Tackling Global Issues: Student Reflections on Model UN

Members of the Model United Nations club recently attended UCLA’s BruinMUN Conference, where they simulated the proceedings of the UN and debated topics from immigration to chemical weapons. Four delegates shared their experiences with us.

Morey '15
Morey ’15
I represented Romania in the European Union. The EU was an interesting committee because, as a union of closely aligned nations, there were no real political enemies. Instead of having to navigate the political intricacies that often happen behind the scenes of the UN, I could really focus on ideas and solutions. We debated restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian immigration to other EU countries and an EU-wide bailout of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. The first topic was very interesting because, as Romania, I had to find a balance between the conflicting desires to have Romania treated like any other EU country and to restrict emigration of skilled workers from Romania. I ultimately took a position that supported easing migration restrictions while simultaneously stimulating the Romanian and Bulgarian economies. The second topic boiled down to a debate about austerity vs. stimulus, which I also find very interesting. Overall, it was a really fun conference and I learned a lot.
Ally '16
Ally ’16
At UCLA, Sebastian and I represented the Republic of India in the United Nations Development Program, a program that covers issues that developing countries face. Specifically, my committee discussed the eradication of extreme poverty and how to help countries develop lasting infrastructure in a post-war era. We discussed the two topics thoroughly and passed a total of nine resolutions covering the two topics. In our resolutions we turned to specific NGOs and government organizations to help support developing countries and provide money, technology and education to countries riddled by war and poverty.
Zan '17
Zan ’17
At the conference, Bobby ’17 and I represented the Republic of India. We were on DISEC, the Disarmament and International Security Committee, and our topics were chemical weapons and space. During our discussion of chemical weapons, most of the group agreed that chemical weapons had to be contained. We began to push for maintaining some chemical weapons for the purpose of creating a more interesting debate. We passed almost all of our resolutions, including one that used ramen noodles to find chemical weapons. The debate about space was shorter; most of its focus was on transparency. As India, we disagreed with the concept because we believed that state secrets are necessary. Overall, the conference was challenging because few delegates stuck to their assigned country’s positions on the issues.
Sebastian '18
Sebastian ’18

At BruinMUN, Ally and I represented the Republic of India in the United Nations Development Program, which tries to help developing countries put more infrastructure in place. As it was my first MUN experience, I was surprised by the range of people present. Many people had memorized speeches, while some others weren’t paying that much attention at all. I generally didn’t talk that much, but when I did I often inquired about a previous statement that may not have made a lot of sense. Overall, it was quite enjoyable and I’d like to go to more.
David '18
David ’18

At BruinMUN, I represented India on the Economic and Social Council, discussing the Millennium Development Goals set for countries by the UN and courses for Sustainable Development that countries could follow. I was the only person representing India on this issue and as this was my first MUN conference, I was more of an observer than a fully active participant. However, while much of my time was spent observing and analyzing the well-thought out speeches and details that the other delegates were presenting, I also worked in small groups with countries that had similar motives as I did, sharing ideas and creating resolutions. I was surprised by the amount of time some people had spent preparing for the conference and the fact that they were being graded on their performance. Overall, I found it to be a very enjoyable experience and I look forward to participating in future conferences.