice-berg on what awaits those who will attend TEIMUN this year.
Aside from improving your CV, the skills gained from an MUN are priceless. It is through MUN and in particular KenyaMUN and TEIMUN that I honed by public speaking skills and research skills as well. Plus, how can I forget the long lasting international friendships that are formed during MUNs. Attending an MUN is one of the best choices that any student can make.
MUNPlanet: You have mentioned that TEIMUN is a very good starting point for first time MUNers. However, if they are still unsure as to whether to apply, what would you say to them?
Well, stop thinking about it and apply. Seven days later after TEIMUN you will ask for a rewind of it. This is a feeling that anyone who has ever come for TEIMUN knows very well. As a matter of fact, it is a ‘drug’ that we highly recommend, because one you come once, you will find yourself coming back every year. It is a feeling I know very well.
MUNPlanet: Tell us one sentence you would like the delegates to leave your conference with.
We came as students and we left as diplomats.