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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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