Last weekend, the 25th anniversary of McMUN, the biggest conference north of the border, hit Montreal for four days of intense debate through adventurous and challenging committees that, as per McMUN tradition, pushed the boundaries of committee expectations.
The conference opened with a keynote speech from Canada’s ambassador to the UN Guillermo E. Rishchynski who spoke of the lasting importance of the UN as a vessel geared “not to take us to heaven, but to save us from hell.”
With the drop of the gavel from Secretary General Abdaal Mazhar Shafi, McMUN was officially underway. While many of the delegates headed to their first committee session, those participating in the three General Assemblies had the chance to attend McMUN’s Global Leadership Forum which featured six of speakers including the first Canadian astronaut and Liberal Party of Canada House Leader Dr. Marc Garneau.
The Global Leadership Forum, which sought to inspire delegates to pursue their positive actions in committee outside of it as well, was but one of McMUN’s initiatives to incite change as the conference raised over $2500 for charity:water, a non-profit aimed at bringing clean water to people in developing nations.
As for the committees themselves and McMUN’s history of creating unique and exciting discussion, 2014 certainly did not disappoint.
In the General Assemblies, the UNTC discussed relevant and pressing topics such as Palestinian and Kurdish statehood, passing resolutions on both. The UNTC also spent a large amount of time debating similar issues of statehood, but under fictional circumstances, a hypothetical secessionist state in Northern Nigeria, in order to better understand the issue without the burden of geopolitical precedence.
As for the ECOSOCs, one of McMUNs flagship committees, the World Water Forum 2039, was quickly revealed to be a hidden crisis and delegates were tasked with resolving a global water shortage under intense time pressure.
McMUN 2014 played host to its first ever joint Specialized Agency which saw the Dubai committee overcome Guangzhou in their bids for the 2020 World Fair.
In perhaps McMUNs strongest committee type the crisis, the first ever McMUN quad-joint committee pitted the three rival factions of the filipino People Power Revolution of 1986 against each other with constant intervention from the UN Security Council.
The DEFCON Countdown committee used technology to enhance debate as North Korea and China fought South Korea and the United States through a real-time simulation that used a shared digital map.
While maintaining a consistently high level of debate, McMUN is also well-known on the collegiate circuit for its social events and Friday’s pub crawl attracted nothing short of 1000 delegates. Those who braved the cold spent the evening experiencing all of Montreal’s downtown bar scene before ending the night at Jet Club.
Perhaps the most well-known event on the entire collegiate circuit, McParté, saw its fiercest manifestation yet as local Montreal DJs created an atmosphere unlike any other for some near 1500 delegates and staff in what was the fitting celebration of a great weekend.
As the conference came to a close, McMUN saw many delegations claim awards from the weekends, but it was Georgetown and West Point who left the bitter north as Best Large Delegation and Best Small Delegation respectively.
All photos courtesy of McMUN 2014