Model United Nations in Berlin

From November 16 to 22 ten members of the MUN club had the opportunity of representing France at the BerMUN conference in Berlin.
MUN stands for Model United Nations, where each student represents a country and has to adapt its policies in order to participate in debate. While that might often clash with personal values and opinions, it is necessary to create a rather realistic portrayal of an actual UN conference and also helps us gain a better understanding of other countries and cultures. Ultimately, we not only improve our debating skills but also widen our world view through MUN.

We depart on Monday evening from the Shanghai Pudong Airport. Following the attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad the previous week, this year’s theme of “Countering Extremism to Foster International Peace and Security” has immensely increased in relevance. Our delegates use the 11 hour flight writing and rewriting opening speeches, preparing clauses, and getting some much needed sleep.

The Berlin Model United Nations holds its opening ceremony on Wednesday, starting from speeches by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary General, and followed by the opening speeches of the member nations’ ambassadors.  While the General Assembly listens to all opening speeches, the delegates of the special councils are divided into their respective councils to lobby for the resolutions that will be debated on in the following days.
Debating at BerMUN is unlike any debate we have at our usual conferences; not only is it on a much bigger scale, the quality and level of professionalism differs from our usual antics. Despite this being the first conference for most of us (and the 16th for other delegations), we do not let that stop us from doing our abilities justice and contribute to a fruitful debate.

We certainly worked hard, but we also played hard. While at times the meetings appeared to be sleep-inducing and never-ending, we also took every chance we had to explore Berlin, with activities ranging from museum visits to visiting friends to drinking 12pm hot chocolates with Mr. C.

By the end of BerMUN our delegates not only grew much close to each other, but also seemed to have grown as people. It was a challenging, but also extremely fun experience. So fun, that we have in fact decided to hold our own MUN conference late spring this year.

If you are interested in taking part, feel free to visit our weekly meetings on Wednesday at 5pm in E3.08!

Kati Xu, 12c

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