Oxford Model United Nations 2015

OSYKYn aktiivi Krista kävi FinMUNin mukana edustamassa Oxfordissa malli-YK-tapahtumassa. Lue Kristan kokemuksista unohtumattomalla reissulla! FinMUNista voi lukea lisää täältä.

I decided to apply to Oxford International Model United Nations conference as a first-timer, with absolutely no previous MUN experience. It is also possible to apply to each conference as an individual delegate, but attending the conference as part of the FinMUN delegation, gave me a lot of comfort. I have always been interested in a career in the United Nations even though I haven’t quite known what it means in practice. Through a Model United Nations conference I got to feel, up to a certain point, what it could be like to have a career in international relations.

I felt absolutely astonished and amazed arriving to the old university city of Oxford, as the grandiose medieval building surrounded me. On the first day, we registered to the conference and got our name badges, county placards, maps, schedules, Oxford MUN pens, briefcases, USB sticks etc. Before even entering the opening ceremony I had already met around 20 delegates from different countries, as all where going around introducing their selves to everybody. Immediately, I felt very welcomed by everybody and interested to learn more about each and every one of the delegates. The conference itself was pretty big (around 600 people), however, very well managed. After the opening ceremony, we were divided into our assigned committees to start the sessions, and I was part of the UNHCR, which is also known as the refugee committee. I was representing the Republic of the Philippines.

As a first-timer, the committee sessions were overwhelming in the beginning to say the least. I had only read about the rules of procedures and not seen what they are like in practice. Most of the delegates were shamelessly ambitious, active and ready to give their best in the debate right from the start. It took be a while to get the hang of the debate but once I did, I realized that I really enjoyed it. An advice for all first-timers: talk as soon as possible in the committee session, as it gets harder to speak for the first time, the longer you wait. There were around 16 hours of committee sessions, as in 16 hours of debate. The quality of the debate remained really high at most times, and our chairs were very professional and made the sessions work very effectively and fluently.

As a counterweight to the intensive committee sessions, the conference also included some fantastic social events. On Friday, we had a delegate reception inside the oldest university museum in the world, Ashmolean Museum. On Saturday, we attended a lovely dinner in an old building that resembled the Great Hall of Hogwards, and continued the night to a one of the biggest nightclubs in Oxford. And on Sunday, after the conference ended, there was a post-conference cocktail party, which was a good opportunity to unwind and reminisce our memories of the weekend.

On Sunday, after our last committee session, we had some fun games and also an “award ceremony” where we voted which delegate was the most likely to turn into a dictator, the party delegate, the most sleepy delegate etc. Even though I didn’t get any academic recognition, I was quite happy and amused to get the award for the “best dressed” delegate in my committee. I made many friends from all over the world, mostly from my committee but also from the FinMUN delegation, as I had actually never met my fellow delegates before Oxford.

All in all, this is a weekend I will remember forever. It was truly an amazing experience as it gave me fun memories, but also real knowledge and confidence. I am sure to attend another MUN conference in 2016. I strongly recommend model United Nations to everyone who hasn’t tried it already! I’m sure that the more conferences you attend, the more fun you will have.

 

-Krista Heinonen

 

 

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