The 2018 MUN Experience
National Highschool Model United Nations (NHSMUN)
Anna Clara João, Maria Clara Araujo & Marina Koria
I had been anxious for MUN to arrive for months, so I was super excited on the day we flew to NY. Although we were all very tired from the flight on the first day, we had no time to waste. We visited the Grand Central Station, which is beautiful. Then, we went out for a delicious lunch at Tony’s. We couldn’t believe that we really were in New York! Oh, and it was very cold, especially compared to Rio the previous day. Obviously, I had to stop in the best bookshop ever, Barnes & Nobles to buy a few books. We went back to the hotel and unpacked our things. Even though I was very tired, Maria Clara convinced me to take a quick walk to Times Square that evening. The lights, the shops, the people; it felt too good to be true. The next day, we visited the famous Natural Museum of History; fortunately, we had the chance to see special exhibitions. The senses exhibition was very interesting; the butterfly exhibition was especially beautiful as there were live butterflies, but my favorite exposition was the one about the universe. After our trip to the museum, we visited the popular Macy's store on 34th street. On Tuesday, we started the day visiting one of my favorite museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Visiting it is like taking a voyage across the history of Art, as it has artworks from different art periods worldwide, from European Classicism to Byzantine and Asian statues. Later that day, we went to see the Broadway version of Anastasia, an amazing children’s movie loosely based on the fall of the Russian Empire. The show had amazing sets and beautiful costumes, and featured extremely talented singers and dancers.
On Wednesday, we would do our last day as tourists before the conference, so we visited the Downton Abbey exhibition nearby to the hotel. It was compelling, not only because it depicted an awesome show, but also because it explained its historical context and the changes that happened during that time. Before going back to the hotel, we wandered a bit more through the street, until it started to snow (a lot)! We decided to head back to the hotel to get ready for MUN itself. We first, attended some helpful workshops about the conference. Next, the opening ceremony took place, in a huge conference room. There were many people and we all felt a bit daunted. We listened to interesting speeches and the conference was officially open. It was time for the real deal.
Getting to our committees, we had to introduce ourselves to others and get to know who was representing which countries, and hopefully make some friends whom we could count on during the sessions. I felt a bit frustrated that my topic wasn’t chosen to be discussed, so I started researching more about my partner’s topic. On the next day we felt much more prepared and did much better on our speeches. Everybody was very well spoken, and it felt very nice to be in a room with so many bright people. Fortunately, we were also able to form an alliance with the UK representatives (as the UK and Germany are allies in real life) and exchange a few ideas to put on our working papers. It all went very well and we were able to be sponsors of the working paper. Everything was happening very fast, and we had to rush to turn them in on time. The next day, we had to merge our working papers into a draft resolution, which was a lot of work, but we managed to finish it on time. Next, some sponsors of each draft resolution had to participate in Q&A sessions, in which they had to answer questions from other delegations about their respective draft resolutions. Germany was one of the chosen delegations for our working paper, and so I had to participate in the Q&A (which was nerve-wrecking but turned out fine). The last step was to discuss the presented resolutions, propose and vote on amendments, and finally vote on the resolutions. Thankfully, our resolution passed, and we were all very happy. I couldn’t believe the conference was over, it had been so much work, but so much fun also! That Friday night we attended the “delegate dance” to relax a bit and get to meet other delegates from our and other committees. Saturday, we woke up with feeling a bit gloomy because it was the last day. We went to the UN headquarters for the closing ceremony which was amazing. It was bewildering to sit where actual delegates sit and decide on how to help solve current problems so as to try to preserve the future of the whole world.
The rest of the afternoon we packed and prepared to leave by 4pm. However, it only hit me I was leaving this incredible city when I saw the airport. We all had so much fun and it went by so fast that it was a bit sad to return home. I went on board the plane with a hopeful feeling of coming back next year.
Marina Koria - (´20)