By Johnathan Williams
Model United Nations (MUN) is an exciting, growing concept that has swept the globe exponentially in recent years. MUN is an academic simulation of the complex, dynamic and often frantic working of the United Nations.
The first ever of its kind was brought to UWE on the 26-28th October. Hosted by the University’s Politics and International Relations Society (PAIRS), students each representing a state in the UN held the heated debate for three days, before reaching a resolution by Sunday evening amid final day chaos of bargaining with everyone in the room.
The idea of holding an MUN at UWE, stemmed from members of PAIRS attending the biggest MUN conference in Europe, the London International Model United Nations in February 2012. Months, days and hours of work commenced and delegates registered from a whole range of different courses and countries.
The hard work and organisation culminated in this one weekend, where it was undoubtedly a huge success. Concerns of shy first time delegates were quickly dispelled, with academic debate taking hold of the conference room immediately, with more than several slanderous, albeit humorous, accusations being thrown across the room as delegates jostled other delegates to agree with their state’s point of view.
Delegates were debating how the international system should deal with the growing threats of cyber warfare and outer space security. To many, this may sound a touch too Sci-Fi, but as the delegates found at the weekend, the threats and concerns are by no means as out of this world as they sound, and any difficulty to understand the problem was only matched by the difficulty to come to a conclusion on a solution within the United Nations.
As the debates went on, the separate ideologies took hold of delegates, and the MUN was ultimately divided into two opposing groups,
battling for their viewpoint to become unanimous. As was to be expected, this never did succeed, despite more country-personal insults being flung around the room, however, a resolution was accepted by majority vote come the Sunday evening.
The fact that a resolution was accepted was only a small part of the overall success of the weekend. As was noted on the first day, the experiences gained through participating in an MUN cannot be gained anywhere else and so is a hugely beneficial event to partake in at any level in University. Many friendships were made, even between opposing countries, and the fever of MUN addiction has no doubt gripped many of the delegates in attendance. Above all, it was a fantastically fun weekend.
PAIRS will be continuing with MUN events throughout the academic year. The society itself will be running small, MUN style debates every other week, as well as attending other MUN conferences nationwide.
If you would like to get involved, find out about these events or simply find out more about the PAIRS society as a whole, and the other events we do, then please either check out our facebook at www.facebook.com/ uwepairs, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, a huge thank you to all involved, and for all the hard work put into making the weekend such a huge success!