This recap was provided by Anansh Prasad, Honorary Secretary General of Mumbai MUN 2013.
Knowledge, oration, comprehensive debate, networking and excellence; all packaged together and swathed with the months of relentless hard work led to the second edition of Mumbai Model United Nations (Mumbai MUN) becoming a massive success. The MUN was organized under the guidance of the Mumbai MUNners’ Association by NMIMS’ Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering and the Management Society-TSEC from 22nd February to 24th February, 2013 in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan.
What makes Mumbai MUN different is not only the omnipresent spirit of Mumbai which epitomizes uniqueness in diversity but also the mix of participants from different age groups, countries and backgrounds. Students from Afghanistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh and a few other countries were a part of this eclectic set of ignited minds. They debated alongside delegates from all over India and of course with delegates belonging to the ‘City of Dreams’-Mumbai!
It would be incorrect to call Mumbai MUN simply an MUN. In today’s scenario where MUNs are being organized all over the countryside and at a rate probably faster than the speed of light, Mumbai MUN has continued to follow old school norms that have ensured MUNning has received the popularity which it enjoys today which unfortunately is getting affected due to the large scale commercialization of MUNning today.
Mumbai MUN has been a movement spearheaded by all the experienced delegates on the Mumbai MUNning circuit and a dream which took years to transform into reality when in 2012, Mumbai MUN was finally organized by a highly motivated and passionate team led by the founders, Anansh Prasad and Bhavik Muni. The whole purpose of organizing this conference is to ensure that students go back home having broadened their outlooks and expanded their horizons by having participated in active decision making processes and having learnt the art of diplomacy. Theme based debate and sole focus on diplomacy has been the hallmark of Mumbai MUN.
“We do not believe that an MUN’s success can be measured in terms of the number of delegates that are a part of it. We believe that a successful MUN is one in which there is a plausible, comprehensive and most importantly original draft resolutions that every committee comes up with via comprehensive discussions, negotiations and collective participation of all participating delegates. We furthermore do not believe in having more than 50 delegates per committee simply because the possibilities of active participation reduce drastically for every delegate from there on due to increasing numbers. Quantity in our belief can never replace quality and hence we keep a cap of 400 delegates for the conference”, says Anansh Prasad, Co-Founder of Mumbai MUN and the Mumbai MUNners’ Association.
The theme for Mumbai MUN 2013 was ‘South Asia and the Far East’. Mumbai MUN always keeps a theme in order to ensure that all agendas in the various committees are related to a particular region of the world. After having successfully discussed the region of ‘North Africa and the Middle East’ in its first edition, the second addition witnessed active discussion and proposed solutions for major issues in the region of South Asia and the Far East. Issues such as demilitarization of the South China Sea region, the Swat Valley, the imminent death of ancient languages of indigenous people of the Far East, the issue of Tibet, the human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims in Western Myanmar among many other issues were discussed in 8 different committees based on their mandates and focus areas. Mumbai MUN believes in simulating traditionally UN centric committees. This year the committees that were simulated were the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assemblies (DISEC, ECOFIN, SOCHUM and SPECPOL), the United Nations Human Rights Commission, UNESCO and one special committee-SAARC. You can see the entire list of agendas for each of these committees and the study guides by following the given links:
Committees and Agendas- http://www.mumbaimun.com/?page=agendas
Study Guides- http://www.mumbaimun.com/?page=resources
Mumbai MUN was very lucky to see the active participation of 400 delegates of all ages ably guided by an extremely distinguished Executive Board from all over India and parts of South Asia who collectively ensured that every issue was discussed in a way that every aspect was covered. It was heartening to see the genuine concern that delegates of the UNHRC had for the safety and human rights of Rohingya Muslims ensuring that feasible measures were suggested in the draft resolution which were completely in accordance with the contents of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This trend was prevalent across every committee for every agenda that was discussed. Delegates of the DISEC came up with valid solutions to ensure demilitarization of the South China Sea region while not compromising on their foreign policies, the UNSC delegates effectively discussed further nation building and safety measures in Timor Leste, delegates of the SAARC discussed the pros and cons of having a common currency while delegates of the various other committees showed exemplary diplomacy while discussing their agendas. Delegates well and truly considered themselves members and representatives of their respective delegations.
Mumbai MUN also believes that it is of paramount importance that delegates come well prepared for the conference. It is for this reason that it came up with an online MUN workshop on YouTube which was prerecorded by Anansh Prasad, one of Mumbai’s most experienced MUNners which talked about not only rules of procedure but also about how should carry out research and follow the mandates of various committees. These are the links:
The workshop was very well received and ensured that first time delegates got a very good feel of the entire MUNning process. This step was taken to ensure that Mumbai MUN could reach out to all possible delegates not limited to those only residing in Mumbai,
While ensuring that debate is given paramount importance, we make sure that delegates have ample number of opportunities to socialize and have fun after a busy day of discussions. It is for this reason that we also organize socials. One of the unique events that take place at Mumbai MUN is the Global Village, an event in which foreign interns in Mumbai and international delegates set up stalls where they socialize with the delegates, enlighten them about their cultures and traditions and also introduce them to their cuisines. This event ensures that people from all over the world bond with each other while having a great time dancing, singing and participating in various other games. On the second day of the conference, delegates got to be a part of an informal social night which saw let their hair down in the evening post a tiring day of debate and enjoy themselves till the wee hours of morning. Needless to say, Mumbai MUN was strict about committee session and ensured that every delegate returned to committee the next day on time! Additionally, there were two panel discussions which the delegates participated in which saw some the most distinguished dignitaries from varied fields discuss issues plaguing India. To name a few, the panelists included Mr. Chandan Mitra, Mr Krishna Warrier, Ms Brinda Miller and many others.
The MUN ended with all delegates unwillingly returning back to the daily rigmarole of their respective lives with withdrawal symptoms that would take a few days to settle down and memories that would last a lifetime. The fact that Mumbai MUN 2013 witnessed participation from numerous delegates of the earlier edition is credence to the fact that Mumbai MUN is well and truly an MUN conference that delegates can’t get enough of. We believe that it really comes down to the motto of Mumbai MUN-Going Back to the Basics. So I guess for all of you who have not been a part of this movement, it’s time to book your dates for Mumbai MUN 2014 in February next year!