Model UN at UCLA Hosts its 21st Annual BruinMUN Conference

by Xinrui Xue on November 17, 2013

This recap article was provided by Utkarsh Pandey, Editor-in-Chief of the International Press, and Jeremy Gonzaga, MUN at UCLA’s Director of Marketing.

Delegates arrive at BruinMUN 2013's opening ceremonies.

Delegates arrive at BruinMUN 2013’s opening ceremonies

Held on the University of California, Los Angeles’s beautiful campus from November 9-10, this year’s Bruin Model United Nations conference marked the 21st anniversary of this prestigious event. Over 1100 delegates were in attendance, discussing pressing topics ranging from the international proliferation of small arms to the rights of indigenous people in countries like Rwanda and Myanmar.

At opening ceremonies, President Mark Warwick began the proceedings by touching on the importance of Model UN in character building and skill-development, while Secretary-General Patrick Donovan stressed the importance of diplomacy in daily life. Rob Deutschman, founder of the Water Buffalo Club charity, spoke briefly on how high school students can become involved in their communities and make a difference in some of the humanitarian topics discussed in committee; the conference raised over $2000 for the Water Buffalo Club charity, twice its original goal. His Excellency Dr. Kantathi Suphamongkon, former Foreign Minister of Thailand was the keynote speaker for the conference and gave the delegates advice on international relations through humorous anecdotes in his own experience as a diplomat.

MUN President Mark Warwick, keynote speaker Kantathi Suphamongkhon, and BruinMUN Secretary-General Patrick Donovan.

MUN President Mark Warwick, keynote speaker Kantathi Suphamongkhon, and BruinMUN Secretary-General Patrick Donovan

Sticking to tradition, BruinMUN’s twenty committees were composed almost entirely of organs of the United Nations. These committees debated the problems facing the world today: from Iran’s stance on Nuclear Power in the IAEA, to the provision of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in the ECOSOC. In addition, BruinMUN 2013 saw the return and expansion of the highly lauded Novice committees, which were used to school less experienced delegates on the nuances of MUN. Although focused mainly on General Assembly style committees, BruinMUN offered a few specialized crisis committees, the most notable being the simulation of the KGB in 1956, which saw a slew of assassinations and depositions, culminating in an invasion of UNICEF by KGB forces due to a minor dispute over the use of child soldiers.

Although consisting mostly of UN-related committees, BruinMUN also offered specialized committees such as the KGB in 1956.

Although consisting mostly of UN-related committees, BruinMUN also offered specialized committees such as the KGB in 1956

One distinctive aspect of BruinMUN 2013 that set it apart from other conferences was the inclusion of an International Press, which provided a critical analysis of committee proceedings via social media and a newsletter, the ComMUNiqué.

UCLA’s 21st BruinMUN offered interaction through technology and various forms of social media. Sarah Kirk, the External Director, highlighted the implementation of an “[online] feedback system to cater directly to the needs delegates and advisors”, as well as committee Twitter accounts and a Facebook page.

A print version of BruinMUN 2013's newsletter, the ComMUNiqué. Releases by the International Press were also announced in committee and posted online.

A print version of BruinMUN 2013’s newsletter, the ComMUNiqué. Releases by the International Press were also announced in committee and posted online

After two days and five committee sessions, delegates, advisors and BruinMUN staff congregated for closing ceremonies. In addition to individual committee awards, BruinMUN also presented school delegation awards. The Best Small Delegation Award went to Mountain View High School, with the Best Large Delegation Award going to Huntington Beach High School and the Best California Delegation Award going to Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. The Bruin Award, traditionally presented to the delegation that embodies the spirit of BruinMUN and Model UN the best, went to Temecula Model United Nations.

With over 1100 delegates in attendance, BruinMUN 2013 had its "highest registration numbers in recent history".

With over 1100 delegates in attendance, BruinMUN 2013 saw its “highest registration numbers in recent history”

Delegates in 4th SPD discuss the situation in DR Congo.

Unmoderated caucus on the situation in DR Congo in 4th SPD

Co-delegates get ready to make a speech in the IAEA.

Co-delegates get ready to make a speech in the IAEA

The Water Buffalo Club was chosen as the official charity because it was "local and at a size and level so that [BruinMUN] can be a partner to them."

The Water Buffalo Club was chosen as the conference’s official charity because it was “local and at a size and level so that [BruinMUN] can be a partner to them”

Delegates collaborate on working papers outside of committee.

Delegates collaborate on working papers outside of committee

Historical crisis committees allowed delegates to take a "what-if" perspective on history.

Historical crisis committees allowed delegates to take a “what-if” perspective on history

In the African Union, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, and Libya discuss the possibility of military intervention in Mali.

In the African Union, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, and Libya discuss the possibility of military intervention in Mali

The Security Council discussed key issues such as the situation in Syria.

The Security Council discussed key issues such as the situation in Syria

Delegates in Novice DISEC make a speech. BruinMUN's Novice committees were aimed to be "more developmental than competitive".

Delegates in Novice UNICEF make a speech. BruinMUN’s Novice committees were aimed to be “more developmental than competitive”

BruinMUN 2013 closing ceremonies in Ackerman Union.

BruinMUN 2013 closing ceremonies in Ackerman Union

The dais of Novice UNICEF posing with the Best Delegate award winners, Kenya.

The dais of Novice UNICEF posing with the Best Delegate award winners, Kenya.

BruinMUN 2013 Sec-Gen Patrick Donovan remarked that, "Model United Nations, regardless of whether you learn the policies, offers a lot of life skills—negotiating, writing, analyzing—that are applicable to the entire professional world, not just necessarily one career path”

BruinMUN 2013 Sec-Gen Patrick Donovan remarked that, “Model United Nations, regardless of whether you learn the policies, offers a lot of life skills—negotiating, writing, analyzing—that are applicable to the entire professional world, not just necessarily one career path”

More pictures of BruinMUN 2013 can be found below:
Best Delegate BruinMUN Album
BruinMUN International Press General Conference Album
BruinMUN International Press Closing Ceremonies Album

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