Jun 7, 2018
Written By: Shirley Yen (顏瑜萱)
Photo Credit: Naomi Wang (王乙絜)
The National Taiwan University (NTU) International College Provisional Office and the NTU Model United Nations (MUN) Club co-hosted a sharing session during which the NTUMUN delegation to the annual National Model United Nations (NMUN) 2018 shares their experience in the conference and in New York City.
National Model United Nations (NMUN) is the largest intercollegiate Model United Nations (UN) conference in the world. It aims at enhancing participants’ understanding of contemporary global issues, providing them a platform for discussion and communication to reach cooperative solutions to ongoing unresolved conflicts.
NMUN emphasizes on the educational aspect of Model UN conferences. With formal sessions in committees and informal caucuses during suspensions of the meeting, participants are able to exchange different viewpoints and resolution ideas, broadening the horizons of them while strengthening their ability to advocate for their own voices through diplomacy.
NMUN has worked with the UN, and has invited UN Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali; and Deputy Secretaries-General Amina J. Mohammed and Jan Eliasson to serve as conference keynote speakers. The UN also provides assistance by sending officials as advisory group members. The UN General Assembly Hall is generally used as the venue for the final session of the New York conferences. Starting from 2007, NMUN has begun holding annual conferences in Washington, DC; and since 2008, NMUN has expanded to hosting international conferences with overseas partners.
Attending an international conference, involving in intense discussions using a language that is not a mother tongue of yours, and meeting competitive representatives from countries all around the world, these do not sound like easy jobs. Nonetheless, the NTUMUN Delegation has been attending the NMUN New York conference, the largest intercollegiate Model UN conference in the world, year after year, with the goal of being global citizens that actively engage in discussions on international issues. To members of the NTUMUN club and their delegation team, Model UN conferences represent more than just places to sharpen their English speaking and writing skills. To them, these platforms are where they expand knowledge about the globe and human society by communications and exchanges of viewpoints. NTUMUN continuously seeks to immerse itself in international conferences such as NMUN with the heart of understanding more about the diverse aspects of our global communities.
Without a doubt, another attractive aspect of the NMUN New York conference is its location. Hosted at venues at the heart of Manhattan, New York City (NYC), the conference not only assist attendees to grow academically within the sessions, but allows them experience the buoyant atmosphere of the megacity. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art are both well-known for their spectacular exhibits. The American Museum of Natural History is a must-go if you would like to dig deeper into the stories of our mother Earth. To know more about American history, the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum and Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site could be good choices. If you would like to witness the fast pace of the NYC living style, do not forget to take a walk in Time Square, and to visit the famous Wall Street. And the even more appealing feature of this metropolitan is unquestionably the Broadway shows, for which you could nights after nights, plunging yourself into the beautiful singing voices and choreographies.
The NMUN New York conference provides not just the educational experiences, but also the opportunities to immerse yourself in the unique culture and lively ambiance of New York City.
One of the biggest features of the NMUN NY conference is that the final session is held at the UN General Assembly Hall at the UN Headquarters. However, Taiwanese delegations to NMUN NY has faced difficulties in attending the final session due to Taiwan’s status, as Taiwan is not an entity officially recognized as a country by the UN. This year, due to a policy change, the UN implemented a stricter security check, requiring all attendees to present both their NMUN ID and passport. The NTUMUN delegation was prohibited from entering the venue as delegates were holding Taiwanese passports. With the assistance from NMUN staff members and Taiwanese officials at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, the delegation was finally admitted to the venue after a long administrative process.
The incident truthfully reflects the current status of Taiwan in the international community: when it comes to events involving Taiwan’s political status, it is unavoidable that our citizens face unpleasant circumstances like this. Taiwan stands at a disadvantaged position. The NTUMUN delegation said that having been hit by the harsh reality, they were extremely upset, but at the same time realized how important it is to continue in joining international events like NMUN. Only by constant, active participation could Taiwanese citizens voice their thoughts and avoid from being neglected due to our country status. And only by experiencing and accepting the reality could we fully understand our own country, and thus seek means to improve our condition.
To ensure that the NTUMUN delegation team is prepared to face the challenge in the conference, the officers of the club began selecting their representative members through a tryout process early in the fall semester of each academic year, roughly starting in late October or early November. The officers elect one or more Head Delegate(s) among themselves that will be leading the team to the conference. The Head Delegate works jointly with the administrative and academic branches of the club to apply for joining the conference and to provide sufficient trainings to members of the team once they are selected.
The tryout process is open to all collegiate students in Taiwan, and begins with an online registration form that is required from all those who plan to precede to the next stages of the tryout. Tryout attendees are then asked to join all sessions, during which the officers examine their proficiency in delivering speeches, communication techniques, document writing skills, and their abilities to debate. For inexperienced individuals who do not possess much experience in Model UN or similar activities, the club provides lectures and workshops to enhance their skills and readiness for the tryout sessions. The Head Delegate and the academic department of the club then select a number of members on the team.
Once selected as a part of the delegation team, members then undergo a series of intense academic trainings to prepare them even more for the conference. The training sessions generally take place starting in the winter break, and extends to March until the team departs for the conference.
With years of hard work, the NTUMUN delegation gained their position and voice at the NMUN New York conference. In 2017, the delegation team won a total of 4 individual awards: the Best Delegation Award in Security Council and three Best Position Paper Awards in General Assembly 1st Committee, General Assembly 2nd Committee, and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Starting from 2017, the NTUMUN delegation has won the Honorable Mention Delegation Award for two consecutive years.
NTUMUN seeks to challenge itself even more in future years to come, aiming at passionately participating in international conferences, with the goal to boost its engagement in global discussions, to further strengthen its academic level, and to connect to the world.
NTUMUN wholeheartedly invites all who seeks challenge to join them on this extraordinary adventure.