On the collegiate Model UN circuit, there is no conference like McMUN. Many conferences boast a diverse host of delegations in attendance, but the McGill University Model United Nations Conference is truly an international conference on the North American circuit. College students from all corners of the world convene in Montreal, Canada, to experience the challenging academic endeavors in McMUN’s twenty-five committees and social opportunities across the city.
The Opening Ceremonies delivered a true Canadian experience, with bagpipers leading the Secretariat through the Le Sheraton ballroom, and the Canadian National Anthem serenated by the McGill choir. The keynote speaker, Captain Al Hamili, highlighted McMUN’s overarching theme of Gender Equality, challenging all delegates to unite under one thematic goal. Al Hamili was the first-ever female Emirati pilot, at just the age of sixteen. She was also the first woman in the UAE to head a diplomatic mission, the Permanent Mission of the UAE on the ICAO Council, and the youngest Emirati Representative to the ICAO. Al Hamili speaks across the international community on gender equality in civil aviation and diplomacy, and was a highlight of the weekend.
In the UN Security Council, P-5 members vowed to maintain control in various cartel crises and attempted Russian intervention of a NATO member, while exploring the theme of humanitarian intervention versus respect national sovereignty. In the Supreme Court, delegates debated the Individual Mandate and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Arab League of 1956 oversaw a movement against colonialism and the construction of an Arab defense force. In Ad Hoc, delegates were thrusted into a tense NATO versus Russia crises and then the cabinet of President Donald Trump. Delegates in the Peacekeeping Committee addressed inter-operational abuses, WHO on vaccinations, and SOCHUM addressed Hydro-diplomacy and DISEC focused on Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
Here are a few highlights of what made McMUN so special:
The Book Award
A highlight of McMUN Closing Ceremonies is the book award. No college conference besides McGill disseminates the Book Award. Distributed to hard working delegates at Closing Ceremonies, the Book Award is something that encompasses the spirit of McMUN. The Book Award is given out to delegates that capture the very purpose of the committee, proving they understand the true meaning and implications of their topics, and embody the diplomacy and initiative of United Nations Ambassadors. Along with a certificate, delegates receive a book about the topic of committee.
All delegates understand that a conference staff can make or break the weekend. McMUN understood this, and ensured their staff was full of enthusiastic, passionate students. Staffer Vareesha Khan believed that it was the diverse interests of staffers that cemented McMUN’s success, stating “I think McMUN benefits from its staff coming from all walks of life. Everyone has their own passions and experiences that shows clearly at the conference. Montreal is, for me, one of the few places where people are truly accepting of differences.”
McMUN Secretary General and former Diplomacy Fellow at the Best Delegate Model UN Institute , Marta Canneri, believes that this atmosphere was possible through the shared objective to make McMUN an enhanced experience. They reformed the roles of Secretariat and staff organization to deliver an amplified McMUN like never before:
“Apart from the high calibre of its attendees, what made McMUN 2016 so special for me were the small but meaningful changes we made in each portfolio. Every secretariat member – from our Chief of Operations, to our Chargée D’Affaires, to our Chief of Staff – was empowered to innovate and improve their portfolio in their own way. These changes, though not groundbreaking – for example, we doubled our scholarship money for delegates, improved our ROPs training for dais members, and had a conference app – worked together to make, in aggregate, a better conference.”
Lastly, congratulations to the universities who were the recipients of delegation awards!
Best Large: Georgetown University
Outstanding Large: Michigan State University
Best Small: Florida International University
Outstanding Small: the Ohio State University