My Experience With VMUN 2017

A month ago, the 2017 Vancouver Model United Nations conference appeared to be nothing more than this far-off, distant event that I simply didn’t have the time to worry about. After all, my time was predominantly occupied with the plethora of tests and assignments that came with the grade 12 year. But before I could even turn my attention to researching my assignment for the conference, I was seated next to the Director of the CIA, the Attorney General, and directly across from President Nixon in one of the most advanced committees offered in VMUN 2017. Using the hastily scrapped together position paper that I wrote as guidance, I managed to stumble my way through the first disastrous committee session. Having been assigned the position of Vice President Spiro Agnew in Nixon’s Cabinet of 1969, I was terrified to speak. For the first hour of the conference, my hand clenched onto the placard in front of me. Yet for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to lift it. What if a delegate recognizes a fault in my political stance? What if they begin to think that I’m not suited for this role? It was a feeling that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Despite having attended a dozen MUN conferences over the years as delegate, staff, and secretariat, this was only the second time that I had been assigned to a crisis committee, the first being several years ago. After calming my slight bout of anxiety, I finally managed to steel myself and participate. And once I dove into the discussion, I realized that there’s really nothing to be afraid of. Despite everyone in the committee being the type of students that are heavily dedicated to discussing politics, they were still just students. The dull, monotonous argument about the Vietnam War and Soviet investments in the Middle East became a thrilling debate of passing directives, hidden agendas, and voracious campaigning. After three days of heated discussion, I’ve to come to realize that VMUN 2017 was one of the best conferences that I have ever attended. With the FBI and CIA merging into one organization (DICC), the House Majority Leader Carl Albert being deemed as an Asian spy (and later being elected as the 38th US President), and the nation-wide production of Nixon Boots (affectionately known as Noots), it’s quite evident that what played out in Nixon’s Cabinet at VMUN 2017 was far from what actually took place. Nevertheless, it was because of the hilarity, passion, and friendships that were made throughout the conference that I couldn’t help but have such an incredible time. Not only did VMUN 2017 allow me to gain insight on the progression of events during the Cold War and the American Congress, it also taught me that the value of Model UN is above being a simple platform for awards. MUN is a world of potential; it is an opportunity to discover your passions, your talents, and your thirst for knowledge. As the motto for VMUN states: “Diplomacy is not a spectator’s sport”. If it is our moral obligation as the residents of this world to create a positive impact, then Model United Nations is a place for you to find your voice.

 

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