On 9-10 December, students from our MUN club took part in the International School of London, Qatar's MUN (ISLMUN) conference. A good conference, with even greater food, our students performed admirably: out of four best delegate awards, we secured two: one for Fatima Sherif (Y11); and one for Fares Nimry (Y9). Here is what some of our students thought:
Making a Policy Statement – by first timer Tabby Beer (Y9)
Nervous, excited, and shaking slightly in the suit I am wearing for the first time in my life, I walk in to GA6 as the honourable delegate for Libya. I see lots of cramped tables in rows; I also see, gladly, that I'm not in the front row and that my friend Maya is right behind me. A girl with bright red hair comes and sits next to me. I smile at her - and she smiles back and starts talking to me like we were best friends - is what I'd like to say, but … she just stared back and huffed. What a confidence boost! Is anyone going to talk? No? Okay, we'll awkwardly sit here in silence.
The chairman booms, "We will now be reading out policy statements for 45 minutes. Are there any delegates wishing to read out their policy statements?" My nerves overtaking me, I choose not to raise my placard. A few people later, and my friend Maya raises her placard. I can do this. I can, can't I? The next round I raise my placard and hear, "The delegate of Libya, you have been recognised." I walk – or rather my nerves make we wobble - up to the front and I read out my policy statement. Phew done!
It's actually not that bad. Although I was terrified, reading it out actually made me feel a lot better and I wasn't extremely nervous anymore, sort of.
It can only get easier, can't it?
Lobbying - by first timer Maya Stafrace (Y9)
Lobbying went much better than expected. We (Tabby and I, as we were doing the same issue) immediately found ourselves surrounded by a group of smiling, intelligent people raring to write a resolution. The issue was about securing rights for workers in GCC countries. From my perspective as a first-timer, stressful, intense and extreme is how I would explain lobbying, especially when you have a certain amount of clauses to write in what seems to be such a small amount of time (1 hour and a half). Nevertheless, our plan worked a dream: a few of us edit our clauses and yet more do extra research on the issue to add bling and make sure no-one can bring it down. Soon enough, we pressed it – the send button which could determine the fate of our hard work.
The sun rose the next day and we went back to the conference bright and early, butterflies fluttering in my stomach since I was a sack of nerves as we were going to be debating – something that gets me very anxious. Our resolution was looked at second. I had all my comebacks, facts and figures written down for my time to take the podium to fight for our hard work. After the delegate for Indonesia made our opening speech, delegates of GCC countries attacked our resolution like a crowd of lions would attack a giraffe: viciously. Since these states completely opposed our views, we fought and fought. I was pretty proud of myself for being able to talk while shaking like a leaf! And then we knew … our resolution passed. It really did! 23 votes for, 4 against, and 2 abstentions. All the butterflies flew away and I was super content with this accomplishment.
It will be easier, next time, won't it?
Winning Best Delegate – by Fares Nimry (Y9)
ISLMUN was a truly magnificent experience for me and my fellow delegates. Not only did I win 'Best Delegate' in the Security Council, but most of all I had fun at wrecking everyone in the debate, as well as begging the delegate of Russia not to veto my clause (which of course he did, later). So my dreams may have been crushed, but that's not to say that I didn't enjoy mercilessly crushing the dreams of the USA and Uruguay!
In this conference I learnt about and lobbied for making a change to the challenges facing my country (Senegal) and I also learnt that from this day forward I will do anything to make sure nobody makes the mistake I made … don't go into the Security Council ever … unless you have a veto!
It is easier, and the more you do, the more fun you have too!