This past weekend, from February 12 – 15, 2015 at the Boston Marriott Copley, Harvard National Model United Nations welcomed 3,000 delegates from 70 different countries to the sixty-first session of HNMUN. Secretary General Jeffrey Schroeder, along his 230-person Secretariat, worked for the past several months in organizing 28 various committees.
The sixty-first session of HNMUN featured new technological advances, from its mobile application in which delegates used throughout the conference, to its newly designed website. Furthermore the conference highlighted three key aspects of MUN throughout the four-day event. The conference emphasized its internationalism, diversity, and unique topics, encouraging delegates to look beyond their preconceived notions.
With half of HNMUN’s delegates traveling from places outside of the United States, such as Tajikistan, Brunei, and Sierra Leone – HNMUN 2015 truly embodied the international component of Model United Nations. Simply by walking around the conference, one can hear a multitude of languages being spoken at every corner. Even during opening ceremonies, each country would cheer with an immense amount of pride when their name was called.
Even when I was grabbing lunch with a couple of delegates, they spoke to me about how fascinating it was for them to meet people whom were personally affected by the topics they discussed in their committee. Through this international conference delegates were exposed to a variety of cultures, which in turn aided in their overall experience at HNMUN
HNMUN 2015 also emphasized its diversity of committees, by having the traditional General Assembly (7) and Economic and Social Council Committees (9) along with a strong crisis component. HNMUN was the first conference to create and implement a Joint Crisis Committee – the first having been a NATO and Soviet Union Politburo Historical JCC during the 1990s. Now at HNMUN 2015, the conference upholds its strong crisis component by having 10 Specialized Agencies committees ranging from the Cabinet of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Diálogo Nacional por la Paz: El Salvador.
Lastly, HNMUN 2015 focused on a wide variety of topics for its conference, not the usual front-page-topics of the NYT. The staffers at HNMUN 2015 explained that they wanted to make it an experience that was truly an outward looking conference, substantive from an IR perspective in that a variety of issues were addressed. The conference wanted to highlight specific issues that have not been as focused upon in the media or news in order to generate awareness.
Toward the end of the conference, When asked what he wishes delegates would take away from the conference, HNMUN 2015 Secretary General Jeffrey Schroeder stated that he wishes that delegates learned that there is a “diversity of issues that affect people everywhere. He added “it is easy to only think about your impact in a self-contained bubble, but it is really important right now for everyone to gain further perspectives on various issues.”
Congratulations to the following delegations on their HNMUN Delegation Awards!
Best Small Delegation: Claremont McKenna
Outstanding Large Delegation: Florida international university
Best Large Delegation: University of Chicago
Best International Delegation: Universidad Central de Venezuela