This blog post is a compilation of stories that people have sent to me about their NZ Model UN experiences. No one could better describe the experience of NZ Model UN than these passionate alumni. For first time delegates who are feeling apprehensive about whether to register – read on to get a feel for what the conference is like and see what you have to look forward to at the event. And for past participants who are feeling nostalgic, relive your favourite memories and register this year as a conference assistant.
My last NZ Model UN was in 2012 in my final year of high school. Imagine a room of 250 overly excited high school students ready to engage in debate, eager to interact with each other and most importantly, expand their knowledge on a varied range of topics. NZ Model UN is what many call the flagship event of the year and 2012 did not disappoint. I was representing World Vision, a non-governmental organisation, and this new group of representation would expand my ideas and ultimately my knowledge on how another facet of the United Nations functions. I had two major highlights for my 2012 NZMUN experience. The first was being selected as one of the New Zealand School’s Delegates to The Hague International Model United Nations. The second was Harry Tothill’s (this year’s coordinator) impression of Voldemort and Jerome (last year’s coordinator) as Captain Planet in their epic battle on the plenary session in the last day. UN Youth and New Zealand Model United Nations has always meant for me a week of socialising, in depth thought on topics I had never thought of and connections with so many others. NZ Model UN truly fulfils the purpose of inspiring global citizens.
After attending NZMUN 2011, applying for the next conference was a no-brainer. The chance to catch up with all of the amazing people I had met the year before was not something I would have passed up easily. Plus, this time I had an ulterior motive; I was gunning to be a part of THIMUN 2013 (a trip everyone should definitely look into). It was just as I remembered, the people, the laughs and an overall amazing time. This time I was representing North Korea (DPRK), providing me with a lot of great chances for intense and rewarding debate. But as well as all of that, the dinners, the ball, everything about the conference was geared towards creating such an amazing few days for the delegates. It was one of the most entertaining weeks I have had and when I look back to how apprehensive I was before my first conference I can’t help but laugh a little, and to top it all off, I got in to THIMUN.
My favourite memory from NZ Model UN is a hard one to choose because those four days were one of the main highlights of my year. The best moment would have to be when my name was called in the plenary session when I was announced as a member of the New Zealand Delegation to THIMUN 2013. What NZMUN gave me was the opportunity to meet like-minded people and participate in some challenging debate. The outreach program taught me that giving up a few hours of my time to volunteer really does make a difference and is something I’ve continued to do whenever I can.
One of my highlights of NZ Model UN last year was having a diplomat from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who was our committee’s expert speaker, go over the resolution I had written with the delegates, as if it was at the real UN. His session really helped inform the debate, and it was so rewarding to see the delegates engaging with the issue of democratisation, especially after a diplomat had just talked them through what he thought were its faults, from his perspective and work experience. Another, unrelated, highlight, would be getting to be Paula Abdul when judging the interpretative dance contest- UN Youth members are talented across the board.
My favourite NZ Model UN memory is always Regional Grouping Dinners. After debating resolutions all day, there is nothing more exciting than going out for dinner with people in your regional groups – every year I’ve met heaps of new people. It’s also great to get a taste of the food from your country’s region – in the past I’ve slurped noodles and whirled lazy susans in Asia Pacific, burnt my tongue on hot chillies with GRULAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) and eaten a bizarre cinnamon-flavoured lasagne creation in Northern Africa. It’s always exciting wondering what weird and wacky experience each region will bring!
I’ve had a lot of magic moments during the 5 NZ Model UNs I’ve been to, a particularly memorable feeling is that of waking up after the final day conference and missing everyone like crazy also known as the post-Model UN blues! I keep coming back to NZ Model UN as it is an unparalleled educational and social opportunity where you can meet like-minded people from all over the country. It always amazes me how often I bump into people from NZ Model UN a year or two or even more down the track and seeing the amazing things they have accomplished since I last saw them. NZ Model UN is a place where global citizens emerge through the intensely enjoyable few days of the conference and for that it will always have a special meaning to me.
Thank you so much to the contributors. The NZ Model Un 2013 committee can’t wait to recreate the experience for a new group of people in July.
Registrations are open from now until the end of April. Places are filling up so register as soon as possible to secure a place at this year’s conference.
See you there!