Honourable Secretaries General, lovely Presidency of the General Assembly, hard working Conference Management, distinguished Delegates, fellow Guests and of course the beautiful Ad Staff,
It’s been a while since I last stood on this stage, in this room.
My name is David, I am 21 years old and in my final semester studying mechanical engineering. I have attended 4 international MUNs during my time in school and I was one of the first ones jumping on board, organizing this conference the first time in 2015. I’m truly amazed this conference is still up and running.
Because I remember thinking to myself after organizing an MUN for the first time “why the hell did we do this to ourselves?” and “there’s nothing in this world that could make me do this again.”
But something did make me do it again – again and again. Even after I graduated, I continued to support this conference through the Alumni Club.
When I was asked to speak about how MUNs and especially AMUN have influenced me, it took me a while. On first thought even a MUN-fan like me didn’t see a direct link between MUNs and my mechanical engineering studies. But a few moments later it struck me, MUNs did only have a little effect on the things I do, but had a large impact on how I do them:
Through MUN I learned to structure my research. All of you, or at least hopefully all of you, wrote a Position Paper on the topics that will be discussed. I understand if you didn’t enjoy this, trust me I didn’t either at first. But this little exercise will
A) get easier and more fun in the future and
B) thought me to structure my research on any given topic.
Furthermore, you will have to follow a very structured debate, believe me when I say that there is no way around that. – I tried
But you will also learn to respect different points of view, even if you completely disagree. You will learn to work together on an issue and hopefully find a compromise that pleases as many parties as possible.
This ability, to find compromises between different parties or points of view helped me a lot in my studies. Being able to negotiate between bull-headed students and sometimes even professors saves you a lot of time and blood pressure issues.
Sometimes during this debate, you need to react fast and then it is your time to shine. Reacting in a fast manner to an argument or a tricky question with little preparation might be hard and daunting but if you face the situation and overcome it – congratulations you have just unlocked another skill. Being able to spontaneously craft and present an argument in front of an audience will help you during your time in High-School and wherever life will take you afterwards.
Apart from all that, you will have to socialize, you will need to find partners that support you and you will need to learn the art of the deal. Maybe there is someone in the committee you cannot bear. But there will be people in the committee you are going to call a friend in years’ time. MUNs offer a fantastic community with great people from places you have never even heard of. And with whom you will generate memories you would not dare to think about at this point in time
This is what you can gain from an MUN. But what you make from it is totally up to you.
As far as I know a lot of you delegates are first timers. I sat there too, I know how intimidating it is to sit there and listen to what’s expected of you. I know It’s intimidating to speak in English in front of an audience.
Even more so if you must discuss these pressing and complicated issues
And as if that wouldn’t be enough, you’re also thrown into this world of motions, points and dress codes. But I promise you that if you have courage and are not afraid to make mistakes. If you are open minded and wiling to socialize. If you take the floor and give speeches. You will be rewarded.
To sum it all up, I guess what I’m trying to say is – let yourself get caught up with the famous MUN-spirit and make the most of AMUN 2019.