If you have ever read any of my pieces here, you may have realized that I am not a supporter of the consensus-based approach in simulations. The reasons for that are numerous and have already briefly explained them here. However, given that I am an extremely curious person, I couldn’t help but sit down with two stellar personalities and pick their brains on the matter.
On the one hand, we have Sandy Mudiyanse who is the definition of an A-list MUNer and magnificent human being. Multinational (England, Middle East, and Sri Lanka are claiming her), quite experienced in all things traveling and MUN came across consensus during her 8th year of exploring the muniverse.
Sandy, who is “ an aspiring diplomat who believes in the UN as an institution, MUN has been the closest and most convenient way to get involved and discuss the issues that I believe is important to us as the youth of tomorrow. It is a great way of networking, meeting people from all walks of life who hold the same passion for debate yet different perspectives.”
As the MUN encyclopedia she is, having practiced many RoP variations out there led her to “ personally like Points of Information, the chance to cross-examine another delegate whether to correct, rectify or seek clearance, it enables you to create a sense of accountability because through your questions, you can make them think and not be vague about their proposals.”
When it comes to consensus, and based on her experience at arguably the best consensus approach simulation, that being WIMUN, she underlines that “I very much enjoyed the conference and the organizational aspect of it but the fixation to reach consensus often fails to create effective debate and negotiation in my view. It is the way the UN operates but perhaps United Nations effectiveness is often questioned because of this system”
I couldn’t help but ask about the age gap, whether university of high school students are easier to adapt to this specific procedure. Sandy, whose opinion is coming from conferencing in 5 different continents supports that “No, I think the authentic conference lacks the ability to challenge the youth. There is no need to convince or persuade anyone to vote for their resolution, which means often the hardest thing may not be achieved because the authentic version just appeases everyone, which is a good compromise but there are instances when more than a compromise needs to be reached.”
Finally, when it comes to the one thing that UN could use from the wider MUN practice, she suggests that “more room for criticism, heated debate and a broader understanding of the issue through interrogation rather than mutual agreement.”
On the other hand, the consensus corner, we have the embodiment of consensus in real life. That would be Nikhil Goyal, whose answers can be found here.