This recap was provided by Nishad Sanzagiri, University of Edinburgh, ScotMUN Head of Press.
The University of Edinburgh’s Model United Nations Society (EdMUN) hosted Scotland’s largest and oldest MUN Conference from February 28th to March 2nd this year.
ScotMUN 2014, which took place in the city of Edinburgh, attracted over 300 participants from all over the world.
Humza Yousaf MSP, Scottish Minister of External Affairs and International Development and Dr Martin Barber, honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh and former Director of the UN Mine Action Service were keynote speakers at the opening ceremony.
Nine committees were simulated, which included beginner committees like DISEC, ECOSOC, UNHRC, WHO, IAEA, UNDP, AU and expert ones such as the Security Council and Cabinet Crisis. Delegates discussed topics relating to international security in committees. Debated topics included establishing a “WMD-free-zone” in the Middle East to “promoting Primary Education”.
ScotMUN 2014 had an International Press, which published critical dissection of events in the different committees. What distinguished this Press from other conferences was the fact that it ran side-by-side with the various committees – delegates had to react to the News in real time and could issue Press Statements and give interviews.
On the final day of debate, ScotMUN Secretary General Marcus Gustafsson stormed in the UN Security Council announcing: “Delegates, we have a Crisis”. The International Press churned out real time coverage of the current Ukraine-Russian dispute, thereby creating a dynamic environment in the ScotMUN 2014 UNSC.
Popular amongst first time MUN-ers and veterans alike, ScotMUN is known for being one of the only conferences to give a special award – the “ScotMUN Award” – to a delegate who has no previous MUN experience.
When asked what makes ScotMUN so special, the Secretary General, Marcus Gustafsson said: “We have delegates from all over the world, and as we are hosted in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh we seek to immerse them in local Scottish culture with an extensive socials program and the annual ScotMUN Ceilidh. This year the conference grew by 50% and being in the heart of Scotland, I feel that ScotMUN has a unique potential to become a world-leading conference in the coming years.”
“ScotMUN is about eternal renewal, about each successive generation doing better than the previous one. In 3 years the size of our conference has more than doubled. This growth can and has only been sustained through every successive Secretariat having the ambition and the desire to make their mark on ScotMUN, and not rest on the laurels of the previous year,” added Deputy Secretary-General Marco Bauder.
On the other hand, the Under Secretary-General for Sponsors and Speakers, Tamer Al Ghussein remarked: “OxIMUN might be the most competitive MUN in UK, and LIMUN might be the biggest. But ScotMUN is the most enjoyable of the lot”.
In an exclusive interview with Nishad Sanzagiri the keynote speakers of the ScotMUN 2014 Opening Ceremony offered the following advice for the enthusiastic delegates:
Never lose the ability to dream. As the late and great Nelson Mandela said: “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. So remove the word impossible from your vocabulary and it will be done.
– Humza Yousaf MSP
Take the time and trouble to understand the UN, understand what it can do and understand what it cannot do. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be in the UN to change it. There are opportunities everywhere in the development of the UN.
– Dr Martin Barber
Pictures courtesy of Nora Nord and Nishad Sanzagiri