From the 15th to the 17th of November, the United Nations Association Youth – University of Nottingham hosted its 6th annual Nottingham International Model United Nations.
Held once again within Nottingham’s iconic University Park campus – awarded greenest in the UK – the conference had its usual international character, with delegates and chairs coming from countries as far as Turkey and UAE. As the best beginner’s conference in the United Kingdom, this year’s NottsMUN went all out to provide its delegates (many of them new to the world of Model United Nations) a truly unique MUN experience. The weekend was off to a great start as delegates and delegations arrived throughout the day in high spirits!
Well-known for its trademark Future Security Council, NottsMUN 2013 went one step further and introduced a multilingual FSC with simultaneous translation in Arabic, French and Mandarin for its delegates. Watching the committee run was a real treat, with the delegates looking every bit as solemn in their representation of their countries with their headphones on and their pens at the ready. There’s nothing quite like hearing a speech in mandarin in a simultaneous translation facility to make you feel like an actual delegate in assembly.
In addition, this year’s Crisis committee was bigger and better than before, with unsuspecting delegates split off into Iraqi and Kurdistan cabinets and pitted against one another over the weekend. Between propagandist Iraqi campaigns and the Kurdistan national anthem blaring over the committee’s speakers, this was not your average nuclear warfare Crisis committee – this was a cold war for the ages.
Keeping in line with the tradition of having topics that are innovative in addition to being current and relevant, committees covered issues ranging from Addressing Emerging Psychoactive Substances to Climate Weapons. Thanks to the combination of topics and a fantastic team of chairs, committee debates were of an excellent level and really managed to bring out a great deal of potential in the delegates – the performances of the delegates who won awards (many of whom were freshers!) were absolutely commendable.
Apart from its reputation as a first-rate conference, NottsMUN is also set apart by its first-rate socials – and this year’s was surely one of the best yet. Coco Tang, a favourite among Nottingham students, played host to the Friday night drinks-and-dance social while Saturday’s Delegate Ball was held at the Park Plaza Hotel in the city. If you doubt that a lot of work went into the socials, look no further than NottsMUN’s USG Socials, who by the end had lost her voice!
As usual, the competition between delegations was intense, with various established Model UN societies sending their best and most promising to the conference – but when the dust settled, the University of Reading took home the Best Delegation crown for the second year in a row, cementing their reputation as a greatly talented society on the circuit.
At the end of the day, the weekend proved to be yet another feather in the cap for Nottingham’s MUN society, and another great experience for everyone in attendance. At the close of the conference in the university’s historic Great Hall, delegates stood up for a final shake of the hand, one last photograph with their new found friends and then it was off to the buses and the trains. Knowing that the conference’s end is never the last you’ll see of these wonderful people, it was still bittersweet to head home and get back to work on Monday – but the thought that a reunion is always on the cards on another weekend and at another conference is all it takes to keep going.
Congratulations to all the staffers, Chairs, the secretariat team and the award winners for a successful conference this year.